Chapter/OC FAQ

Join our Pre-OC/OC Q&A Office Hours call! 
Please email lisa@dsausa.org for the registration link and date and time. 

Q: Is DSA a 501c3 or 501c4?

A: DSA is a 501c4. There is a second organization, Democratic Socialists of America Fund, which is a 501c3 and does educational work. Sometimes DSA makes a request for a grant from the DSA Fund to cover 501c3 permissible educational projects by DSA. There is also a federal PAC called DSA PAC.


Q: Our group is just starting to organize. Do you have online materials to help?

A: Yes! Our organizing blog has downloadable handouts, articles, and tips. DSA also has educational webinars and conference calls on an ongoing basis. Check the calendar regularly. We also offer online activist skills trainings and monthly Pre-OC/OC Q&A Office Hours calls.  


Q: Can I get a list of all members in my area so I can contact them?

A: Yes, we send them to one designated person in chapters and OCs. We do NOT send member lists to pre-OCs. Instead, we may send out email blasts to members in your area. These email blasts have a very high open rate. To set up an eblast for your area, email lisa@dsausa.org with your message body, subject line, and the contact info for your group.


Q: I have organizing questions that are specific to my area. Who should I ask for help?

A: You can attend a monthly Pre-OC/OC Q&A Office Hours calls. Please email lisa@dsausa.org for a registration link and date and time.

If you're already a nationally recognized OC or chapter, contact your regional field organizer with national DSA. To find out who that is, email lisa@dsausa.org.


Q: I’m organizing a group in my area. We already submitted a Chapter Interest form and/or OC application but have not heard back. What do we need to attain Organizing Committee (OC) status?

A: Please email lisa@dsausa.org


Q: I’m leading an Organizing Committee (OC) that has over 15 dues-paying members. What do we need to file for Chapter status?

A: THERE IS A TEMPORARY MORATORIUM ON CHAPTER APPLICATIONS. If your group is already an approved OC, please contact your chapter application pipeline point person for further instructions. If you're not sure who your point person is, email lisa@dsausa.org.


Q: My chapter is having elections soon. How do I get a full list of active members?

A: Chapters that are listed on the national website map may fill out this form using their official email address listed on the website. Make sure to allow at least a week for our database coordinator to assemble the list.


Q: Can I get the tax ID number of DSA to set up a bank account for my chapter?

A: Not at this time. We are reviewing our financial practices vis a vis chapters at this time. For now, discuss best practices with your field organizer.


Q: My OC/Chapter wants to reserve meeting space in a library/public building, and we need to prove our non-profit status to do so. How do we get a copy of DSA’s tax letter?

A: First, make sure that the library accepts 501c4 tax letters, not just 501c3. All DSA meetings fall under our 501c4 activities so that is the letter we must provide. If the library accepts 501c4 letters, send a request for 501c4 letter to lisa@dsausa.org that includes your group’s name, why the library needs the tax letter (i.e. reserving meeting space) and the contact information for the person at the library who receives tax letters. The national office will submit the letter directly to the library for you.


Q: Can my OC/chapter get an official @dsausa.org email address?

A: No. Unfortunately the national office does not have the capacity, nor the money, to create and maintain dsausa.org email addresses for local groups. We strongly suggest you make your own group email address so no one’s personal email is listed on our website, such as XDSA@gmail.com. We also suggest creating a group phone number (using Google Voice or similar program) so no one’s personal phone number is listed on our website.


Q: We have new contact information or a new website or social media account we want posted to the DSA Chapters webpage. How do we get our info updated?

A: Send any updated information (contact information, new webpages, changes in leadership) to lisa@dsausa.org. Please remember to update Lisa when you have elections and change leadership, too.


Q: How do I get members of my local group added to DSA Activist?

A: DSA Activist is for members actively engaged in leading and organizing local groups. The current chair(s) must email Eileen at eileen@dsausa.org with the name and email address of the active organizer/local leader who wants to be added. NOTE: Eileen will not approve the request if the person emailing is not on the master list of chapter/OC leaders. If your group recently held elections and you have not yet contacted the national office with the updated list of officers, the old chair(s) must contact Eileen with the DSA Activist request and the list of updated officers.


Q: We are having an event/meeting/rally, and I want to order swag. How can I get some?

A: We just relaunched our swag shop! Please email swag@dsausa.org with questions or problems.


Q: We want to create our own swag specific to our chapter/OC. Are we allowed to do that?

A: Yes! However we need you to follow certain specifications:

  • Swag must be made either by union printers with union materials (and stamped with a union bug) or made with donated labor and be noted as such with “labor donated”.
  • Swag design should follow our design guidelines.
  • If you need help with design, contact the design team at dsa.design.committee (at) gmail (dot) com.

Q: We submitted an Organizing Committee or Chapter application and the national website has not been updated yet.

A: This means either the National Political Committee has not voted on it yet or the national staff has not completed the administrative work to get it on the website.

New Member Call, August 26

August 26, 2018

August 26, 2018

9:00pm ET/8:00 CT/7:00 MT/6:00 PT

Click to RSVP

You've joined DSA - Great! Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision. And, most importantly, how you can become involved.

Questions or Comments? Contact: 

info@dsausa.org

Click to RSVP