FAQ

For press inquiries, contact media@dsausa.org.

Membership and Dues

Charlottesville Fund

Donation Issues

Monthly Donations

Swag Shop

Chapters and Getting Involved

What is the DSA?

Electoral Work


Membership and Dues

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 currently associated with your membership. Do not use that form to change the email address associated with your membership! See the question below for more information on updating your email address. 

*Please note: the name & address change 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: How do I change or update my email address?

A: Contact membership@dsausa.org to change the email address associated with your membership. Please do not try to update your email address yourself, and don’t renew under a different email address if you can help it! Doing so will create a duplicate membership profile for you in our system and can cause issues with dues, membership expiration dates, and even your chapter jurisdiction.


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/or your bank or credit card statement doesn’t reflect your dues payment(s), you can email membership@dsausa.org to verify.

A huge batch of new member cards was just printed for members who joined between December and the end of June, so if you joined during that period you should receive your card in the next few weeks. Members that joined in over the summer should receive their cards in December.

Staff does not have the capacity to respond every member card inquiry or check on the status of individual cards, so this FAQ will be updated when more ETAs are available.

(Last update: 11/6/18)

If you joined before December 2017 and opted in to receive physical mail from DSA but haven’t gotten your card, email membership@dsausa.org


Q: How do I join or renew?

A: The quickest and easiest way is to submit the membership form. If you’re renewing, be sure to use the email address currently associated with your DSA membership. If you want to change that email address, email membership@dsausa.org. See below for important information about monthly payments.

You can also mail this form with a check or money order to 75 Maiden Lane, Suite 702, New York, NY 10038.


Q: How do monthly dues 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 as a monthly sustaining member, enter $5 into blank dollar amount field and select “Monthly.” Our system does not automatically calculate monthly installations.


Q: I can’t access the Discussion Board!

A: Please email outreach@dsausa.org.


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

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. To verify membership status for individuals who are included on a family membership, please email membership@dsausa.org.


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

A: First, please check your spam and promotions folders! The confirmation email comes from info@dsausa.org and thanks you for being a DSAer in the subject line. If your confirmation email isn’t there, email membership@dsausa.org to request another one using the email address associated with your membership, and put “confirmation request” in the subject line or body of your email.

Please note that turnaround time will be slower than usual because of an increase in membership inquiries. Your patience is appreciated.


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 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. We do send out cards for renewals, though they differ from the new member cards in that the names are not pre-printed — instead, each card has a space for the recipient to write their name.

If and when DSA has the capacity to replace lost cards, 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.


Charlottesville Fund

Status (updated 8/9/2018)

DSA has received confirmation that the NCF has completed all final approvals and funds are on their way out to the approved survivors. 

8/1/2018 update:

According to the NCF, as of August 1, a total of 71 survivors of the Charlottesville attack have been approved to receive funds and have received approval notices with directions on how to accept the funds. This includes one additional psychological trauma survivor who was the last to be approved at the end of last week.

At this point, the dispersement process is underway. Survivors were given a choice between receiving a paper check in the mail or an electronic wire transfer. For those electing to receive a wire transfer, the NCF sends an initial test transfer with some small amount of change that the recipient must approve. These tests are happening now.

The last thing that needs to happen on the NCF’s end is a final approval from Jeffrey Dion, their director, and all checks will be sent electronically or by mail immediately after. Dion is out of the country at the moment which is why DSA hasn’t been able to communicate with him directly this week but it is expected that he will finalize the approval online today or tomorrow.

July 24th NPC Apology Regarding Charlottesville Medical Fund Distributions

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.

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. Victims can also email charlottesville@ncvc.org.


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.

Please note that 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.” Our system does not automatically calculate monthly installations.


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.


Swag

Q: How do I order swag?

A: Our swag store is here!

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, or email volunteer@dsausa.org!


Q: How can I find other members near me?

A: First, check out the Chapters page or look up your zip code. If there’s a DSA group 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: Check out our Start a Chapter page for more information!


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 11/6/2018.