- Businesses budget for speakers. They pay speakers a set fee. They have fees for presentations, full-day in-house trainings, monthly meetings, quarterly events and annual conventions. These can vary within the same business by thousands of dollars.
- Organizations and clubs have rules, speaker guidelines and some pay, some don't.
- Churches and Women's Ministry groups pay anywhere from zero to thousands of dollars, depending on the group and guest.
- A one-time, 15 minute talk is radically different from a weekend retreat where the guest speaks four times.
Let's say that the guest speaker you decide you want to bring in actually needs more than your budget allows. Here are some creative fundraiser ideas:
- Add $1-10 per ticket to cover the speaker's expenses. One group budgets 50% of the total intake for the speaker (so they can fly someone in and pay her).
- Take a love offering.
- Host a fundraiser before or even during the event: a rummage sale, silent auction, craft sale, etc.
- Ask for donations from local businesses in exchange for a mention in the program or a coupon in the gift bags.
- Ask for sponsors who pay a certain amount and then enjoy a private dinner or backstage chat with the speaker before the event begins.
- Host a concession stand serving bottled water, fresh fruit and granola bars.
- Pre-sell and host a table at the event where she can sell her books, CDs, etc. as the income from these helps offset her expenses.
Before you invite a speaker, there are a few critical things you should ask about:
1. What is her statement of faith? Does it match yours?
2. What are her motivational gifts? For example, a speaker with a powerful altar ministry may be one group's "best speaker ever" and another group's nightmare.
3. What is her presentation style? Is she loud and dynamic, soft-spoken, humorous or deep? All of these have a place, but not necessarily at your event.
Before you can clearly identify what "she" needs to be, you'll have to define what you need:
- Is your event mostly for fun and fellowship? You'll need an enthusiastic speaker with a sense of humor.
- Is it a spiritual renewal weekend? You'll need theologically sound teaching balanced with personal stories, humor, and a listening pray-er.
- Are you hosting a Ladies Night Out? Find a speaker who can match an encouraging Scriptural challenge to the interesting hobby/craft everyone will learn that night. Or, invite a speaker who can do both: teach a useful skill and provide spiritual wealth.
Once you have clearly defined your event's parameters you will be able to select, invite and fund just the right speaker to make it all happen.
Marnie Swebberg is the online mentor to thousands of leaders worldwide. She trains: B.U.S.Y. - Best Unique Strategies for You. Learn how to maximize your life at http://www.Marnie.com.