FAQ

Membership and Dues

Donation Issues

Monthly Donations

Charlottesville Fund

Swag Shop

Chapters and Getting Involved

What is the DSA?

Electoral Work


Membership and Dues

Q: Is DSA a political party? Will joining change how I'm registered to vote?

A: DSA is not a political party, but a non-profit activist organization. Joining DSA will have no impact on how you're registered to vote or who you can vote for!


Q: Do I have to be a US citizen to join DSA?

A: You don't have to be a US citizen to join DSA! If you live outside the country, our online membership form can currently only accept Visa and Mastercards with US addresses, but you can mail in a check or money order or email membership@dsausa.org for more options and information.


Q: What’s the difference between the various membership levels?

A: There's no difference between any of the options in terms of membership benefits. We work to make our membership accessible to all. Because we’re member-funded, we ask that people join at the highest level they can.


Q: How do monthly payments work?

A: If you choose to join as a monthly sustaining member, the amount you select or enter on the membership form is the amount you will be charged every month. For example, if you want to pay $60 a year at a monthly level, enter $5 into blank dollar amount field and select "Monthly."


Q: How do I change or update my email address?

A: Contact membership@dsausa.org to change the email address associated with your membership. 


Q: How do I change or update my name and/or mailing address?

A: Click here to update your name or mailing address. Be sure to submit that form using the email address associated with your membership! When you receive the email confirming the change, it won't actually include your updated information, just the fact that a change was made. You can email membership@dsausa.org if you want confirmation of the change, and you can also request a new confirmation email with your updated information.

*Please note: that form does not automatically update your information in your local chapter's database. If you want your chapter leaders to be immediately notified of the change, please contact them directly after submitting the form.

If you changed your name and need an updated membership card to reflect that change, please email membership@dsausa.org.


Q: I want to get a family membership. How can I enter my partner’s name and information?

A: Enter your partner's name and information in the box designated for family level memberships.

Currently, member emails can only be sent to the main point of contact for a family membership.


Q: I live outside of the United States, but I want to join DSA. How can I do that?

A: You don’t need to live in the US to join, but currently we can only process credit cards based in the US. If you don’t have a credit card with a United States billing address, you can join by mailing in this form with a check or money order. All international memberships are digital-only, meaning you will receive Democratic Left magazine and all other DSA communications via email.


Q: Is it possible to buy someone else a membership?

A: Yes, it is! You can give a friend the gift of DSA membership. To pay by check or money order, mail in your payment with the name, mailing address, and contact information of your membership recipient to:

Democratic Socialists of America
75 Maiden Lane, Suite 702
New York, NY 10038

To pay by credit card, fill out the membership form with your friend's email address 
(not yours!) and phone number. Then, enter your name and billing address along with your credit card information. Once the payment has been submitted, you can fill out this form to update your friend's name and mailing address. Just make sure to once again enter your friend's email address on that form, not your own! 


Q: I want to join, but I'm not comfortable doing so with my real name or personal information. What are my options?

DSA takes your privacy and safety concerns very seriously. If you don't feel comfortable joining under your real name, please contact membership@dsausa.org for more options. 


Q: I never received a confirmation email, or my information has changed and I'd like a new one!

A: Email membership@dsausa.org to request another one.


Q: Can I attend DSA events or meetings without my membership card?

A: You don’t need your membership card to go to DSA events! Once you’ve paid dues, you’re considered a full member, so you can vote in local elections as well.


Q: I haven't received my membership card yet! When will I get it?

A: We’re sending membership packets out as as quickly as we can, but so many people are joining that it’s hard to keep up, particularly with our small staff size. If you got a confirmation email for your payment, we've received your dues and are working on it. In the meantime, you can get involved in DSA’s local and/or national work. If you never received a confirmation email and are not sure if your dues payment went through, you can email membership@dsausa.org to verify.

New member cards have not yet been sent out for anyone that joined around or after mid-December, 2017. However, we are printing an absolutely COLOSSAL batch of new member cards that will get us caught up through June, so this will change very soon!! This FAQ will be updated when an ETA is available. (Last update: 7/17/18)


Q: I lost my membership card. Can I get a new one?

