Host a Speaker
Apply to host a speaker in your community!
Due to unprecedented demand for our speakers, we have very limited funding remaining for 2024. We are currently prioritizing applications from the following organizations:
- Organizations in Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, and Wahkiakum Counties
- Organizations serving folks underrepresented in humanities programming (BIPOC, rural areas, cultural groups, etc.)
- Carceral Institutions
Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee funding for speaking fees or travel even if your organization is eligible for funding. However, you are very welcome to book speakers and fund the presentation fees. If this is not possible for you, we recommend:
- Co-hosting with other organizations to share costs
- Consider an online event, which costs $300 with no speaker travel costs
- Reach out to us to discuss hosting with our financial support in 2025
We are so grateful for your interest and partnership—please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you have.
Step 1. Choose a talk.
Select enriching talks from expert speakers to host in your community. View the list of current talks here.
Step 2. Review our guidelines.
Read our host requirements for both in-person and virtual events below to learn more about how the program works and your organization’s funding options.
Step 3. Contact our Program Manager.
Tell the program manager the speaker(s) you are interested in hosting, and the payment option your organization will use. You can reach the manager at email@example.com.
Step 4. Schedule with the speaker.
Connect with the speaker to find a suitable date and time for the program. The program manager can provide you with speaker’s contact information.
Step 5. Apply.
Submit your application to host a speaker. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. We recommend submitting the application at least 4-6 weeks in advance of the event date.
In-Person Program Requirements & Responsibilities:
As a host, you are responsible for organizing the in-person event, which includes drafting a safety plan, securing a venue, coordinating travel with the speaker, promoting the event, and assisting the speaker with technical needs. In the application form, you will be asked to provide details about how you intend to set up the in-person event to create a successful experience for attendees.
- A speaker’s travel expenses are reimbursed in full for each event, including but not limited to mileage, airfare, ferry tickets, rental car costs, overnight stay, and meals during their trip. Reasonable travel expenses are determined using the GSA federal per diem rates based on location.*
- Print out copies of the audience evaluation form well in advance of the event for attendees to complete at the end of the presentation. Please either scan and email completed forms to the Program Manager, or mail them to our office.
* If your organization is unable to cover travel costs, travel subsidies are available from Humanities Washington. See the Payment Options section for more information.
Online Program Requirements & Responsibilities:
As the host organization, you are responsible for creating the online event, including registering attendees, establishing a secure event, promoting the event, and assisting the speaker with technical needs. In the application form, you will be asked to provide details about how you intend to set up the online event to create a successful experience for attendees.
- Hosts must provide Humanities Washington with the complete registration information to share publicly on our website. We will request the registration information in the approval email.*
- Please use Zoom over other web conferencing systems. If you must use another system, please ensure that the system you choose has similar features to Zoom (i.e., breakout rooms, polling options, etc.).**
- Unless you expect the number of attendees exceed 100, please use a meeting format rather than a webinar format. Presentations are highly interactive and work best when the speaker can view and hear audience members.
- Following the event, please send the online audience evaluation link to attendees using the email addresses submitted during registration (be sure to use the bcc field!).
* Exceptions to the registration requirement apply only to events hosted by K-12 schools and carceral institutions.
** If your organization does not have access to an online platform for hosting events, you can apply to receive a free month of Zoom Pro from Humanities Washington. See the Payment Options section for more information.
General Host Requirements:
- Ensure that you can meet the presentation needs of the speaker(s) you wish to host.
- Allow at least one hour for each presentation, including time for conversation. 90 minutes is ideal.
- Generate publicity for the program and secure an audience. *
- Credit Humanities Washington as a sponsor by including our logo on any promotional materials, and acknowledge Humanities Washington in both opening and closing remarks at the event.
- Complete a short online evaluation within two weeks of the presentation and distribute the audience evaluation form to attendees.
- Follow the requirements for your selected payment option to ensure the speaker is fully compensated.
- Promptly notify Humanities Washington if there are any changes to the program and confirm all arrangements with each presenter two weeks before the program.
*Exceptions to the publicity requirement apply only to events hosted by K-12 schools and carceral institutions.
