Associations and organisations

Do you want to start playing football, find a church or a language cafe in your neighbourhood? Do you need to talk to someone or receive help and support with something that concerns you or your family?

Sweden has a strong network of associations with local activities where you can get to know new people who share your interests. You can also receive help and support with matters that can be difficult or if someone in your family is not feeling well. Some examples of associations and organisations from around the country are sports and cultural associations, educational associations and religious communities. There you can get in touch with activities such as help with homework, sports and pastime activities, family support and language cafes.

Afrosvenskarnas Riksförbund

Afrosvenskarnas riksförbund (National Association of Afro-Swedes) is a humanitarian, cultural and non-profit organisation. The association, which is politically and religiously independent, currently consists of five regional sections in Malmö, Göteborg, Stockholm, Jönköping and Umeå.

Caritas Sverige

Caritas is the aid organisation of the Catholic Church and works for the equality and rights of all people. In Sweden, Caritas works with local support for the elderly and the sick, advice in asylum matters, against trafficking (human smuggling), with volunteer work etcetera. In the wider world we carry out humanitarian work in disaster areas, and we support countries in their struggle against poverty and oppression. We are part of Caritas Internationalis, the international Caritas which is one of the largest development networks in the world, uniting just over 160 Catholic national development organisations in over 200 countries.

Christian Council of Sweden

In the Christian Council of Sweden member churches from four church families meet. These are the Lutheran churches, the free churches, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Orthodox churches. These contain the various Christian traditions. An important task for the Christian Council of Sweden is linking the work of the member churches in various areas. This is accomplished by offering meeting places for the exchange of ideas, creating networks and organising activities.

Church of Sweden

The Church of Sweden is the largest religious organisation in Sweden and is a part of the Lutheran World Federation. At the local level the Church of Sweden is organised into parishes.


Civilförvarsförbundet (Swedish Civil Defence League) is a volunteer defence organisation with the aim of contributing to security both in everyday life and in the event of crises in society. Civilförsvarsförbundet organises and educated risk-aware, committed and responsible citizens.

Community centres

For many people the community centre is a natural place to get together in. Community centres (they can be called a bygdegård, bystuga, medborgarhus among other names) are general meeting places open to all: children, young people, adults, families, associations, companies and everyone else – provided the underlying values are democratic.

Find a community centre near you

Eritreanska Riksförbundet i Sverige

Eritreanska riksförbundet i Sverige (ERIS; the Eritrean National Association in Sweden), is a non-profit umbrella organisation which is politically and religiously independent, and was formed in 1987. Eris works to ensure that Eritreans have the same rights as the rest of the population.

Folkets Hus och Parker

Folkets Hus och Parker (National Federation of People's Parks and Community Centres) is a popular movement with close to 600 member associations running Folkets Hus, public parks and festivals across the country – all of which are important and appreciated meeting places and culture bearers. The popular movement is divided into 7 districts and owns 140 cinemas across the country through its member organisations.

Forum för frivilligt socialt arbete

Forum för frivilligt socialt arbete (National Forum for Voluntary Organizations) is an umbrella organisation for the community-based organisations in civilian society and is a platform for the transferral of knowledge and the development of ideas. The members of the forum consist of 34 national organisations. ​

Frivilligsamordnarnas Förbund

Frivilligsamordnarnas Förbund (Association of Volunteer Coordinators) is an non-profit association and a professional association for those who organise and lead volunteers in Sweden, both in municipalities and for non-profit.

Hela Sverige ska leva

Hela Sverige ska leva (Swedish Village Action Movement) is a member-based organisation for these local groups and for nearly fifty organisations who have chosen to support the endeavour by becoming members. Our mission is to advise and support local development groups and provide tools for successful local work. We are also an organisation that wields influence by raising matters of importance to people in the countryside.

Individuell Människohjälp (Individual Humanitarian Aid), IM

IM is a Swedish development organisation that fights against and makes visible poverty and isolation. IM makes it possible for women, men, girls and boys to have access to all areas of society. By overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers, creating meeting places and dialogues, and by providing psychosocial support, IM increases opportunities for individuals or groups who are otherwise excluded. More about IM's activities for integration. More about IM's activities for integration. ​

Internationella Kvinnoförbundet

Internationella Kvinnoförbundet för Fred och Frihet (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom), IKFF, is the Swedish section of the international peace organisation Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. IKFF is a peace organisation focused on raising the awareness of the role of women as actors in matters of peace and security. The activities are conducted as projects in the local circuits in Sweden and on a national level.


