3 youth working on graffitiwoman holding hands with young boy passing by a graffiti of a woman

The aim of pilot activity grants is to support actions which address young people’s needs or challenges at a local level. The actions have a clear link to the local context and address the priorities of the youth sector of the Council of Europe. 

These activities should be based on innovation or on replication of good practice, have a clear youth work dimension and be based on non-formal education principles. The link between the action and the envisioned impact on the community should be clearly thought out.

 Format of a Pilot Activity

Pilot Activities are flexible in their format and may utilise a range of approaches, such as training sessions, meetings with experts, local workshops, local actions, visits, campaigns, workshops in schools, festivals etc. An essential feature of a pilot activity is the educational element - the EYF supports education projects, using a non-formal approach. The pilot activity can be :

  • An awareness raising activity: participants are informed or educated about a topic or an issue, with the intention of influencing their attitudes, behaviours, solutions or responses in their local context. At the end of the activity they can say “I have learned this” or “I am aware of that”.
  • A Skills development activity: participants develop skills to address identified needs. At the end of the activity they can say: “I can do this” or “I have the ability to do that”.
  • Collaborative work: participants’ skills and knowledge serve as a basis to build and develop an outcome (for example a campaign, guidelines, recommendations etc.) and at the end they can say “I have contributed to the development of this or that”.

The maximum duration of a pilot activity project is 6 months.

 What criteria are used to evaluate applications?

When assessing applications for pilot activities, the EYF will concentrate on the following criteria:

  • Activities addressing challenges affecting young people at a local level. The EYF expects that you highlight a specific challenge or concern affecting young people at a local level based on evidenced needs. Applications will propose ways of tackling the issue, with a view to finding solutions and creating an impact in the community.
  • NGOs should be concrete and specific when introducing the local context, the situation of young people, and their challenges and needs. It should be clear how their proposed activity will help respond to these challenges at the local level.
  • The EYF expects that youth projects have an educational element and an approach based on non-formal education. Some resources on our website can give you some insight on how to integrate the non-formal education principles in your youth activities.
  • The EYF expects to clearly see a link to our focus themes and the Council of Europe's youth sector priorities. You project needs to contribute to one of the priorities of the Council of Europe’s youth sector, defined by the Joint Council on Youth (the central co-managed political body of the youth sector). Learn more about the current priorities.
  • Projects supported by the European Youth Foundation must be organised by, with and for young people (between 15-30 years old). We will expect to see how young people are involved in the decision making at all stages of the project.
  • The EYF will pay particular attention to activities developed with local authorities or social services/workers, and projects involving young people trained in the European Youth Centres or presented by local NGOs supported by an international/European youth NGO.

 Grant amount

The maximum grant available for a Pilot Activity in 2022 is €15 000. The EYF can cover the all real costs of the activity up to this amount.

The EYF will initiate the payment of the first instalment80% of the grant awarded – 10 weeks before the start of your activity. However, it can take up to 3 weeks until the money arrives into your bank account. The remaining 20% will be paid upon receipt and approval of the final report (check the Reporting page).

The Programming Committee on Youth has decided to update the list of eligible costs in pilot activity grants, which now include certain specified administrative costs linked to the activity. It is now possible to include certain administrative costs as eligible expenditure, as long as they are linked to the activity and for a maximum of 7% of the awarded grant. More specifically, it concerns the following costs:

  • Part of staff salaries, corresponding to their time dedicated to the project. Please note that expert or trainer fees have always been eligible and are not considered salaries;
  • Office rent, insurance, electricity, water and heating costs.

Administrative costs not mentioned above will continue to not be considered eligible.

 What costs are covered by the grant? Budget and financial management

Check the page on budget and financial management for specific information on this. 

 Who can apply?

 Local actions may be carried out by international NGOs/networks as part of their work plan and in co-operation with local NGOs. However, only the NGOs mentioned above may submit a Pilot Activity application.


 When to apply?

The deadlines for EYF supported pilot activities starting in 2023 are:

  1. 1 February 2023
  2. 1 June 2023
  3. 1 September 2023

All the projects must start in 2023.

Other deadlines will be announced in due course for 2024 projects.

The EYF is currently updating its pilot activity application form, hence organisations will be able to submit their projects only in January 2023. The EYF will inform organisations as soon as the online system is ready to receive applications. This does not concern the projects to be submitted within the EYF special call in support of young people from Ukraine.

As a reminder, only local and national youth organisations can apply for pilot activity grants. If an interested organisation is not yet registered with the EYF, please register as soon as possible.
More information can be found here.

Read more about examples of projects supported here.

Find out more about the budget and financial management at this page.

Word versions of the application form for pilot activities can be found here.

 How to apply?

Every NGO interested in applying to the European Youth Foundation has to be registered with us(see additional information on Registration) and go through the application process.


 Common characteristics of all EYF-supported projects and examples of supported projects

The European Youth Foundation provides financial and educational support to a wide range of youth projects, focusing on a range of different topics. Whether projects take place at local or international level, EYF-supported projects all share some common characteristics. Learn more about these characteristics and check examples of projects supported at the dedicated page.

For further information, please click on the calendar of events

Grant beneficiaries must

  • use the Council of Europe logo* and the visual identity of the EYF on any publication, material, website
  • mention the support of the EYF
  • print the EYF posters and use them in the venue during their activities
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