Provision of financial support for young volunteers (September 2019)
In order to foster a culture of participation and give everyone the possibility to gain valuable experience through volunteering, the European charter on the rights and responsibilities of volunteers includes receiving support from volunteering providers among the rights of volunteers. Such form of financial support also enables young people with fewer opportunities to participate in voluntary activities.
As the map shows, in about two thirds of European countries, there are top-level regulations on financial support to young volunteers. Support can take various forms. Most often, volunteers can have their expenses reimbursed. In some countries (e.g. in Austria, Malta or Luxembourg), volunteers receive a fixed sum of 'pocket money' or allowance, which is not dependent on their expenses. In others, the families of young volunteers are entitled to receive family allowances during the volunteering period (e.g. in Germany). In some cases, financial support goes hand in hand with social security benefits.
Where regulations exist, they differ in the way they define the allocation of such financial support. In the majority of countries all volunteers are eligible or entitled to receive some form of financial support. For example, Türkiye has recently established a system of monitoring of the agreements between organisations and volunteers in terms of financial support. Malta has recently introduced procedures for providing support for those who have volunteered for at least three years. In other countries, regulations cover only young people volunteering within national volunteering schemes, while the reimbursement of expenses for those outside such frameworks is not regulated specifically.
In the remaining third of countries covered by the Youth Wiki, there are no pre-defined support schemes or regulations on the reimbursement of expenses. In some of these (typically Nordic) countries (e.g. Sweden and Norway), non-governmental and youth organisations receive relatively generous public support, which they can use in turn to provide support for young volunteers. However, such decisions are delegated to single organisations.