IOGT-NTO is part of a worldwide popular education movement. Within the IOGT-NTO movement people gather who have taken a stance for personal sobriety and who share the desire to work together to improve living conditions for all people.

Irakiska Riksförbundet, IRS

Irakiska Riksförbundet i Sverige (Iraqi National Association) in Sweden is an umbrella organisation for Swedish and Iraqi associations.

Italian National Association (FAIS-IR)

Italienska riksförbundet (Italian National Association)

Kurdiska Riksförbundet

Kurdiska Riksförbundet (Kurdish National Association) is a politically and religiously independent organisation with member associations all over Sweden. It is possible to apply for membership in Kurdiska Föreningen in your home municipality or the closest municipality in which such an association exists. Matters of language, identity and cultural politics form the foundations of KRF's activities.​

LP-verksamhetens Ideella Riksförening

LP-verksamheten (the LP operation) is managed by the Pentecostal Movement and aims to prevent and ameliorate drug and alcohol abuse through fieldwork, youth activities, local contact centres and treatment homes that offer spiritual, medical and social treatment.

Magan Welfare Förening

Magan Welfare is a non-profit organisation with the primary aim of striving for democracy in countries where democracy is not practised and where human life is neglected. The organisation has a special focus on the rights of women and youths, and works for equality and against discrimination. The Magan Welfare Organisation is based in Göteborg.

Mission Covenant Church of Sweden

​Baptist Union of Sweden, United Methodist Church of Sweden and Mission Covenant Church of Sweden have formed a new church together, Equmeniakyrkan (Uniting Church in Sweden). During a transitional phase, the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden maintains a separate organisation, just like the other two education associations. Here you find information that is specific for the Mission Covenant Church of Sweden.

Parasport Sweden

Svenska Parasportförbundet and Sweden's Paralympic Committee (Parasport Sweden) is a federation that organises sports for people with motor disabilities, vision impairments and intellectual impairments in 18 different branches of athletics. The federation also manages Special Olympics events, which are sports for people with intellectual impairments.

Rainbow Sweden

Rainbow Sweden is an association of independent client organisations that work to reduce substance abuse, criminality and social isolation. The organisation's activities and rehabilitation have a drug-free premise and cover a wide range of treatments and rehabilitation, with consideration given to the specific needs of individuals.


The Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, RFSL, has local divisions all over the country. RFSL works to ensure that homosexual, bisexual, transgender and other individuals with queer expressions and identities, are granted the same rights, opportunities and obligations as others. RFSL also has a youth association, RFSL Ungdom.


Riksförbundet Internationella Föreningar för Invandrarkvinnor, (National Federation of Immigrant Women's Associations), RIFFI,  is an umbrella organisation for about 30 local associations across the county. The local associations are an important meeting place for the women of the district, who cooperate with public administration and education associations in the district to improve the conditions for integration. The associations organise courses in Swedish and English, and other subjects such as matters related to influence and democracy.​

Riksförbundet Frivilliga Samhällsarbetare

Riksförbundet Frivilliga Samhällsarbetare (National Association of Volunteer Social Workers) consists of approximately 85 local associations who work as lay probation officers, partner contact persons, representatives, contact persons, contact family, support family, support person, legal guardians, trustees and specially appointed guardians, and who are visitors at jails and prisons. RFS works to ensure that all users, clients, patients and principals who are in need of support from volunteer social workers shall have access to a legally secure initiative of good quality.


Swedish Sports Confederation is the overarching organisation of Swedish sports, tasked with supporting, representing and leading the movement in terms of common matters, nationally as well as internationally.


Riksteatern (Swedish National Theatre) is a popular movement that owns a touring national stage. Over 40,000 members, 230 associations, 21 regional associations and 50 connected organisations across Sweden are a part of Riksteatern, which arranges, mediates, produces and develops the dramatic arts.

