FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What are the National dues fees?
Member at Large (MAL) - $95
Member of Local (MOL) - $60
Student (SOL) - $21
E-Member - $75
These dues amounts will be constant through October 1, 2009.
What benefits do I receive as a BPW Member?
Be part of a national movement and make a difference in the lives of workingwomen as we work
together to create the changes needed for equitable work environments and supportive
communities. Belong to a nationally recognized organization whose legacy of success opens
doors to other leaders and opinion makers.
Exchange ideas, explore business opportunities, and share common goals with professional
women at the community, state and national level. Connect with mentors, colleagues and friends
who can assist you in advancing your career and making the right connections.
BPW/USA is headquartered in the Washington, DC metro area for a reason -- to provide
members effective national representation on issues critical to workingwomen. Stay informed
and participate in the process through the weekly Legislative Hotline and the Advocacy Center.
Learn how to be a successful advocate and lobby your representatives at the annual Policy &
Action conference. With the added benefit membership in the US Women’s Chamber of
Commerce for our members, this partnership signals a new era of cooperation, advocacy and
influence to advance women's business, career, and social issues in a positive direction. Keep the
workingwoman’s agenda – equal pay, work-life balance, better child and elder care, strong social
security pension programs and workplace equity – at the forefront. Through BPW/USA
membership you have a powerful voice on small business issues, with corporations and on
Capitol Hill, without doing all of the legwork yourself.
4. Education/Career Enhancement
Participate in BPW/USA programs that are specifically designed to provide personal and
professional development, growth and opportunities. Through seminars, hands-on workshops
and noted experts, BPW/USA members are given a vast array of opportunities to gain the skills
they need to succeed and be successful. The BPW/USA Individual Development program has
provided tens of thousands of women with the leadership, negotiation and professional skills
necessary to reach their full potential. The Young Careerist program gives a “leg up” to young
women new to the work force but full of potential.
Have quick access to relevant up-to-date information about topics essential for workingwomen
such as the entrepreneur center via the BPW website. Members are also kept on top of
developing issues and organization activities through the weekly electronic Legislative Hotline,
the e-newsletter Headquarters News, and our print publication BusinessWoman.
Develop leadership skills at the Local, State and National level with mentors to help you along
the way. Maximize the career-boosting value of your BPW/USA membership by identifying
volunteer opportunities that match your professional goals or strengthen your existing skills.
Become a recognized leader by getting involved in programs that benefit your community.
Gain visibility and prominence in your community through involvement in BPW/USA events --
locally, regionally, statewide and nationally. Meetings, newsletters and websites provide
opportunities to showcase and promote you and your business.
8. Helping Others
BPW/USA has a proud tradition of “women helping women.” In 1956, the members of
BPW/USA created the BPW Foundation to provide scholarships, research, information, and
career development programs for workingwomen. Supporting the BPW Foundation allows you
to help other women upgrade their skills or return to the workplace while furthering workplace
equity and work-life balance. Since 1969, the BPW Foundation has awarded almost $6 million
in scholarships, research grants and loans. Involvement in the Individual Development, Young
Careerist, and Mentoring programs allows you to aid in the personal and professional
development of women while raising awareness of issues affecting workingwomen.
9. Member Benefits/Discounts
Leverage the benefits of BPW membership and access discounts on home mortgages, auto and
home insurance, hotel travel packages, auto rentals, computer hardware, and much more.
Membership in BPW/USA brings many rewards but the most lasting and meaningful are the
lifelong friendships. Through participation in the many BPW/USA activities and programs, you
will form supportive friendships as well as important business relationships. There is nothing
quite like the feeling you get in a roomful of powerful women all focused and energized on
current issues and a common cause. Whether it is laughing together, working together, or
lobbying together, BPW/USA members know how to have fun and to get the job done!
Do new members receive a new member kit and if so what information do they receive?
Yes, every new member receives a new member kit that includes a welcome letter from the
National President, a membership card, instructions for the member’s only area of bpwusa.org
including personalized login and password information, a demographic survey form, a fact sheet
on BPW/USA public policy goals, a brief history of BPW, membership benefit information, a
fact sheet on the BPW Foundation, and the latest issue of BW Magazine.
