Get connected: 10 young professional groups to consider joining, perks included

Young professionals in their race day finery on the lawn of the Mint Museum Randolph during the Young Affiliates of the Mint Museum's annual Derby Days fundraiser.

Thinking of joining a local organization and giving with your time, while increasing your personal and professional development? There are quite a few to consider in Charlotte. Here are 10 young professional groups to look into.

Young Affiliates of the Mint

Considered one of the premier organizations for young professionals who are passionate about the arts, Young Affiliates of the Mint (or YAMs for short), connects members to the Mint Museum through gallery openings, receptions and educational seminars. In addition, they raise funds for the museum through signature events including the Fall Ball; their annual gala at the Mint’s uptown location and Derby Days, a local celebration of the Kentucky Derby that takes place at the Mint’s Randolph location.

Perks: As a member, you will receive free or discounted admission to events, a discount in the museum gift shop and nearby restaurants, and at times sneak peeks of museum collections.

Join: An individual membership with YAM benefits is $85.73 and you can join here.

Via Instagram @youngaffiliates

Charlotte Chamber Young Professionals

To join the Charlotte Chamber Young Professionals, you must be between the ages of 21-39 and an employee of a Charlotte Chamber member company. These are the only two requirements and automatically make you a member.

Perks: As a member, there are many opportunities to participate in civic engagement and community service through events like the upcoming Health Care Summit 2018 or Business After Hours, business-to-business networking events, hosted by local chapters. The next one is March 29 in Ballantyne.

Join:  If you aren’t sure if your company is a Charlotte Chamber member company, you can find out by emailing

Club Blume

Club Blume, the social group sponsored by the Blumenthal Performing Arts, welcomes members in their 20s and 30s. Their goal is to provide an arts connection to young people through the offerings at the Blumenthal. The best part? There are no dues or membership requirements. 

Perks: Access to pre-show mixers and exclusive discount offers like BOGO for the upcoming Tablao Flamenco show at Booth Playhouse.

Join: You simply sign up here with a valid email address.

PRSA Charlotte New Professionals

PRSA Charlotte New Professionals caters to those who are new to Charlotte or new to the public relations field. They offer a wide variety of networking and career development opportunities, including lunchtime brown bag workshops and evening panel sessions. PRSA membership is not required to attend the aforementioned events; but it is encouraged.

Perks: The membership brings discounts on local events, national conferences and access to a national members-only website, which includes free webinars and a daily forum, where other PR professionals ask and answer questions related to the industry.

Join: To join the local chapter, you must already be a national PRSA member. The national membership cost is $255 annual dues plus a one-time $65 initiation fee, which allows you to choose a local chapter. Get details here.

Via Instagram @prsacharlotte

ASC Young Donor Society

Members of the Young Donor Society contribute an annual $500 or more gift (each) to the Arts and Science Council (ASC), which assists in the mission of ensuring access to an excellent, relevant, and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region. Most recently, the Connect with Culture Day was a great example of this mission in action. The all-day Friday and Saturday events allowed everyone to partake in free diverse arts, science and history experiences. Some of these experiences included taking salsa lessons, listening to a drum circle, watching a performance or visiting a museum. The society’s goal is to foster appreciation and raise interest in various forms of culture by engaging with the 40-and-under crowd.

Perks: The annual gift comes with the recognition as a leadership donor and other society membership benefits including invitations to special events, exclusive ticket offers and hosting annual events. Their latest signature event, complete with African dancers, at Camp North End, looked fun!

Join: Join here, and contribute an annual gift of $500 or more.

Bechtler Young Visionaries

Bechtler Young Visionaries, the affiliate group of The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, supports the museum and connects the Queen City’s young professionals through educational and social events, including an annual fundraising gala, which will take place next month. Most recently, they hosted internationally acclaimed photographer Alejandra Laviada, whose work is a part of the permanent collection of the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Centro de la Imagen in Mexico City.

Perks: Young Visionaries get discounted admission to museum programs like Jazz at the Bechtler, first Friday jazz concerts (a sell-out series); Modernism + Film, a monthly film series; and guest lectures featuring experts in the modern art and architecture world. 

Join: To join the Bechtler Young Visionaries, you must first have a current Bechtler membership ($50) and add the annual membership for the Bechtler Young Visionaries, which is $35. Learn more about joining here.

United Way of Central Carolinas Young Leaders

United Way of Central Carolinas Young Leaders engages young people who are interested in advancing community solutions for everyone in the community surrounding important areas of education, health, and financial stability.

Perks: Membership benefits include leadership training, networking opportunities, professional development and unique volunteer opportunities like becoming a study buddy to a Mecklenburg county student, helping with urban gardening at a local high school or playing bingo with seniors.

Join: The membership is an annual fee of $500 and you can learn more about how to join on their website.

Habitat Young Professionals of Charlotte

Habitat Young Professionals of Charlotte not only put action toward the Habitat of Humanity’s mission of eliminating poverty housing in the Charlotte region (every second Saturday they participate in a build), they also spread the word through annual events (one is the popular mud volleyball tournament). Members are ages 21 to 39.

Perks: Have fun at various HYP meetups around town; the next one is Trivia Tuesdays at Carmella’s and Angry Ales, on March 6.

Join: To become a member, you have two options: $8/month or $85/year.

Charlotte Museum of History Young Affiliates Society

If you have an interest in history and sharing that with others, Charlotte Museum of History Young Affiliates Society is the organization to join. The Young Affiliates Society (YAS) has an age range of 21-39 and enjoys discussing the rich history of The Charlotte Museum of History and Hezekiah Alexander House (one of Charlotte’s oldest surviving structures in Mecklenburg County, which is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places) through social and educational events like the upcoming lecture on World War I. They even host their own book club.

Perks: Perks include free general admission all year, discounts to museum-sponsored programs and events, 15 percent off purchases at the museum shop, and invitations to exclusive events, exhibit previews and celebrations.

Join: Get more details here; the cost is $95 single/$165 per household.

The Contemporaries

The affiliate group of the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, The Contemporaries welcome young professionals to learn and appreciate contemporary art at all levels by interacting with artists in residence and through art exhibits like Transitory Emplacements, a group exhibition that touches on the topics of homelessness, migration, and belonging. 

Perks: Learning opportunities for Contemporaries also include general membership benefits like discounted tickets for workshops, ticket events and special programs, as well as a weekly newsletter about events, blog posts and exhibitions.

Join: You must be a museum member before joining Contemporaries. You can add a Contemporaries membership ($10) on to your general membership ($50)  here.

Via Instagram @mccollcenter

Photo: Daniel Coston/Charlotte Observer files


  1. Another group to consider — for younger folks all the way to executive level: Ellevate Network, which focuses on investing, educating and connecting women!

  2. Join us for a networking reception to learn more about United Way of Central Carolinas, Young Leaders, and how you can be involved in 2018!

    You’ll hear from keynote speaker Jon Davis, Senior Consultant at The Center for Intentional Leadership. Jon will lead the group in an engaging conversation on the impact young professionals have within Charlotte, and how cultivating these young leaders today will advance our community tomorrow.

    Open to all young professionals. Drinks and light hors d’oeuvres available.



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