2.7 Social inclusion through volunteering
On this page
Support to young volunteers
The Swedish Government encourages and supports youth volunteering mainly through providing financial support to the civil society. More information on government grants is available in chapter 5.6 Supporting youth organisations.
Those youth organisations that receive organisational grants from the government are free to use it to cover costs for both their administration and their activities.
The Swedish government has not launched a strategy on youth volunteering or a other guiding documents for local community building around volunteering. Therefore it is civil society organisations that have developed networks of volunteers and offer guidance. For more information, see 2.8 Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities.
Tackling societal challenges
The main top-level measure for supporting supporting young volunteers to engage in projects that contribute to solve societal challenges in Sweden is the financial support from the government.
The government facilitates participation in voluntary work even through targeted project grants that civil society organisations can apply for. Unlike organisational grants, project grants may not be used for regular activities or administrative costs of the organisation. For 2023, the Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society has the following government project funds to distribute:
- support for children and young people's independent organisation and influence in society
- efforts that promote meeting places for young LGBTQI people
- measures that strengthen democracy
- activities against racism and similar forms of intolerance
- activities that prevent and counteract discrimination
- health promotion efforts aimed at Roma people.
The Swedish Inheritance Fund supports non-profit organisations and other voluntary associations. The fund has four target groups: children, young people, the elderly and people with disabilities. About 70 million euros are distributed on an annual basis by the fund, which makes a significant contribution to voluntary work. The government has selected twelve prioritised areas for the Inheritance Fund:
- Strengthen the rights of the child
- Increase participation and strengthen democracy
- Prevent violence, bullying and harassment
- Promote strong parenting
- Promote mental and physical health
- Increased participation in cultural life
- Promote establishment on the labour market
- Strengthen rights for people with disabilities
- Strengthen the conditions for the reception and establishment of new arrivals
- Increased gender equality
- Increased participation and accessibility for elderly people with disabilities
- Strengthen the influence of children and young people
The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket) is the Swedish partner in the LIFE Programme, EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action, that is open for civil society organisations to apply for funds for a larger environmental, climate or nature project.
Since 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency has paid government grants to non-profit environmental organisations that contribute to meeting the environmental goals. In 2023, 39 organisations shared SEK 20 million, about 1.7 million euros. The grants support the important role of civil society in environmental work. The work includes, for example, environmental monitoring of endangered species, practical nature conservation and dissemination of information and commitment to the climate issue. The grants are given as general grants that can be used, among other things, for costs for office, administration or employees. From 2023, funds will also be granted to organisations that work with resource management, recycling and sustainable construction.