What is e-Series?
e-Series is a members-only portion of www.bpwusa.org that allows members to access the BPW/USA
membership database via the internet. Through this service, members can enter and edit membership
information, make dues payments and register for conferences and events. e-Series is particularly
valuable to Local, State, and Regional officers, because it offers the ability to generate various
membership reports and rosters. (Please note: BPW/USA’s Membership Services Department must
have your Local Organization, State Federation, or Regional officer information recorded in the
database in order to grant you this access.) Because e-Series is integrated with BPW’s membership
database, changes made on the web are processed immediately.
Please encourage your members to visit e-Series to make updates to their records as needed.
Membership demographic information may also be submitted via e-Series. Having demographic
information on file for each member is essential for the improving recruitment, marketing, strategic
planning and the expansion of benefits and services. Instructional information on this portion of the
BPW/USA website can be found by visiting www.bpwusa.org.
How do I log into the Member’s Only Area?
To log into the member area, click on Log In from the top right of the home page and enter your
Member ID as the log in and bpwusa01 as the password. If you have changed your password
and have misplaced that information please contact member services at
Who is authorized to review the Reports section of the member’s only area?
The following State Officers have access to the State and LO reports in the member’s only area:
President, President Elect, 1st and 2nd Vice President, Treasurer, Direct Dues Contact, Recording
Secretary, Membership Chair, Foundation Chair, Legislation Chair, PAC Coordinator, Public
Relations Chair, Web/Database Manager, Issues Management Chair, Young Careerist Chair,
Individual Development Chair and State Executive Officer
The following Local Officers have access to their specific Local Reports in the member’s only
President, Treasurer, Direct Dues Contact, 1st Vice President, Membership Chair, Recording
Secretary, Foundation Chair and Web/Database Manager
District/Region Directors have access to the District/Region Reports.
What do I do with a New Member application?
Local Organizations may send a copy of the new member’s application along with a New Member
Processing Form and dues payment directly to BPW/USA. Providing a copy of the application is
optional. The complete dues payment must be submitted for each new member. All BPW/USA,
State Federation, and Local Organization dues must be submitted with the New Member
Processing Form in order for the membership to be processed in the BPW/USA database. Forms
can be sent to BPW/USA, 1620 Eye St. NW, Suite 210, Washington, DC 20006 or faxed to 202/861-
What happens if I have misplaced my renewal dues notice?
If you have misplaced your renewal dues notice, you can renew online by logging in to the members
only area, clicking on your name located on the left hand side of the screen directly under the blue menu
bar, clicking on the Billings tab located on the top of the page and proceed to follow the steps to pay
your dues. If you do not wish to renew online, you may always contact the BPW/USA Member Services
Department at 202/777-8924 or firstname.lastname@example.org to request another renewal notice. A third
option in the case of a lost renewal notice is to send the Reinstatement Member Processing Form, which
is available through the BPW/USA website, to BPW/USA with your dues payment.
What happens if my dues are not paid on time?
The timing of a member’s renewal payment will impact her anniversary date and join date.
If a member submits a renewal payment prior to the anniversary date - no matter how far in advance the
payment is received - the member’s anniversary date will be advanced one year.
Example: If Pat’s anniversary date is May 31, 2003 and her renewal payment is received on April 4,
2003, her new anniversary date will be May 31, 2004.
If a member submits a renewal payment within one year after the anniversary date, the anniversary date
will be advanced one year.
Example: If Mary’s anniversary date is May 31, 2003 and her renewal payment is received any time
prior to May 31, 2004, her new anniversary date will be May 31, 2004.
If a member submits a renewal payment one year or more after the anniversary date, the anniversary
date will be changed to reflect a year from the date the payment was received and the join date will also
Example: If Jennifer’s anniversary date is May 31, 2002 and her renewal payment is received on June
4, 2003, her new anniversary date will be June 30, 2004 and her new join date will be June 4, 2003.
(Because there was a lapse of 12+ months in the membership, it is no longer a continuous membership.
However, if a member wishes to have continuous membership, an additional payment can be submitted
for the missing year.)
What is BPW/USA’s stance on abortion?
BPW/USA’s National Legislative Platform reads: “Ensure reproductive choice and full access to
all reproductive health services and education; ensure funds for research into and protections for
women's health care needs; and encourage the development of a national health care plan
recognizing the special health care needs of women.” With this stance in our Legislative
Platform, BPW/USA is pro-choice in all instances. The rationale for changing the Platform in
the 1980’s was that BPW/USA recognized the importance of women having authority over their
reproductive rights as well as having full access to their educational and employment
Is BPW a non-profit organization?
