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November 01, 2021


ESOPATHON is a month-long, activity-based, nationwide fundraising drive with a goal of raising one million dollars to support new and forward-leaning programming at the Employee Ownership Foundation. Our ambition is to recruit at least three employee owners at every ESOP Association company to participate. In some companies more than three employee owners will sign up, but if just three per company each pledge $250, we can meet our million-dollar goal during employee ownership month!

When you participate in ESOPATHON, you pick your activity and recruit colleagues, friends, and others to support your efforts. Do you swim?  Great!  Get colleagues to pledge a dollar for every lap in October!  Are you a runner?  Ask your friends to pledge funds per mile run. How about reading books? Absolutely. So long as your activity can be measured by time, distance, or units you can raise funds toward that goal.  Join a company team and maximize your contribution!

To add some competition, ESOPATHON also lets you, your company, or team challenge others!  The company’s Chicago location can challenge the St. Louis location to see which can raise more!  How about challenging those Kansas-based ESOP folks from the Las Vegas conference?  Then take your challenge to social media – record a short video challenging a peer to raise money for the foundation and share it with the hashtags #ESOPATHON and #EOChallenge.

ESOP Association Chapters will be ranked daily on the website by total dollars raised as well as dollars raised per employee owner to help keep a level playing field. So if your Chapter wants to be #1, you can help by getting more companies involved.


In 1974, instability among employee retirement plans led Congress to enact the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The law protects employees who participate in employer retirement programs and formally established ESOPs. Today, ESOPs as a retirement plan are the most common and successful form of employee ownership in America.

In addition to ESOPs, employee ownership takes other forms in the U.S. such as:

  • Purchasing a business directly.

  • Working in an employee-owned cooperative.

  • Being awarded options that they can use to purchase stock at some point.

  • Participating in an employee stock purchase plan.

  • Participating in a 401(k) plan that has company stock as part of its assets.

In fact, employee ownership has been part of the American economy since our nation’s founding! With your help, employee ownership can grow so more individuals have a chance to own a stake in the businesses where they work.


The Employee Ownership Foundation is dedicated to the promotion of employee ownership as a model for business, education, and research.  The EOF is a recognized 501(c)(3) organization supported by grants and tax-deductible donations, plus volunteer efforts nationwide. Since its founding 30 years ago in 1991, the Employee Ownership Foundation has pursued a single overarching goal: to help more individuals become employee owners.

If you are an employee owner, the Employee Ownership Foundation has almost certainly helped make that happen and is working daily to continue expanding employee ownership. 

The Foundation has raised and donated millions of dollars to collect data used by academics, encourage objective research, and to facilitate dialogue about employee ownership between thought leaders. Each year, the EOF distributes between $350,000 and $500,000 in advancement of its mission.

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