Member activities in the ESU's 70 national Branches across the country fulfill the ESU mission locally through a variety of educational and cultural programs and activities. The ESU Branches are the local delivery system of the ESU, furthering in their communities the mission through their programs. The committed volunteers dedicated to undertaking the educational and fellowship functions of the Branch are invaluable in bringing the mission of the ESU to fruition. The Branches are also the main engine for generating membership. By creating and hosting interesting member programs, Branches attract and retain members whose involvement, dues and contributions benefit the ESU on both the Branch and the national levels.
Because The English-Speaking Union of the United States is a non-profit corporation recognized by the Internal Revenue Service under 501(c)(3) of the Tax Code, members and donors may claim a tax deduction for dues and contributions paid to the Branch. Headquarters provides the Branches with the framework and materials for undertaking national programs in furtherance of the mission: The National Shakespeare Competition, Books as Envoys, English in Action, British Universities Summer School and Walter Hines Page Scholarship Programs. Headquarters also subsidizes speaker presentations by the Branch through the Evelyn Wrench Speaker Program. Headquarters staffers also undertake research and development on new programs such as the ESU middle school debating program, and the Shakespeare Set Free Mini Institutes in cooperation with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Headquarters also administers the Secondary School Exchange and Lucy Dalbiac Luard Scholarship and, in conjunction with the host Branches, the ESU Annual Conference.