BPW consists of a Federation, Foundation and BPW/PAC, all of which are not for profit
The Federation (BPW/USA) is a 501(C)(4) organization and is permitted to lobby
The BPW Foundation is a 501(C)(3) organization, is prohibited from lobbying and can accept
tax deductible contributions
The BPW/PAC is permitted to collect funds from members and contribute to political candidates
according to Federal Election Commission guidelines
Is BPW/USA affiliated with a political party?
No - BPW/USA is a nonpartisan organization. BPW/USA works with Democrats, Republicans,
How much of BPW/USA’s budget is allocated for lobbying?
Approximately 18% of the Federation’s overall budget is allocated for lobbying.
Do my BPW/USA dues go to BPW/PAC?
No dues money for BPW/USA is contributed to BPW/PAC. BPW/PAC funds must be kept
entirely separate from Federation and Foundation funds. BPW/PAC must solicit BPW members
individually for funds and only BPW members may contribute to the BPW/PAC.
Why is BPW/USA political?
BPW/USA was founded upon the need for women’s political representation as part of the
suffrage movement and mobilization of World War II. BPW/USA’s mission to achieve equity
for all women in the workplace has always been pursued legislatively.
Does BPW/PAC endorse state candidates or gubernatorial candidates?
BPW/PAC only endorses Federal candidates for elected office – Senators and Representatives
How do my membership dues support BPW/USA’s legislative efforts?
Members receive assistance from the Public Policy Department in organizing grassroots events,
education on BPW’s legislative priorities, and addressing their overall advocacy needs. The
Policy Department also assists Local Organizations and State Federations with testimony, fact
sheets and statistics, and suggests potential coalition partners for their advocacy efforts on the
Though the BPW website members can utilize the Advocacy Center to write their Members of
Congress, check on action alerts, and see what is happening each day in Congress. Members can
also use this program to write and send letters to the editor, distribute press releases to local
media, and develop media lists.
BPW is represented by the Public Policy Department on Capitol Hill, at political functions for
BPW/PAC endorsees, and other organized events that pertain to BPW’s National Legislative
Platform, thus keeping up our profile with policymakers and other key organizations.
Does the Public Policy department lobby on State legislation?
Because the Public Policy department is located in Washington DC and has a small staff, the
focus of the department is on Federal legislation. However, Public Policy staff is available to
provide advice, testimony, and sample legislation on the following issues: Equal Rights
Amendment, Paid Family and Medical Leave, Pay Equity, and Contraceptive Equity.
LOCAL TAX ISSUES
We often receive questions from Local Organizations inquiring into various legal questions
regarding the relationship between Local Organizations and National. Many of these questions
involve tax issues. What follows are a series of frequently asked questions and some brief
answers to help you better understand these complicated issues.
What is the corporate relationship between my Local Organization and the National
Your Local is a distinctly separate legal entity from BPW/USA. The Local should be separately
incorporated under the laws of your state and should have its own articles of incorporation and
bylaws. This unique corporate status helps protect your Local and your directors and officers
from legal liability.
What is a Tax ID?
Employer identification numbers, also known as a Tax ID, are unique to each organization for
tracking taxes by the federal government. Essentially, it is like an organization’s social security
number. It is imperative that you use your Local’s employer identification number and not
National’s. Failure to use the correct number can result in significant legal problems down the
Does my Local have a Tax ID?
Look through your old Local files for a number that looks like ##-#######. It may be listed on a
W-9 or an actual letter from the IRS. Try also the State Federation offices. As a last resort,
contact the IRS with the exact name and location of your Local. Be prepared to stay on hold for
at least a half hour with the IRS.
Why can’t a Local use National’s Tax ID?
There is no group exemption for Local Organizations. Locals are not considered subsidiaries of
National. Therefore, National is not liable for a Local’s taxes, nor is a Local liable for National’s
taxes. If you use the wrong number, you may not be credited with having made tax payments or
filing reports. This could result in significant liability and could even result in the loss of your
How do we obtain a Tax ID Number?
File Form SS-4. Follow instructions on the form for processing by phone, fax or mail. The EIN
is for identification purposes only and does not confer tax-exempt status. Use your EIN on all
bank accounts, annual filings and correspondence with the IRS.
What about using the Local Organization President’s social security number?
An individual cannot be a tax exempt organization, so receiving a sales tax exemption is highly
unlikely. One individual is not responsible for Local taxes, nor is the Local responsible for an
individual’s federal, state and local tax obligations.
