Press Releases

ESOP Association and Employee Ownership Foundation Kick Off ESOPATHON



Month-Long Initiative Raising Resources for Foundation’s Critical Work Educating Private Business Owners with Succession Plans, Public Leaders, and other Stakeholders About Value of ESOPs


September 30, 2021, Washington, D.C. – The ESOP Association and the Employee Ownership Foundation today announced the launch of the first annual ESOPATHON, a month-long fundraising drive to coincide with Employee Ownership Month in October and the Employee Ownership Foundation’s 30th Anniversary.

During ESOPATHON, ESOP community members and their peers are participating in fun, activity-based challenges to raise funds to support new and forward-leaning programming at the Employee Ownership Foundation. For most employee owners, their ESOP account represents one of their largest financial assets and a major portion of their retirement savings, but most Americans don’t have access to this economic benefit. As the Foundation looks toward the future, it will need funding to continue to document the benefits of our existing ESOPs while making them more widely available to all Americans. ESOPATHON is the Foundation’s effort to start raising the necessary resources to make this happen!

“Our members are passionate about being employee owners and supporting the Employee Ownership Foundation’s mission to communicate and promote the values of ESOP companies,” said James Bonham, President of the Employee Ownership Foundation and CEO of The ESOP Association. “We’re looking forward to a great October as we celebrate Employee Ownership Month with a fun new initiative in support of the Foundation and our shared mission to champion ESOPs and encourage greater employee ownership opportunities nationwide.”

For the last 30 years, the Employee Ownership Foundation has been the principal financial supporter for essential research at academic institutions regarding employee ownership. Academic findings have laid the foundation to ensure employee ownership is understood by key decisionmakers and can continue to be an option for more Americans. In addition, the Employee Ownership Foundation supports employee owners and their companies through scholarships, fellowships, and special programming such as the Employee Owner Retreat and the University of Pennsylvania/ CEO Leadership training program.


About the ESOP Association

The ESOP Association is the largest organization in the world supporting employee-owned companies, the more than 10 million U.S. employees who participate in an ESOP, and the professionals who provide services to them. Headquartered at the International Employee Ownership Center in Washington, DC and operating as a 501(c)6 organization with the affiliated Employee Ownership Foundation, The ESOP Association conducts and funds academic research, provides more than 160 annual conferences and events attended by nearly 15,000 individuals, and advocates on behalf of employee owners and their businesses to federal and state lawmakers.


The Employee Ownership Foundation

Since its founding in 1991, the Employee Ownership Foundation has operated in pursuit of a single overarching goal: to help more individuals become employee owners. 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. Going forward, the Foundation will also place a larger emphasis on raising awareness of the employee ownership model among business owners and to fund more applied research that can further improve the market advantage held by well-run employee-owned businesses. Governed by a national 50-person Board of Trustees and an eight-person Executive Committee, the EOF is recognized by the IRS as an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and donations to it are tax deductible.


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