Starting a New YP

General Questions to Ask

Is there a need for a YP network in our area?

What benefits would a YP group bring to your community? Check out our Discussion Questions to get the conversation started.

Who will serve on the network development team?

Define what a YP group might do and why. Decide who sits at the table. If your chamber is starting a YP group, include representation from the young professionals in the community.

Who is our target market?

Identify your target market. Is it farmers, ranchers, oil rig hands, bankers or advertising executives? Young families or single people? What demographic does your group draw?

Most YP groups include those age 21-41. Some networks include 18-year-olds and those in the “young thinking” category. A good way to help you figure out your target market is to do a short online survey of potential members ( is a great resource).


How do we create a network purpose/mission?

Gather the information and answers generated through the initial development process. Brainstorm what you want out of your YP network. Then, put your purpose/mission to paper.


Don’t get bogged down in the details.

In the early stages of network development the formality of bylaws and websites are less important than determining need and direction of a YP network. Have a clear understanding of what the YPs in your community want to get out of a YP network before you craft pages of supporting materials.



YP Structure Options

There are several ways to structure a YP network, and no single structure must be followed. Remember, there is no right way to structure your YP network. Do what works best for your organization and community. Above all, ask questions. NDYP representatives are here to help.

Chamber Partnership

Chamber provides financial and membership list management. YP network consists of officers, administrative and action teams. The president directs the leadership team which is comprised of a team leader from each of the action teams. The chamber usually provides some administrative support to the network.

Examples: Bismarck-Mandan, Devils Lake, Minot

Service Organization Partnership

A service organization partnership can be a great way to get a YP network off the ground. For example, the Dickinson Rotary Club originally provided financial assistance (first two years), guidance, and support to the Dickinson YP Network.
Dickinson YP is now an Independent YP, but maintains a partnership with Dickinson Rotary Club.

Example: Dickinson, Minot

Chamber Driven

Chamber provides financial and administrative support, as well as event planning. Network consists of Chamber YP coordinator, committee members and teams. There is less independence in this structure compared to a Chamber Partnership YP, however there is also greater support.

Example: Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo


An Independent network is the most self-reliant structure for a YP network, however maintains relationships throughout the community. The organization has the option of incorporation and may then file for 501 tax status.

Example: Greater Grand Forks, Dickinson


Establish Organizational Leadership

Most networks are structured as follows:

  • President or Chair
  • Vice President or Vice Chair
  • Secretary, Treasurer or Secretary/Treasurer

Many networks also have various teams/committees depending upon interest and network priorities. For example:

  • Social
  • Professional Development
  • Community Involvement
  • Membership
  • Service

One representative from each team/committee traditionally serves on a network’s board of directors. If the network is structured as Chamber Driven or Service Organization Partnership, a member of these entities may also sit on the board of directors.

Some networks create a “wisdom team” of established professionals to serve as an advisory board to the network board of directors.

Examples: Dickinson YP and Bismarck-Mandan YP

Start small and expand your leadership team as you grow.


Contact NDYP for Start-up Assistance

Need some guidance to start a network in your area? Contact NDYP’s Outreach Committee to get the ball rolling. You will be assigned a member from the team who has “been there and done that” to help you get started.

Give us a call or email the NDYP coordinator to set up a time to visit about starting a YP network. Even if you’re unsure about the viability of a network in your area, we would be happy to visit with you.

NDYP Coordinator
Center for Technology and Business

© 2018 North Dakota Young Professionals, All rights reserved.