FAQ: Uncovering the Mysteries of EPA

How does EPA choose convention cities?

Sometimes EPA's board receives an invitation from a volunteer committee formed by EPA members in a certain area. Other times EPA's board suggests that a group of members should consider hosting a convention. In either case, the most important factor is a group of EPA members who are willing to form a committee and do the work of hosting a convention. We try to move the convention around the country from year to year, so people in different parts of the country have a chance to attend a convention near their home.

Who can join EPA?

EPA started as an association of periodicals (magazines, newspapers, newsletters, etc.), and to this day only periodicals can be full members of EPA. EPA membership is by periodical title, so if a single company produces three magazines, each magazine would join on its own. Each staff person who works for a member publication enjoys membership benefits through their employer.

Individuals who work with the Christian periodical publishing industry but are not employed by a member company may join EPA as "associate members." EPA's associate members tend to be freelancers who work with EPA member publications.

Companies that do business with the Christian periodical publishing industry may join as "business affiliates." EPA's business affiliate members tend to be industry suppliers (printers, etc.) and organizations that work with EPA publications for publicity (ministries, book and music publishers, etc.)

Who can attend the annual business meeting?

EPA's business meeting is held during the organization's annual convention. Any person who is attending the convention is welcome to attend. Even nonmembers may attend (but not participate in) the annual membership meeting.

Who can vote?

Each person at the convention who is on staff with a member publication may vote. If publication A sends two people, publication A gets two votes. If publication B sends one person, publication B gets one vote. (It's an odd system, but it's what we do.) Associate and affiliate members do not vote, but they are welcome to attend the meetings, ask questions, and take part in discussions.

How are members approved?

Prospective publication members are reviewed by a membership committee consisting of the executive director, president and president-elect. If all three agree, their decision is binding. If there is disagreement, the decision goes to the full board.

What do the different board members do?

The president presides at the semiannual board meetings and at the annual business meeting for members. The president is also a member of the membership committee and is charged with forming the nominating committee.

The president-elect steps in if the president should be unable to carry out the duties of the office. The president-elect also becomes familiar with all EPA business in anticipation of succeeding the president.

The treasurer monitors EPA finances through reports submitted by the Executive Director and has access to any and all EPA financial information.

The secretary records the minutes at EPA board meetings and at EPA's annual business meeting.

Advisors serve as additional voices on the board.

All board members take on other tasks as needed to contribute to the operation and growth of EPA.

How are board members chosen?

The president is charged with forming a nominating committee. Potential nominees are identified, contacted, and asked to serve. Nominees are selected based on a number of criteria, including past involvement, service to EPA, standing in the industry, applicable skills, and perspectives offered. While some effort is made to create a board that reflects the diversity of EPA members, willingness to serve is often a limiting factor. If you are interested in taking on a leadership role in EPA, contact the executive director for help seeking out opportunities for service.

How are board members compensated?

Board members receive no pay for their service; they are volunteers and their time is donated by their employers. EPA covers travel-related expenses for board members in connection with meetings.

What do all of those categories on the budget mean?

Most are self-explanatory, but here are a few that may be unclear:

  • The "Advertising" revenue category is used for display ads in EPA's printed publications.
  • "Event registration" includes convention registration fees and fees for other training sessions offered during the year.
  • "Donations and grants" includes gifts to EPA, and fees paid for the "person-to-person" evaluation.
  • "List sales" includes sales of directories to non-members, rentals of EPA's mailing list, and news releases sent by e-mail on behalf of others for a fee.
  • "Sponsorship/exhibits" includes exhibitors at the annual convention and other promotional opportunities connected with the convention, such as registration bag inserts.
  • "Bank charges" is mostly credit card processing fees.
  • "Contracted services" is used to pay independent contractors who work with EPA, including some bookkeeping help and logistical support for conventions.
  • "Audio-Visual" is largely sound, lighting and workshop audiovisual equipment used at the convention.
  • "Event food and beverage" is meal service at conventions.
  • "Honorarium" includes fees paid to convention speakers and contest judges for their services.
  • "Meals and entertainment" is mostly business dinners involving the executive director.
  • "Miscellaneous expense" is for non-recurring expenses that don't fit anywhere else, such as the purchase of EPA-imprinted pens or window clings, or convention registration bags. Sometimes these expenses are offset by sponsorship revenue.
  • "Postal counsel" is EPA's contribution to the postal lobbying efforts by the Coalition of Religious Press Associations.
  • "Professional development" covers continuing education for the executive director, including seminars, books and journals.
  • "Special projects" is an account used for shared projects with other organizations where EPA handles the money, and represents EPA paying a share of the proceeds to the other group (often the Associated Church Press).
  • "Telecommunications" includes EPA's telephone and Internet service.
  • "Travel – board" is for travel, lodging and meal expenses incurred by board members in connection with their official duties.
  • "Travel – other" is primarily travel expenses involving convention speakers, but may also include speakers for our "EPA on campus" program.
  • "To or from reserves" is a nonprofit organization's equivalent of profit and loss, and represents the difference between anticipated revenue and anticipated expense.