Today we are excited to announce the unification of Young America's Foundation with Young Americans for Freedom. You can read the formal press release here, but here are some frequently asked questions regarding this important announcement.
1. Is Young America’s Foundation’s leadership equipped to make the unification successful?
The Foundation’s leadership consists of many prominent leaders from Young Americans for Freedom who have a personal interest in ensuring Young Americans for Freedom remains a strong, effective, and credible force for conservatism. More than any other organization, the Foundation wants to protect Young Americans for Freedom’s name.
The top officials now leading Young America’s Foundation have spent years cultivating and growing Young Americans for Freedom. Current Young America’s Foundation President Ron Robinson and Young America’s Foundation’s Officer and Chairman of the Reagan Ranch Board of Governors Frank Donatelli both served multiple terms on Young Americans for Freedom’s board of directors and were publishers of New Guard. Ron Robinson served as state and chapter director from 1973 to 1977 and as executive director from 1977 to 1979. Frank Donatelli was the executive director from 1973 to 1977. Foundation director Ron Pearson was a state chairman of Indiana and Rhode Island and a national board member.
Young America’s Foundation Vice President Patrick Coyle led a Young Americans for Freedom chapter at Penn State and Director of Information Technology, Cheri Cerame, was a Young Americans for Freedom activist from Georgia. She also worked at the Young Americans for Freedom National Headquarters in the late 1970’s.
2. When did the unification take affect?
The unification was formalized on May 16, 2011.
3. What is the name of the new organization?
Young America’s Foundation and Young Americans for Freedom have become one united YAF. Young America’s Foundation is still the name of the parent organization. Young Americans for Freedom joins the National Journalism Center and the Reagan Ranch as a project of Young America’s Foundation.
4. Will students have to be part of or create a YAF chapter or be a YAF member in order to participate in Young America’s Foundation programs or host a Foundation speaker?
No. Young America’s Foundation will continue its practice of working with any student who wishes to get involved in any of our programs. Students who contact the Foundation and express interest in starting a conservative club will be encouraged to start a YAF chapter.
5. Why was there a unification now?
There has always been confusion between Young America’s Foundation and Young Americans for Freedom. Previously, Young America’s Foundation leadership hesitated to recommend that students start YAF chapters because there was not a guarantee they would receive the necessary support and follow-up from Young Americans for Freedom. Young America’s Foundation is now in position to ensure that any students who forms a YAF chapter will receive the training and resources necessary to educate, inspire, and activate young people and advance freedom in America.
6. What will happen to Young Americans for Freedom’s existing leadership?
Young America’s Foundation is pleased to welcome Young Americans for Freedom’s executive director, Danny Diaz, to our team. The current board of Young Americans for Freedom have been offered three-year, renewable terms on newly created advisory board, called the Young Americans for Freedom Board of Governors.
7. What are some of the benefits existing Young Americans for Freedom members and chapters expect to receive?
Existing YAF members and chapters can expect the following:
8. Will there still be a New Guard publication?
There are no plans to change that. New Guard will continue to operate in a format and schedule as determined by Young America’s Foundation’s board of directors. Past issues will be more accessible online. There is also Young America’s Foundation’s Libertas publication, Libertas will continue to be the official publication of Young America’s Foundation.
9. What is the history of the combined organization?
Young Americans for Freedom was founded in 1960 in Sharon, Connecticut at the home of the legendary William F. Buckley, Jr. by 90 young conservatives who drafted the Sharon Statement. Young America’s Foundation also began in the 1960’s under the leadership of Charles Stowe and other students at Vanderbilt University. Both traditions will be cited in the years to come.
10. What happens to the current YAF Chapters?
All current chapters will be asked to sign a new chapter agreement. They should contact Young America’s Foundation National Headquarters to ensure their continued operation as a Young Americans for Freedom chapter.
11. Will there be YAF National Elections?
There will no longer be national elections. We will develop a new system to recognize key YAF activists by appointing them to the YAF Board of Governors and through other methods.
12. Where is the new YAF National Headquarters and how do I contact it?
Young Americans for Freedom can now be contacted at the F.M. Kirby Freedom Center, Suite A, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170. The phone number is 800-USA-1776.
13. What is the tax status of the new organization?
One of the important changes included in the unification is acknowledgement that Young Americans for Freedom is now a project of Young America’s Foundation, a non-profit organization described under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Young America’s Foundation has assumed only the activities of Young Americans for Freedom that are permissible for 501 (c)(3) organizations. Those permissible activities are referred to in the new agreement and below as “Young Americans for Freedom’s public policy educational program
Young America’s Foundation is an Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) organization which is prohibited from engaging in political/election-related activities, and which does not engage in such activities, and Young Americans for Freedom’s public policy educational program [will] not include any such activities.
14. What happens to Associate Memberships?
Those details are still being determined. However, we expect that they will be integrated into Young America’s Foundation’s alumni programs in some form.
15. What happens to yearly dues?
Details about yearly dues are still being reviewed. However, we know you could not have anticipated these changes affecting your membership. We believe this unification will enhance the services available to you. However, as an added option, we are offering to refund your 2010 and 2011 dues should you wish. Please send your proof of payment to Danny Diaz at Young America’s Foundation, 110 Elden Street, Herndon, Virginia 20170.