The Young Life Service Charge

What Is Service Charge?
The Young Life Service Charge is the 17% of an area’s operating budget which goes toward administrative (11.6%) and regional leadership (5.4%) functions. 
Why Is Service Charge Important?
The service charge enables staff to do the primary work of Young Life: introducing adolescents to Jesus Christ and helping them grow in their faith. Through service charge funds, Young Life is able to provide an array of essential services to field staff so they can focus on making a difference in the lives of middle school, high school and college students.
What Items Are Exempt From Service Charge?
  • Campership – Expenses associated with sending kids to camp are not subject to service charge.
  • Multiethnic​ – Areas with approved urban program expenses receive a credit equal to the amount of service charge paid on those expenses.
  • Capital Expenses – Capital expenses (expenses for computers, vans, office furniture, etc., that exceed $1,000) are not subject to service charge.
  • Operating Fundraisers – These are a special type of fundraising event where items are bought and sold for a profit (e.g. Christmas tree lots, t-shirt sales, etc.).
How Is Service Charge Calculated?
There are several ways to calculate service charge.
  1. Donation-based:  The simplest way to calculate service charge is to multiply the operating donation received by 17%.  Example: $100 donation x 17% = $17 toward service charge.
  2. Expense-based:  Another way is to divide the area’s local operating expenses by 4.88.  Example:  $83 in local operating expense / 4.33 = $17 toward service charge.
Is Service Charge Handled Differently For International?
Yes, there are a few aspects that are different for international ministry.
  1. No Regional Service Charge:  International regions do not collect the 5.4% service charge.
  2. For the remaining 11.6% service charge, the dollars charged are identical to a US area.  However, since the overall operating budget was decreased by the regional service charge, it has an adverse impact on the percentage.  The revised percentage charged is 12.2%.  See example below.
  3. Reduced Service Charge For Grant Money:  Money granted to international ministry organizations is assessed at a reduced rate of 6%.  This includes money wired to international organizations or individuals doing ministry in country.
International Example: US Area​ ​ International Area​ ​
​Dollars %
​Local Operating Expenses ​$83.00 ​83.0% ​$83.00 ​$87.7%
​Service Charge - Mission Services
​$11.60 ​11.6% ​$11.60 ​12.3%
​Service Charge - Regional Leadership ​$5.40 ​5.4% ​0.00 ​0.0%
​Total ​$100.00 ​100% ​$94.60 ​100%
Note that both areas pay $11.60, but that the percentage for international ministry ends up being 12.3%.
Other Questions?
If you have other questions regarding Young Life service charge, please let us know.  We’re happy to help answer any questions you may have.  We can be reached by calling 877-438-9572, or by emailing us at You can also learn additional information by looking at our new Service Center Flyer.