Global Youth Service Fund
The Youth Service Fund (YSF) is unique. Everything about YSF is by, with, and for youth! Youth contribute the money, they decide what projects receive the money and the projects supported are youth-designed, youth-led, and benefit youth.
Since its creation in 1968, the Youth Service Fund has enabled youth to support one another in ministry around the world!
Youth directly give to YSF by participating or hosting fundraisers through a local church or larger conference event, donating individual gifts, or asking their local congregation for a special offering. Each year youth raise thousands of dollars for YSF. These funds are sent to the treasurer of your Annual Conference to be combined with the gifts of other youth in the area.
When all of the donations are joined together within an Annual Conference, 70% of the total goes to projects selected by youth in leadership from the region! That usually means that the Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) can identify awesome projects that meet the needs of their context. The remaining 30% of the total collected is sent to the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), and this amount is used to fund projects that a team of youth from around the world select. Most importantly, the projects supported are designed and led by youth, for the benefit of their peers. (Book of Discipline 2012, 649. 3. i-k; 1208)
YSF funds some truly innovative ministries, and we want your best ideas for consideration. Put together an awesome application and plan to pull it off, and we’ll support you with prayers and funding once our panel of youth reviews and approves. Check out this list of projects that have received funding within the past 10 years for some inspiration!
In 2015, Young People’s Ministries staff created a 4-part resource to help youth better understand Youth Service Fund and its possibilities. For further inspiration, download and use this free PDF resource for conversation and early planning stages with youth in your church.
- Priority will be given to those projects that are youth-led (i.e. youth have been leaders in the creation, development, implementation and evaluation of a project.)
- The project must be youth-related (12-18 years of age, or up to age 24 for international projects.)
- Youth Service Fund money is to be used to develop new projects that will become self-supporting. There is no guarantee of funding after one year and no project will be funded more than three consecutive years (funding for consecutive years will decrease from that of the previous year).
- Youth Service Fund grants should have a substantial effect on the project but will not be used to fund a deficit.
- Projects should be racially and ethnically inclusive whenever possible.
- Preference will be given to United Methodist projects within the connectional system. Projects of other churches and cooperative efforts between religious groups will be favored next. Finally, projects sponsored by secular organizations that meet Youth Service Fund criteria will be considered.
- The goals of the project should be stated clearly. The project review committee needs to be able to visualize the project in action.
- Submitting a specific budget is essential. Where does income come from? What expense does your project have? No more than 25% of Youth Service Fund monies granted may be used for administration or salary, freeing a minimum of 75% for program development.
- Illustrate church and community support, financial and otherwise. Letters of support from church and community leaders are encouraged.
- Specify one primary project category to describe your project.
- If your project is chosen you will:
- Be notified by November 1;
- Be required to return a Good Faith Agreement and payment information by January 1;
- Receive funds by check or wire transfer in January and July;
- Be asked to submit two progress reports: one to receive the second payment and one following the funding year.
- The final payment date can be altered if the project shows a distinct need.
- Failure to comply with the requirements will lead to termination of funding or prevent receiving funds in the future.