As a conservative campus activist, you have one of the most
rewarding life experiences just waiting for you, if you
take action. Many students miss out on this unique opportunity
because they mistakenly feel the process is too difficult or not
worth the time. Unfortunately, they fail to reach the broadest
possible audience with their ideas.
You have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bring one (or more!) of
the Conservative Movement's strongest leaders before a large
audience of your peers. Prominent conservative leaders routinely speak through Young America's Foundation's
lecture program. In fact, Young America's Foundation is the only
organization that specializes in helping young people organize
breakthrough speaking events on their campuses.
Those who host conservative speakers receive benefits and
rewards not achieved by other students and activists. Not only will
you benefit, but your club can also achieve greater notoriety. In
the process, you may annoy campus leftists, stir debate, help
complete classmates' education, attract more students to your cause
and add an accomplishment to your resume.
Young America's Foundation provides both logistical and financial support to ensure success. However, don't hesitate to contact us or call 800-872-1776 and we can walk you through the first steps to organizing an event.
Here are the initial steps to get started hosting a prominent conservative speaker at your school.
If you already know how to apply for funds from your school's student government or student activities committee than you can skip this step. If you haven't host a speaker before, then you should spend some time to looking into how your school funds student organized events.
Most speakers ask for an honorarium for their time traveling to
your school and speaking on your campus. Some speakers cost as
little as $1,000, others can charge as much as $20,000. However,
most college campuses have funds set aside to pay for lectures. You
must be aggressive in pursuing these funds. The Left has taken the
time and effort to monopolize the funds for their programs. You
must ask for your fair share of the funding.
You can check out YAF's full speaker list here. However, we can also help you with speakers who may not be on our list.
Regardless of how popular or famous your speaker is, you must
select a speaker who talks on issues that are relevant to students.
Always ask, "What topics matter to students, and what topic or speaker will
make them attend our event?"
Get together with your club or at least the officers, and select
several speakers you are interested in hosting. Then contact Young
America's Foundation to learn the honoraria of speakers you have chosen.
Once you have this information, discuss with the officers or the
entire club which speaker is best suited for your campus. This is
important to do, since it will solidify your team behind the plan. If, for some reason, your first choice is not
available, you can always move ahead with selecting another speaker
from your abbreviated list.
A majority of schools will at least partially fund lectures
organized by student groups. Typically, you will need to put
together a budget to submit to the school's allocation committee
and/or student government. First, it is wise to talk with those on
the committee and learn how much other groups receive. In your request, you should include this list of past allocations
to prove that your request is not outrageous. In fact, many
conservative speakers cost a fraction of what most liberals
When you are writing your budget, estimate every expense. Often
students focus on just the speaker's honorarium but forget to
account for advertising, travel, accommodations, audio-visual
set-up expenses, and even costs to rent a lecture hall.
Attend the university's allocation meeting, so you can answer
any questions the proposal committee has regarding your event and
speaker. This will also allow you to defend your allocation. If the
committee turns you down, release your information using a press
release, Twitter, Facebook, and your club's blog. Expose the inequality in
the disbursement of funds on campus. Present your case as one of discrimination based on your conservative
philosophy. Equal disbursement of funds is essentially a freedom of
speech issue, since students are denied the right to hear diverse
points-of-view. Approached in this manner, even liberal
publications may sympathize with you. Provide media outlets with
facts and quotes to make your story easy to write. With the
spotlight on you and the controversy in the air, the student
government will most likely change its tune.
For example, most events include a dinner or reception with
select members of your club or key donors prior to the lecture. The
pre-event dinner is a great opportunity to meet with the speaker
and get to know him or her. The dinner does not have to be a drain
on your group's resources. To keep the costs low, you can ask
everyone who attends to pay for their own meal. The only cost your
group has to cover is the speaker's meal. A club supporter may
choose to underwrite the meal if he or she is included. These functions
can be held at the hotel where the speaker is staying or in a private room at a
restaurant in town. It is generally most convenient to hold the program at the hotel where the speaker is staying.
Most hotels have private rooms which you can reserve for your meal.
The costs run on a per space/meal basis. When it is time for the
meal, you simply meet your speaker in the lobby and escort him to
The trick when organizing any public event is selecting an
appropriate venue to match the number of students you estimate will
attend. Do not get caught having an event with a hundred students
in an auditorium that can hold one thousand! It is always better to
choose a smaller room that will look packed. Selecting a hall that is
too large will make your group look like it did a poor job organizing, and the school will feel that students are not interested
in hearing conservative ideas. The audience size depends upon the
speaker's popularity amongst the student body. We can help you to select the best room for your event based on our experience in working with each speaker.
Lastly, some student groups conclude the evening with an open
reception either on campus or at the hotel. Again, this gives your
organization and other students an opportunity to meet the
Once you have your funding allocated and you know how your event
structured,you will need to submit an invitation toYoung America's Foundation.
Please note that speakers will not confirm a date on their calendar
unless you have the funding confirmed first. Also, when inviting a
speaker and promoting the event, you do not want the added stress
of worrying about raising funds.
When you are writing your invitation to Young America's
Foundation, here are some items to include:
The dates you select should not compete with other campus
programs. Most schools have listings of social and sporting events,
so check your school's calendar. Also, be sure you work around the
midterm and final examination schedules.
Include all contact information in the invitation. If you
schedule a speaker through Young America's Foundation, we will book
the speaker for you and then issue contracts.
The team at Young America's Foundation will work with you to finalize the details for your event, provide personalized promotional strategies for your campus and speaker, and ensure your club receives the maximum impact from your program.
More information on hosting a conservative speaker can be found in the Conservative Guide to Campus Activism. Our team is also happy to talk with you personally about your individual club's needs and work through any obstacles you may face to ensure you have a successful program.