A: Because of our enormous growth in membership, DSA staff does not have the capacity to replace lost membership cards at this time. When this changes, the FAQ will be updated.


Q: I mailed in an application form and a check, but my check has not been cashed and/or I haven't received a confirmation.

A: Email membership@dsausa.org to verify that your check and application have been received. Physical applications and payments take longer to process than those online.


Q: I can't register for any of the new member orientation calls or I missed the call I registered for. What can I do?

A: DSA recorded two of our most popular conference calls, the New Member Orientation and Introduction to Socialist Feminism. You can listen to the audio of those calls at http://www.dsausa.org/audio.


Donation Issues

Q: My bank/credit card says I got charged multiple times, but I didn’t get confirmation emails for the payments from DSA. What happened?

A: Any time you try to make a payment with a debit or credit card, banks and credit card companies put a “hold” on your account in that amount (it may appear on your statement as "pending" or "processing"). If your payment was rejected for some reason, you will NOT be charged. However, the “hold” for that amount may stick around for a few business days until your bank/credit card company verifies that the charge was rejected. If you wish to verify how many times you were charged, email membership@dsausa.org.


Q: I’m trying to donate but I’m getting a “street address and postal code do not match” error message. What’s happening?

A: This message means the address you entered doesn’t match the billing address on the card that you’re paying with. Please try again, entering your billing address exactly as it appears on your credit card/bank statement.
NOTE: we can only accept credit cards based in the US.


Monthly Donations

Q: I started a monthly contribution to DSA. Does this make me a member?

A: Yes, it does. As a monthly sustaining member, you’ll get all of the same membership benefits with annual dues, including a digital or paper membership card (based on which type of membership you signed up for) and subscription to Democratic Left magazine.


Q: How can I change the credit/debit card I’m using for my monthly donations?

A: You can start a new monthly contribution on the new card here. Make sure to also email membership@dsausa.org with a request to cancel the old one.


Q: How can I change or cancel my monthly donation amount?

A: You can start a new monthly contribution in the new amount here, and make sure to also email membership@dsausa.org with a request to cancel the old one.


Charlottesville Fund

Who to contact

In October, DSA’s Steering Committee voted to give the money raised through DSA to the National Compassion Fund (more on that below). 

The National Compassion Fund has trained victim assistance specialists to provide updates about the Fund via the VictimConnect Resource Center through phone, text, or chat at 855-4-VICTIM [855-484-2846], chat.victimconnect.org.

They can also be reached via email at charlottesville@ncvc.org.

Status (updated 7/17/2018)

July 13th update from NCF Executive Director (opens in new window)

July 5th update from NCF Executive Director (opens in new window)

June 27th Update from NCF Executive Director (opens in new window)

6/10/2018 update:

On June 7th, the NCF's Charlottesville Fund steering committee was informed that, due to delays with health care providers, a significant portion of the applicants had not yet been cleared. Because NCF cannot begin distribution until verification is complete, the steering committee voted that afternoon to decide whether the outstanding applications should be denied on the grounds that they weren't verified by the deadline, or whether the deadline for health care verification should be extended. A vote to extend the deadline was unanimous. We are awaiting further updates at this time.

5/29/2018 update:

NCF is currently waiting on medical verifications for several applicants. Because NCF distributes 100% of the Fund, they cannot begin distribution until verification is complete. They are hoping this process will be completed within the next week. 

Background

In an extraordinary display of solidarity, comrades from around the country came together to raise nearly $200,000 for survivors of right-wing violence in the fascist attack on August 12 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Crowdfunding for hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct aid was a new tactic for DSA, initiated in response to a clear need, and it quickly became apparent that we did not have the means, expertise, nor capacity to collect and distribute funds both fairly and confidentially.

