10/03/2013 06:36 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Royal Bank says it's committing $100 million over 5 yrs to help kids, youth

TORONTO - Canada's largest bank says it's committing itself to provide $100 million over five years to fund donations, sponsorships, youth employment initiatives and other investments geared to the well-being of children and youth.

The RBC Believe in Kids Pledge will consolidate the bank's current support for children's causes and provide funding for new programs.

That includes $4.6 million in additional charitable grants for Royal Bank's children's mental health project, which was launched in 2008.

It's also continuing a program for after-school activities that began in 1999, with a $2.8 million commitment over the current school year for 106 programs.

The bank (TSX:RY) says the Believe in Kids Pledge will include $25 million for new, multi-year programs to be unveiled in the next few months.

RBC president and chief executive Gord Nixon says Royal Bank's goal is to help one million kids and youth by 2018 through a wide variety of programs.

"Today's five-year commitment is just the starting line," Nixon said. "RBC will develop a best-practice framework for tracking and reporting on the impact of our investments so we learn from experience and consistently direct funds where they have the most positive outcomes for kids and youth."