The YouthBank is a unique method of involving young people in activities which benefit the community. The YouthBank is a grantmaking committee, consisting exclusively of young people, which demonstrates the youth viewpoint in philanthropy. The YouthBank supports youth projects in a given community. YouthBank is an internationally recognized model, very popular in Europe — Bulgaria is the 26th country in Europe, which adopted the model. Research shows that YouthBank contributes to the development of youth leadership and have an extensive impact on communities as a whole.
WCIF imported the YouthBank model in Bulgaria in mid-2012, and it was adopted by community foundations as well as by other organizations which stimulate youth philanthropy and volunteerism. The YouthBank teams included young people aged 14 to 25 from high schools or universities. The YouthBanks began their activity by assessment of youth needs in their communities, and setting their grantmaking priorities. They organized various fundraising campaigns to attract donations and funded youth projects by means of open calls for proposals.
In 2015/2016, WCIF supported 13 YouthBanks. At the moment, there are 13 active YouthBanks in Burgas, Vidin, Lom, Montana, Shumen, Gabrovo, Sofia, Pernik, Kyustendil, Dupnitsa, Pazardzhik, Stara Zagora and Sliven.