ROKS, the National Organisation for Women’s Shelters and Young Women's Shelters in Sweden

ROKS, the National Organisation for Women’s Shelters and Young Women's Shelters in Sweden, has about 120 shelters among its members and they provide support and protection to women, girls and children subjected to male violence, as well as to women in lesbian relationships.

Save the Children Sweden

Rädda Barnen (Save the Children) is a children's rights organisation that works to safeguard the rights of all children. Rädda Barnen's work is based on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.


Samarbetsorgan för etniska organisationer i Sverige (Cooperation Group for Ethnic Associations in Sweden, SIOS, is a politically and religiously independent non-profit organisation. SIOS consists of volunteer associations of recognised and non-recognised minorities who, in cooperation with all of the democratic forces in Sweden, wish to work for a multicultural society and work with matters of language, education and minority policy that are shared among the members.

Sociala Missionen

Sociala Missionen (Social Mission) is a non-profit organisation with social and lay religious direction. Some of today's activities are social legal counselling/ psychosocial support and migration matters.

Somaliska Riksförbundet Sverige (Somali National Association in Sweden)

Somaliska Riksförbundet i Sverige (SRFS) is a politically and religiously independent, democratic organisation. The main activities of SRFS are directed at the Swedish-Somali group in Sweden. The association works for the democratic and human rights of the Swedish Somali. SRFS also works to ensure that the Swedish Somali group are aware of their responsibilities to contribute to welfare and their opportunities to develop and grow as individuals.

Study associations

Study associations are found all over Sweden and are the country's largest meeting place for education and culture. People of all ages turn to them to learn and develop along with others. All study associations carry out various activities that you can participate in, such as language practise, study circles, courses and cultural activities. There are ten study associations, each with its own proflle and philosophy. If you would like to know more about individual study associations, you can explore further on their websites, where you will also find activities in your town that you can participate in.

Links to the study associations' websites:



Ibn Rushd




Sensus studieförbund


Studieförbundet Bilda

Studieförbundet Vuxenskolan


Svenska med baby (Swedish with a baby)

Through Swedish with a baby you can meet other parents and practice your Swedish.​

Svenska Röda Korset (Swedish Red Cross)

Red Cross is one of the world's largest humanitarian organisations. A simple way of getting in touch with Swedish Red Cross is to visit one of the many meeting places in the country. There we have many social activities such as cafes, help with homework, Swedish practice, education and courses. If you are injured from war or torture, Red Cross has treatment centres at nine different sites in the country. Red Cross also works to help undocumented immigrants gain access to healthcare and be granted their rights.

Sveriges Föreningar

Sveriges Föreningar (Sweden's Associations) aims to support and strengthen the local umbrella organisations, as well as influencing and being a national voice in matters pertaining to local associations.

Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions

Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, SKL, is an employers' and interest organisation for all municipalities, county councils and regions in Sweden. SKL's function is to support and contribute to developing the organisations of our members. We function as a network for the exchange of knowledge and coordination. Our role includes providing service and professional counsel on all matters related to the operations of municipalities, county councils and regions.

The Roman Catholic Church

The organization currently lacks information on this page.

The Swedish Union of Tenants

The Swedish Union of Tenants is a democratic member-based organisation for tenants, working for everyone's right to good housing at a reasonable cost. Over half a million households are members of the Swedish Union of Tenants. The Swedish Union of Tenants works for everyone's right to good housing at a reasonable cost.

Turkiska Kvinnoförbundet (Turkish Women's Association)

The organization currently lacks information on this page.

Ukrainska Alliansen Sverige (Ukrainian Alliance Sweden)

Ukrainska Alliansen in Sweden is an umbrella organisation for 9 different
associations in Göteborg, Stockholm, Trelleborg, Blekinge and Gävle where it organises various activities.

Civilian society

Civilian society is one way to talk about what we usually talk about as associations and organisations.

What is available in your part of Sweden?

You can find more information on which associations and organisations there are where you live in the presentations of the counties and municipalities. You can make a search of the activities of the associations in the tab Service Map for each municipality.

Go to the pages for counties and municipalities.​​​

An association is managed by the members and becoming a member can be a good way to make new contacts.

This site contains information about the Swedish society and is run by the County Administrative Boards of Sweden
© Copyright 2016 County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland

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