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Grant for promoting physical activity and hobbies


The purpose of the hobbies/exercise grant is to contribute to the achievement of the City of Helsinki’s strategic goals of increasing physical activity and promoting low threshold hobbies for children and young people through new types of operating models and partnerships in joint projects between actors in sports, culture and youth activities.
Projects eligible for the grant use new types of partnerships and operating models to promote

  • physical activities and daily activity for Helsinki residents of all ages, in particular to those whose health would benefit the most from more physical activity

or/as well as

  • low threshold hobbies for children and young people, and reaching out to children and young people who for some reason have no hobbies.

Eligible projects should include bold, new experiments or reach new target groups, as well as apply models that have proven functional in other Finnish cities or internationally.

The application process will be conducted in two phases, the first of which is a call for ideas.
A separately agreed development grant or service design expert may be allocated to projects selected for the second application round on the basis of the call for ideas in order to support the implementation of the idea.


The project will be implemented according to the following schedule:
Application round 1 (call for ideas): the application period open to everyone is 15 March – 20 April 2018; applicants will be notified of the results of the selection process during May 2018.

Application round 2: only open to applicants selected in round 1, ends on 16 September 2018. In October, the Culture and Leisure Committee will make the final decision on the projects after the Committee’s divisions have issued their statements on the matter.

Applying for a grant

Applications must be submitted online with a form starting on 15 March 2018 (the form can be found at the link below).
Note: Applications will not be accepted via email. The application form is available in Finnish, Swedish and English.

Application round 1 (call for ideas)

Fill in the application form here:
Note: Complete all sections of the form.
The application round will be closed on 20 April 2018 at 24:00. Applications that arrive late cannot be resent nor will they be processed.

Please note that you must not include any appendices or reference letters with your application in the first round. All the essential information concerning the idea must be provided in the appropriate fields of the application form.

Eligible applicants for round 1 (call for ideas)

Applications are welcome from registered associations based in Helsinki. The applicants may have partners, which can be unregistered organisations, action groups and actors not based in Helsinki, or companies.  Private individuals or working groups on their own are not eligible to apply. At least one of the actors must meet the criteria set by the sector.

Actors are also urged to form new types of partnerships.

More information on the evaluation criteria set by the sector:

Sports (In Finnish)
Youth Activities (In Finnish)

Eligible purposes of use for the grant

The call for ideas seeks projects that

  • promote new types of partnerships and operating models
  • increase physical activity and daily activity, in particular for those whose health would benefit the most from more physical activity or/as well as
  • improve the offering of low threshold hobbies for children and young people, and reach out to children and young people who for some reason have no hobbies (aged under 29)
  • implement new and bold experiments and operating models that reach new target groups
  • The activity must be directed at Helsinki residents.

Consider also these:

  • Ways of extending the project or establishing the activity later
  • Self-assessment of the project’s successes and result (quantitative/qualitative)

Purpose of use of grant

The grant can be used to cover those project costs that are not attributable to the actor's direct operating costs. The actors must contribute to funding the project (self-financing).

Grant criteria

The call for ideas primarily seeks large joint 3-year projects whose funding can be extended with special decisions for 2019 and 2020 on the basis of annual follow-ups if the necessary amount of appropriations is allocated in the budget for the sector.

Upon launching the call for ideas, the right is reserved to launch a new application round in spring 2019, as well as to propose grants for innovative projects that last less than three years.

The final amounts of the grants have not been defined. At most 7–14 projects will be selected. The maximum duration for each project is three years.

The grant application must include an estimate of the effects of the project at the end of the project period and the type of funding that will be used to finance the activity after the project period.

The applicants that go through to the second application round will be eligible for a development grant of up to EUR 5,000 for further preparation of the project. The purpose of use of the development grant must be described in the application submitted to the call for ideas and the funds must be used during the second application round of the project call.  Eligible uses include the fee of an external sparring partner for the project (not employed by the organisation) or other design-related costs.

Processing of applications

A Q&A and discussion session is organised for the actors upon launching the call for ideas.
The Partnerships and Grants units (of the Sports, Culture and Youth divisions) of the Culture and Leisure sector are responsible for the evaluation of the projects. The Executive Director of the Leisure and Culture sector decides which projects are selected for the second application round.

The final decisions about the projects will be made by the Culture and Leisure Committee in October.

Further information:

Veikko Kunnas
Head of Division, Culture
tel. +358 40 334 1204

Markku Toivonen
Head of Division, Youth
tel. +358 41 512 1747

Taina Korell
Head of Division, Sports
tel. +358 40 350 1898

Culture and Leisure, City of Helsinki