For more information on how to fulfill these requirements, please visit our host resources page for helpful tips, guides, and checklists.
Humanities Washington offers funding to support organizations statewide through various payment options. In the application to host a speaker, you will select which payment option your organization would like to use.
- 1. Receive funding from Humanities Washington.
To be eligible for funding from Humanities Washington, the applicant must be a community-based nonprofit organization, educational institution (K-12 school, college, or university), or carceral institution in Washington State.
- Qualifying non-profit organizations include libraries, historical societies, museums, social-service organizations, community centers, and places of worship. You do not need to have a 501(c)(3) status, but you do need to be organized for non-profit purposes and clearly serve a Washington State audience.
- Due to high demand, not every nonprofit organization will be eligible to receive funding. We prioritize organizations that demonstrate a clear need and benefit underserved populations.
If approved, Humanities Washington will pay the speaking fee directly to the speaker. Please ensure that the event is made free and open to the public.
- 2. Pay the speaker directly.
Organizations can pay speakers directly for their speaking fees, which are $400 for in-person events and $300 for online events. Please select this payment option if:
- Your organization is ineligible to receive funding from Humanities Washington. Such organizations now include market-rate residential facilities, membership clubs, and larger nonprofit organizations.*
- Your event is not free and/or open to the public.
- Your event will primarily serve communities outside of Washington State.
All Speakers Bureau events, regardless of payment option, must follow the host requirements, including submitting an application. Your application will be reviewed in a timely manner and further instructions will be provided.
* If your organization falls under this umbrella and cannot cover costs, you may partner with another nonprofit that qualifies for our funding to host a speaker.
- 3. Apply for technology funds.
If your organization does not have access to an online platform for hosting events, you can apply to receive one free month of Zoom Pro from Humanities Washington. If approved, the host organization will be reimbursed by Humanities Washington after the final evaluations are received.
Please indicate in the relevant section of the application form that your organization will be seeking technology funds. Note that technology funds are limited and not guaranteed.
- 4. Apply for travel funds.
If your organization is unable to cover a speaker’s travel costs, a limited number of travel subsidies are available for qualifying nonprofits. If approved, Humanities Washington will reimburse the speaker for travel expenses up to $400. If costs exceed these amounts, the host organization will be responsible for the remainder.*
To be eligible for a travel subsidy, the host organization must be:
- Located at least 50 miles away from the speaker’s city of residence (exceptions may be made for situations that necessitate overnight stay, such as mountain pass or ferry travel).
- An organization that also qualifies for funding from Humanities Washington.
Please indicate in the relevant section of the application form that your organization will be seeking travel funds.
We are prioritizing hosts who have not yet hosted/been approved to host a program in 2024 for travel funding. We particularly welcome applications for travel funding from these counties: Chelan, Columbia, Cowlitz, Ferry, Garfield, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Whitman.
Travel funding to other counties is limited and will be awarded based on need.
Our hope is that this is a temporary measure, as we are seeking additional funding and we will revisit this as new funding becomes available.
* Travel costs will be reimbursed in full by Humanities Washington for events at K-12 schools and carceral institutions.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How does Humanities Washington support hosts?
Humanities Washington offers several resources to make sure your Speakers Bureau event is a success. In addition to the funding options above, we provide promotional materials and 1-0n-1 staff support.
Your first stop to get your questions answered is our host resources page.
- How does Humanities Washington find speakers?
Every two years, we conduct a statewide search and application process to find passionate, talented experts to join our Speakers Bureau program. Each speaker is thoroughly vetted for their expertise, presentation skills, and ability to create meaningful conversation with diverse audiences.
Have a suggestion? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org !
- How many presentations can our organization host each year?
Eligible organizations can receive funding from Humanities Washington for up to 10 Speakers Bureau events per calendar year. Speaking fees for any additional events must be paid by the host organization.
- Can hosts record Speakers Bureau events?
We typically do not allow events, online or in-person, to be recorded unless the host has received explicit written consent from the speaker.
Please contact the speaker directly if you would like to record their presentation and relay their approval to our Program Manager.
- I have more questions. Who should I contact?
Please contact our program manager, Sarah Faulkner, at email@example.com. She’s always happy to help!