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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

2.7 Social inclusion through volunteering

Last update: 28 November 2023

Support to young volunteers

Youth volunteering is supported by top level authorities through financial support to civil society organisations, particularly child and youth led organisations. More information on government grants and support to civil society is available in sections 1.7 Funding youth policy and 5.6 Supporting youth organisations. Child and youth led organisations that receive organisational grants from the government are free to use it to cover costs for both their administration and their activities, which may include voluntary activities and support to young volunteers. 

Community building

The letter of intent on interaction between the government and the voluntary sector [Frivillighetserklæringen] describes the voluntary sector as  crucial in solving societal challenges as, among other things, a provider of health and social services, and in emergency work. The voluntary sector is acknowledged as an important contributor for strengthening democracy at local and national level. The independent role of the voluntary sector is emphasised and national authorities are not meant to regulate the activities of volunteer initiatives. However, a number of national grant schemes are made available to the voluntary sector to contribute to developing and strengthening social cohesion and inclusion in local communities and at the national level. For more information about grants and support to the voluntary sector see sections 2.2 Administration and governance of youth volunteering and 2.6 Quality assurance.

Civil society organisations have developed networks of volunteers, provide information and guidance. For more information, see 2.8 Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities.

Tackling societal challenges

As mentioned above top-level authorities provide funding for the voluntary sector through targeted project grants. Unlike organisational grants, project grants may not be used for regular activities or administrative costs of the organisation. provides a comprehensive overview of all government grants available to the voluntary sector. Most grants are aimed at addressing societal issues related to integration and diversity, inequality and discrimination, climate and environment, health care, poverty, children, and youth.