Frequently asked questions about ESA membership

Founded in 1929, ESA is a powerful network of people who, as individuals or members of ESA’s nearly 800 local chapters throughout the U.S. and Australia, donate nearly 850,000 volunteer hours and raise more than $15 million annually in cash and pledges for worthy causes. 

Who can join ESA?
Anyone at least 18 years of age may join ESA as a community member. College and university students have the option to join ESA through our collegiate program.

Do I have to live in the U.S. or Australia?
Anyone throughout the world is welcome to join ESA as an individual member or as part of an ESA chapter.

How many hours must I commit?
There is really no average number of hours an individual must commit. Each person decides how much time and/or resources they can give. Most ESA chapters meet bi-weekly or monthly, and each chapter determines its membership participation guidelines, meeting times and dates, as well as the scope and schedule of activities of interest to them. Individual members participate to the level that works best for their own schedule and goals.

What recognition do ESA members receive?
ESA recognizes achievements of members as individuals as well as chapter groups. Awards for excellence in educational development, charitable fundraising, hands-on volunteerism, scholarship, and ESA promotion are available. Many members have received civic honors, employment credit, and letters of recommendation for their ESA training and accomplishments.  Members who complete ESA’s Pallas Athene program at the highest level receive official designation as Certified Volunteers of America.

How can I develop leadership skills and my resume through ESA? 
By participating in ESA projects, you will gain formal and informal hands-on leadership experience. Assume an officer role or chair a committee in a chapter setting; or lead family, friends, and fellow citizens in a project to support a cause in your community. You’ll gain valuable and marketable experience in communications, public relations, human resources, public speaking, budgeting and financial management, and more.

Who does ESA help?
ESA’s largest national project is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. Since ESA began supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 1972, members have raised more than $150 million in cash and pledges for the hospital. In addition, ESA members often work together through ESA state councils on state-level projects. Individual chapters and members support a rich variety of causes such as animal shelters, food pantries, international poverty and disaster relief, military spouses and families, and the elderly. The opportunity to choose your own causes is one of the best aspects of ESA membership.

Does ESA have conferences and conventions?
ESA has an annual convention in July hosted by the ESA International Council, and there are five regional council events annually. ESA’s national leadership conference is held each February in Denver, Colorado, and is open to all members. 

How much does it cost to join?
Annual dues and fees for first-year members are $79; every year thereafter, annual dues are $59 ($55 for members ages 65 and over).

What is included in ESA membership fees?
First-year members receive their ESA lamp pin and jewel pin, ESA-printed training materials, a subscription to ESA’s semi-annual Journey magazine, access to the members-only section of the website including networking circles and project resources, use of the ESA name and credentials for your resume, and the opportunity to enroll in ESA awards and recognition programs.

Who can I contact if I still have questions?
Send an e-mail to membership@epsilonsigmaalpha.org or call 970.223.2824 ext.104.
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