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Young Americans for Freedom FAQs

1. What is the mission of Young Americans for Freedom?

Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) is the chapter affiliate of Young America's Foundation. YAF chapters advocate for the principles outlined in the Sharon Statement, including limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, traditional values, and a strong national defense.

2. What is the history of YAF?

YAF was founded on September 11, 1960 by a group of young conservatives who met at the home of William F. Buckley Jr. and wrote its founding document, the Sharon Statement. In 2011, YAF and Young America's Foundation unified, with the former becoming a project of the latter. YAF alumni have founded or played a critical role in numerous conservative organizations, including the American Conservative Union, the National Rifle Association, the Fund for American Studies, and the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.

3. How is YAF different from other conservative organizations?

YAF is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting conservative ideas such as free enterprise, limited government, and a strong national defense. It is not wedded to any particularly political party or candidates for public office. This means that YAF can boldly advocate for conservative principles without concerning itself with pleasing the interests of those in Washington. 

4. Why should I start a YAF chapter?

You can use YAF as a platform to educate and call your peers to action to confront issues with big government such as the country's ballooning cost of education, destructive taxes, and the national debt. These are policies that are harming your generation! We will help you every step of the way by providing logistical and financial support. In other words, we make your activism easier!

Additionally, starting a YAF chapter is an excellent way for you to gain leadership experience. You will develop skills in marketing, fundraising, event planning, and other areas of activism that will serve you well in your professional life.

YAF members and chapters can expect the following benefits:

  • Premier member and chapter services 
  • Exclusive YAF leadership training 
  • Innovative activism materials for your chapters 
  • Financial and logistical assistance to host conservative speakers - including Ann Coulter, Allen West, Greg Gutfeld, Michelle Malkin, Walter Williams, Dinesh D'Souza, and others - on your campus 
  • Discounts to attend YAF's breakthrough conferences and seminars 
  • Opportunities to visit the Ronald Reagan Ranch
  • Paid internship opportunities at Young America's Foundation's National Headquarters, the National Journalism Center, and the Reagan Ranch Center
5. How do I start a YAF chapter at my school? 

Starting a YAF chapter is easy, and we will help you every step of the way! Click here to get more information on starting a YAF chapter, or email Raj Kannappan, our Program Officer for Young Americans for Freedom, at

6. I am currently a high school student. Can I start a YAF chapter?

Yes! Some of our most successful chapters are located in high schools. We will work with your chapter to plan activism ideas that cater to your school and area of the country.

Young America's Foundation also organizes conferences exclusively for high school students each year. We strongly encourage you and your peers to attend so that you can meet other YAF student leaders from across the country.

7. How can I recruit members for my YAF chapter?

We recommend tabling in or around your student union. We also encourage you to use our list of campus initiatives to get attract, recruit, and retain members. Additionally, hosting a conservative speaker and having attendees sign up for your chapter is a great way to recruit. Other ways include creating a Facebook page and Twitter account for your chapter, and promoting your chapter on social networks. We will provide you with the YAF chapter manual and free copies of our Conservative Guide to Campus Activism to further assist you.

8. If I start a YAF chapter, what activities can I organize on my campus?

The national office exists to provide your chapter with the resources necessary to advocate for conservative principles on your campus. We encourage you to participate in our various campus initiatives, such as the 9/11: Never Forget Project, Freedom Week, and GPA Redistribution, among others. However, we also encourage you to organize activities that you feel will most benefit your chapter. We will work with you to achieve success on your particular campus.

9. How do I find an advisor for my YAF chapter?

We recommend researching faculty bios on your university's academic department websites. You should search for anyone who may have a degree from a conservative college or university, a background in conservative organizations, experience with free market economics, or conducts research on public policy issues. Additionally, if your school allows non-faculty members to serve as advisors, be sure to seek out university employees who may be staff members but not professors or lecturers.

10. I have persuaded other students to join my chapter. How do I keep them energized?

Organize events with them! The best way to motivate your peers is to make sure that your chapter is active throughout the year. This means having a plan of action for each week, each month, and each semester. You do not necessarily need to throw a big event each month, but what you should strive for is making sure that your chapter conducts some form of activism on campus regularly. This can range from distributing flyers to challenging another student organization to a debate.

Of course, you should feel free to organize social gatherings for your peers.

11. I do not have any experience running an organization? Can I receive materials and training to learn how to run a chapter?

Yes! Once you fill out the Young Americans for Freedom chapter agreement and we review it, we will send you an initial activism package that includes various informational flyers, a PowerPoint introduction for your first meeting, the Conservative Guide to Campus Activism, and other training materials.

Additionally, we host year-round training sessions at our headquarters in northern Virginia for new chapter chairs. We will offer you educational sessions on various aspects of activism, including recruiting, fundraising, and public relations, among others.

As you grow your chapter and become more active, we will work with you each step of the way to assure that conservative principles prevail on your campus through campus lectures, campus initiatives, and training conferences and seminars.

12. Organizing events on campus and attending conferences sounds great. But how do I fundraise for my chapter?

Through our experience working with conservative student organizations, we have found that student governments, offices of university and school administrators, and academic departments often have funds available for lectures. You should contact these sources on your campus. Additionally, you should consult the Conservative Guide to Campus Activism that we will include in your initial activism package.

Do not be dissuaded by the cost of an event that you are interested in organizing! Keep in mind that Young America's Foundation can assist you financially.

13. My school's administration is hard to work with. How do I grow my chapter while facing unsupportive administrators?

If you are facing an administration that does not approve of your holding conservative events on campus or is proving challenging, contact local media, state government officials (especially if your university or school is public), and other potential allies. Of course, you should also reach out to Young America's Foundation! We can provide advice for your particular campus and situation. We have experience in nationally highlighting cases of ideological bias on various campuses throughout the country. In many of those cases, we have succeeded in getting the university or school to back down.

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