Real Lives, Real Money, Real Change
YouthBank International has been operating since June 2014, based on a model that had been evolving since 1999. The Community Foundation for Northern Ireland (CFNI) hosted one of the seven pilot YouthBanks which translated the idea into practical action, and was a founding member of the YouthBank UK consortium.
Between 2002 and 2013, CFNI introduced the YouthBank model to youth serving organisations across the island of Ireland, as well as other parts of the world.
In June 2014, a charitable company, YouthBank International (YBI), was created as an independent entity to provide the secretariat functions to a growing array of lead organisations that supported their own country-wide YouthBank networks.
All young people can be part of a global YouthBank network
We are committed to developing young people for the future and believe in social mobility and the rights of young people
To partner with organisations who empower young people to change and develop their communities through ‘authentic’ leadership and decision-making
A world where all young people lead change and make differences in their communities
From Latvia to South Africa, Honduras to Kyrgyzstan and with a small active presence in South East and East Turkey, community foundations, private foundations and youth-serving organisations have held a space and place for young people to make decisions about small scale resource
allocation in their communities. These organisations are committed to finding solutions to why restricted access to opportunity exists for many young people.
Using the YouthBank model, youth serving organisations and foundations harness new methods and innovation in youth philanthropy, entrepreneurship and personal development as a contribution to improving democratic engagement and life opportunities for young people.
YouthBank International (YBI) has achieved notable success in the past 4 years, scaling the YouthBank proposition to over 200 sites, supported by 26 networks on 4 continents and funding over 4500 small scale projects.
The YouthBank ethos and model is based on a simple, flexible and transferable idea: YouthBanks are funds, run by young people, to support youth-led grass root projects that address community issues that matter to them.
● Involve young people in projects that they design and run for themselves. We believe it is the most potent way of engaging young people in their community.
● Involve young people in grant-making because we know from experience that this makes them more aware of the needs and aspirations of their local community and HOW to make a difference.
● Encourage involvement in voluntary action where the issues are more closely matched to young people's own concerns. Creating a dynamic where trustful, inclusive, empowering, respectful relationships can thrive and positive change is created, encouraging the involvement of young people who are currently disengaged or disempowered by their respective systems can be inspiring so they give back to others and their communities.
● Devolves responsibility and accountability by placing decision making about small scale resource allocation into the hands of young people who act philanthropically, bridge divisions, take leadership roles, stimulate entrepreneurial spirit and opportunities. The YouthBank model provides clear evidence of the positive impact that young people can have on communities. This allows each YouthBank to be more effective in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and bring young people’s perspectives to bear on the national and international public policy debate.