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What is YouthBank?

 A YouthBank is a fund run by young people with the purpose of supporting youth-led projects that address issues recognised by their peers to improve their communities. The most effective young people are encouraged to work with each other in a YouthBank team and are helped to organize themselves. Help and assistance come in many forms.

In order to increase the skills, confidence, connections and resources to build a YouthBank team, a range of experiential and formal methods are provided by an adult. This relationship between young people and adults builds expertise, creates moments for reflection, learning and for thinking about change.

How can one set-up a Youthbank?

YouthBanks are formed within youth-serving organizations. Organization which supports and promotes young people as decision-makers should contact YouthBank International to go through the on-boarding process (process during which we check if our values match, if there is capacity, etc). We share our knowledge, experience, methodologies, examples and tools during the workshop with the intention to equip the youth workers and enable them to guide young people during their YouthBank journey!


Can YouthBanks be independent?

Yes. YouthBanks start as being based in youth serving organization, but they may become independent after they reach the point of financial sustainability.

Can YouthBank networks be set up anywhere in the world?

Yes. This is the beauty of the model. The model offers flexibility and potential to serve the young people wherever they are located geographically. 

Who decides on changes young people want to bring?

Young people decide. Young people set their own agenda for change. Young people manage the funds, they manage the projects, they manage their engagement in their communities, they manage everything.

Are there particular types of criteria when engaging in the recruitment process of young people?

The recruitment of young people to a YouthBank team requires the host organisation (or its partners) to have a positive policy of involving young people of all abilities and backgrounds. It is expected from the host organization to lead considerable thought and dialogue and to design the recruitment process of 10 - 12 young people between the ages of 15 - 25. The geographic area that has been agreed for the YouthBank to serve will raise many questions about representation from age ranges, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, lived experience of disability, socially and economically excluded young people and educational achievement.

Example: A host organisation may decide to take a thematic/interest based approach and decide to recruit only young women to the YouthBank team. Why? To address issues of gender equality.

What are the core elements of a local YouthBank?

Any part of the YouthBank process is a combination of many things!

The physical and social environment might catch your eye, where the learning environment would reflect a safe and comfortable space to contribute to group and team development. Exhibits and materials would represent the work to date of the team. You might see several small groups of the YouthBank working on particular parts of their plan. Someone might be leading a discussion or being supported by someone who has a role to facilitate or provide training in some new skill. On another evening, or weekend, members of the YouthBank team may be pitching the impact and benefit of YouthBank to a local donor, or visiting a locally funded project that tells the story of what has changed as a result of being supported.

If I am young person without existing Youthbanks in my area, how can I become more involved in what YouthBank International does?

In our strategy we plan to establish YouthBank International Academy which will allow people around the world who believe in our model and our work to become engaged as youth practitioners, if interested and if approved. You can support our work by donations as well as subscription to our newsletter to stay updated to all the news within our organization and beyond.  

Can several organizations join together in order to run YouthBanks?

Of course!

Can organization become financially sustainable due to YouthBank model?

Yes. During our 20 years of implementing the model we have become familiar with different concepts and different business models organizations can have while implementing the YouthBank model, which can ultimately lead to financial sustainability. If you would like to know more about financial sustainability, feel free to contact us on


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