American Councils for International Education is pleased to announce the annual Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) Matching Grants program for FLEX and YES alumni. The GYSD Matching Grants program is funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the United States Department of State.

Groups of FLEX and YES alumni are invited to apply for matching funds of up to $500 to implement local community service projects as part of the Global Youth Service Day initiative weekend: April 20-22 2018.

In order to receive funding, alumni must conduct local fundraising efforts to secure contributions from other donors. Those funds can be matched on a dollar-to-dollar basis.

Example: If an alumnus raised funds (through cost share, an in-kind contribution, or fundraising) of $298, he may request up to 298$ for his project from the GYSD Grant Program.  The grant program will not offer funding that exceeds $500, even if alumni raise funds that exceed $500.

Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is an annual international event that:

  • Mobilizes youth and adults to identify and address the needs of their communities through service;
  • Recruits the next generation of volunteers;
  • Educates the public about the role of young people as community leaders by highlighting the contributions they make to their communities year-round.

Eligibility: In order to participate in this program, alumni must:

  • Be an alumnus/a of the FLEX or YES program from or living in one of the following counties:  Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Senegal, Serbia, Tajikistan and Ukraine.
  • Be in compliance with the two-year home residency requirement following the program;
  • Update their information in the alumni database, which may be done at any American Councils office or electronically by following this link.

Choose a Cause: 

GYSD (2)

  • Community Building
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health
  • Human Rights
  • Hunger

GYSD Grants Timeline:

  • Applications Available – December 15, 2017
  • Applications Due – February 1, 2018
  • Notification – Early March, 2018
  • Funds Transferred – Late March – Early April, 2018
  • Global Youth Service Day Weekend: April 20-22, 2018
  • Reports Submitted May 5, 2018

The application deadline is Thursday February 1, 2018 11:59 PM Eastern Time.

To learn more about the GYSD grant projects awarded in 2017 click here.

For more information contact the FLEX Alumni Coordinator in your country/ region or email Proposals may be funded in part.  American Councils may request that applicants modify their budgets in order to accommodate partial funding.

Please note the following categorization of items that can and cannot be funded through this grant program and items that require justification:

Prohibited Items Computers, electronics, alcohol, and alumni salaries
Items Requiring Strong Justification* T-shirts, bags, banners, promotional materials, and construction materials (including paint)

*Items requiring strong justification is a new category as of 2018. The guidelines for this category are as follows:

  1. In total, items in this category may make up no more than 30% of the total project budget
  2. The need for these items MUST be clearly and strongly justified in the project proposal and budget. In order to be considered “strongly justified,” the items must:
    • bring significant (large) and immediate results to the community or to the beneficiary group – for example, a water tank for an orphanage that does not have water.
    • promote the FLEX/YES program and/or American Councils in a positive way – for example, a large-scale project with a high number of attendees where the program/organization’s role is visible.

Global Youth Service Day Matching Grant Applications are available at:

Learn more about Global Youth Service Day at the YSA Website