501(c) 3, 4, and 6: which one? How Does a Local Organization Obtain Tax-exempt Status?
The Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization based upon the nature of business:
strictly charitable and educational. The Federation is a 501(c)(4) organization (civic and social
welfare). See IRS Publication 557 for descriptions of organization exempt section numbers to
determine which is more applicable to your activities.
Most organizations are required to file an application with the Internal Revenue Service in order
to achieve recognition of federal tax-exempt status. Organizations with annual gross receipts of
less than $5,000 are not required to apply; they are granted de facto recognition so long as they
otherwise qualify as tax-exempt.
Educational, scientific or other charitable organizations (known as 501(c)(3) organizations) with
annual receipts of more than $5,000 must apply for recognition of exempt status. Application is
made by filing Form 1023 with the IRS. Form 1023 and most other IRS forms and instructions
are available on the Internet and can be obtained by visiting the IRS home page at
http://www.irs.ustreas.gov and by following the link for forms and publications. The free
software for viewing and printing the forms is also available at that location.
Other local sections may qualify for recognition under Section 501(c)(4) (civic leagues and
social welfare organizations), Section 501(c)(6) (trade associations) or other sections of the
Internal Revenue Code. These organizations should file their application for exempt status on
What Other Documents must be filed by Our Local Organization?
A tax-exempt organization with annual gross receipts that are normally more than $25,000
annually must file Form 990. The Form 990 (990EZ may be used if annual gross receipts are
less than $100,000 and if assets are less than $250,000) must be filled out each year after the end
of the organization's accounting period.
Even if your local organization is recognized as tax-exempt, it can have taxable income. Certain
income of tax-exempt entities remains taxable, such as advertising revenues from publications
and the revenue from activities not connected with the organization's purposes. This income is
termed "unrelated business income". You should consult Publication 598, Form 990-T and its
instructions (as well as your attorney or accountant), to determine whether any proceeds of your
organization are unrelated business income.
In addition, some states require annual informational filings by nonprofit organizations
incorporated in their state. It is important to seek the counsel of an attorney and/or an accountant
familiar with the state law for full compliance with filing requirements.
If our Local is tax-exempt, aren’t we sales tax exempt, too?
The simple answer is maybe. Each state, and many cities, has widely varying requirements for
proving sales tax exemption. A federal 501(c) status makes the process a little easier, but it is
not a guarantee. Contact your state for specific requirements. Be prepared to send in Local
bylaws, National bylaws, and LO charter in your effort to obtain sales tax exemption.
Is the Tax ID number applicable for sales tax exemption?
No. A city and/or state will issue a sales tax exemption certificate with a sales tax exemption
Can National help my Local with tax requirements?
State and city laws vary widely. We advise you to consult with a professional (lawyer and/or
accountant) with knowledge and experience of the laws and regulations in your geographic area.
Our Local contacts Public Officials only a few times a year…
If any money is used for Lobbying without disclosure, an organization can lose its federal tax
exempt status. Keep records of money and time spent on lobbying efforts. (See page 27 of the
Local Organization Treasurer's Guidelines for specific instructions on this issue).
Our Local hosts a silent auction every year for the Foundation, are we liable?
Large fundraising activities may be prohibited or may be considered unrelated business income.
You need to check charitable fundraising and solicitation regulations in your state and city. For
income tax purposes, keep accurate and detailed records of income and expenses.
How do I get IRS forms and publications?
The IRS has a web site. Look up “Forms and Publications” along the bottom of
www.irs.ustreas.gov. Some major cities have IRS walk-in offices, check the phone book for
locations. Phone support is easier if you know the exact name of the publication and/or form. 1-
Which forms/publications does my Local need?
Form SS-4 Apply for federal Tax Identification number
Package Apply for federal tax-exempt status
Publication Explains obtaining tax-exempt status
Form 8718 Information to determine fee required to accompany tax
Publication Starting a Business and Keeping Records
Publication Charitable Contributions
Form 990 Annual tax return, with filing instructions, for
organizations whose gross receipts are normally greater
Form 990EZ Short form of 990 for organizations with annual receipts
less than $100,000 and assets less than $250,000
Form 990-T Tax return for unrelated business income
If there are questions not listed on this document that you would like to have answered please
contact the Tashia Thompson at 202-777-8924 or by email at email@example.com.