In October, DSA’s Steering Committee voted to give these funds to the National Compassion Fund (NCF) for distribution. A statement explaining this decision was sent shortly after to chapter leaders and was also publicly posted on the fundraiser as an update, which you can read hereDSA’s funds were transferred to NCF during the second week of November. For more information, please see Charlottesville DSA’s timeline of events.

Transferring the money to NCF provided the best route for ensuring that those harmed would not have to file police reports; that their identities and health information would remain confidential at the local and national level; that there would be experienced oversight of the funds and that they would be disbursed correctly based on local need.

The NCF appointed a local steering committee, which includes DSA members from the Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, and Richmond chapters, to establish the eligibility criteria, application deadlines, validation requirements, and method(s) of distribution.


Swag

Q: How do I order swag?

A: Our new swag store is finally open!

Contact swag@dsausa.org with questions.


Chapters and Getting Involved

Q: How do I get involved?

A: Check out our Get Involved page to look for opportunities that fit you!


Q: How can I find other members near me?

A: First, check out the Chapters page. If there is one near you, contact the organizers about getting involved and finding the next meeting. If there is not a chapter near you, fill out the chapter interest form. After you fill out the form we will work on connecting you to resources and assistance to help you organize in your area.


Q: Can I join a chapter near my work or school rather than my home?

A: Yes! To join a chapter, you must either live, work, or study within that chapter's zip code jurisdiction, and DSA must have the correct corresponding address for you in our database. Once you've submitted your annual dues or initiated recurring monthly dues, changing the address associated with your membership will not interrupt your payments. You can update the address associated with your DSA membership here.


Q: I don’t have a DSA chapter in my area. How do I start one?

A: First, you will need to become a member of DSA, if you are not already. The next step is filling out our Start a Chapter form. After you submit the form, we will contact you with further steps and work on connecting you to resources and assistance to help you organize in your area.


Q: I don’t have a DSA chapter in my area. Are there other ways for me to be involved?

A: Yes! You can join in one of our national identity/issue-based teams or join one one of work committee or volunteer teams. You can also participate in our national trainings, discussions, and lectures.


Q: I want to start an international DSA chapter. Can I?

A: Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to support organizing outside of the United States at this time. DSA members living abroad can participate in DSA webinars, and we do have resources online.


Electoral Work

Q: How do I get a national endorsement from DSA for my political race?

A: In order for candidates to be eligible for a national endorsement, they must first receive an endorsement from their local chapter. The DSA National Electoral Committee will accept no applications that haven’t been chapter-endorsed first.

Chapter leaders can endorse candidates here.

You can contact the DSA National Electoral Committee at elections@dsausa.org.


Q: How do I get a national endorsement from DSA for my organization?

A: Email the NPC at npc@dsausa.org.

 

 

If you have any other questions, please contact us.

 

FAQ updated 7/17/2018.

July 2018 NPC Live Stream

July 21, 2018

July 21-22 is the fourth meeting of the current National Political Committee, taking place in New York, NY. DSA members can watch a livestream of the meeting, which will be put online in real time.

The Saturday session will be livestreamed beginning at 9AM ET/8AM CT/7AM MT/6AM PT and ending at 6PM ET/5PM CT/4 PM MT/3PM PT. The Sunday session will be livestreamed beginning at 9AM ET/8AM CT/7AM MT/6AM PT and ending at 2PM ET/1PM ET/12PM MT/11AM PT.

This stream will be limited to DSA members. To check that every person interested in watching is up-to-date with their dues, we ask that you RSVP for access to the livestream.

Click here to RSVP.

New Member Call, July 22

July 22, 2018

July 22, 2018

9pm ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 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

Talking About Socialism: Create Your Own Rap

July 25, 2018

Click here to RSVP

9pm ET/8pm CT/7pm MT/6pm PST

This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA’s webinar or from other sources. Prepare for conversations about socialism that happen when you table or canvass. Join Steve Max, a founder of the legendary community organizing school, the Midwest Academy, to practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism. 

Click here to RSVP

New Member Call, August 12

August 12, 2018

August 12, 2018

7:30pm ET/6:30 CT/5:30 MT/4:30 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