Speakers Bureau Project

edited January 2018 in Field Activism

Develop and fund a “Speakers Bureau” which is two fold and maybe comprised of board members, field activists and other members, but not limited to.

“Speakers” = Panel of individual speakers/presenters able to speak on the topic of marijuana reform in general or their speciality, incorporating current legislation information.
“Bookers” = Individuals to research, contact and book a speaker to a club/organization.

Rotary Clubs meet often and one goal of the club is to bring in speakers/presenters on different topics. If we just focus on bookers trying to get speakers in front of Rotary Clubs throughout Wisconsin this would be huge. Although Rotary Clubs do not reimburse for this directly, the exposure for the topic to influential people is tremendous. If the speaker has a unique item, like the gold leaf pins in addition to membership forms/information, Rotary Clubs have the type of people that donate and/or become members by paying the $25 membership due. The booker may also help with the speaker during the presentation if he/she wishes. Making a team approach. We as a chapter can track these efforts/proceeds and use them to offset costs of the project directly. The chapter will also seek donations directly for this project in addition to writing for grant money to fund this project.

The goal would be to do as many of these as possible, which would mean compensation and/or expense reimbursement for the bookers and speakers if needed. These “Speakers” would be highly respected and looked at as potential board members and lobbyists for the reform of marijuana laws in Wisconsin.

If you would like to see this idea grow into reality, please use the Donate Banner or links to donate or join on the top header of the forum. If you are interested in becoming a Speaker or Booker, please do not hesitate to contact the chapter directly.


  • Great idea, the old problem is how to raise the money. Not likely to raise enough at the event itself. Maybe a Go Fund Me for a specific event and line up of speakers? Or a benefit concert with the proceeds to go to the speaker fund?

  • Not sure if this would fall under the Speakers Bureau project, but I always thought a travelling educational cannabis booth manned by a member, or members, who knew the issue would be very useful at many possible events. If we could pay the member(s) even a couple hundred bucks(or more) to research, set up, take down, etc. for such an event I think we would be doing 5 times as many such events because its difficult for anyone to do it out of there own pocket.

  • If no one wants to be a speaker or booker...compensation or funding is mute point.
  • What events you referring to that need an info booth?

    That is the point of our chapter and part of being a board member?

    But..I agree too do many around the state in short period of time, more people needed besides just the funding.... our board members are well equipped to do this, maybe compensate the people already doing it and they would do more?

    We (other chapters/groups also) did a THC Tour in 2010...hit 7 cities with events in 2 months, used libraries at venues.... volunteers helped me with first two and by end it was only me showing up to provide info..... it was very well received at all cities.
  • The type of events that could use a booth are almost endless, so it would be more like choosing the best options. Media cities(cities with television stations) like Green Bay, Wausau, Rhinelander, etc. would seem best. I think people on the board who have done this already like Rich, me, you, Jessie, would do more if we were compensated. At least compensated where they are not going in the hole using their own money. The THC tour model is great, but it usually all comes down to funding.

  • Also, for someone to look into booking events or speakers, they would have to know what if any funding is available beforehand.

  • The Rotary Clubs are literally an hour or less, usually a 15 minute presentation to the Rotary.. so travel at .14 cents per mile for non profits and then stipend for the hour?

    As far as other events like you suggest, what would be a good allowance amount the chapter should consider?

  • The irs allows around 55.5 cents a mile standard mileage for regular for profit schedule c businesses, which may be a little high. A speaker going to a Rotary club would also have time invested in researching it, planning it, setting it up, etc. Maybe a flat fee? per event, I would say at least 200 or more. Maybe the same for someone doing a booth for a day. Part of this could be re-couped by selling a few things at the booth. Now as to other events, the event in Wausau that Rich did and I helped out with comes to mind. Very effective, good turnout, good press. Our survey afterwards found that at least 80 percent of the people there came because I ran a 100 dollar ad in a local entertainment paper. Yes, there are many ways to advertise for free, but a little money for advertising can go a long way. So what should someone like Rich be compensated for travelling both ways, setting up, planning, and doing a 2-3 hour presentation and displaying all the stuff? I would say 500 bucks. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but I think if you asked other non-profit groups they would say all that would be a great deal for a quality speaker. If we could compensate you, Rich, or other quality speakers like that I think we would be doing events all over the state.

  • IRS allowance for non profits is smaller amount.

    If we focus on only Rotary Clubs to start. It should be the same 15 minute presentation the speaker is comfortable with, kind of like their standard talk....twist it with active legislation (state or federal) and end it with a call to action (leave info, donate & join).

    If a speaker only takes rotary clubs in an hour of their home base, then the field is narrowed as to which clubs to target and no traveling hundreds of miles. Rotary clubs already have set times and places they meet and someone assigned in the club to find a featured speaker each month (maybe more often depending on how big the club is).

    I also notice many of our elected officials are former members/leaders of Rotary Clubs in their home districts also.

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