Planning, Fundraising, and Publicity
Planning & Logistics
Contact the Lectures Program office early in the planning process for assistance communicating with speakers or agents and making initial arrangements. Student organizations and university units should allow at least 4-6 weeks for planning when possible. It is especially important to work with the Lectures Program staff when considering dates and venues, and for the negotiation of the lowest possible speaker fees and travel costs.
Please be prepared to provide the following information when contacting the office:
- topic of the presentation
- a short bio of the speaker, including their current position, relevant prior position(s) and important publications, honors or awards
- a speaking fee, if known (if unknown, please work with the Lectures Program staff to obtain this information)
- intended time frame for the event
- confirmed or proposed cosponsors or collaborating groups
Funding for Student Organizations
The Committee on Lectures offers financial assistance to registered student organizations that wish to sponsor a public lecture or cultural event. The funds distributed by the Committee on Lectures are student fees allocated by the Student Government.
Steps to requests for funding include:
- Completing the online application.
- Attending a regularly scheduled Committee on Lectures meeting to briefly comment on and answer questions about the written application.
- Contact the Lectures Program office to be added to the agenda for an upcoming meeting.
- The Committee on Lectures is charged with providing the entire campus with a series of speakers on a broad range of topics. Planners are encouraged to work with the Lectures Program staff to find an accessible time and location for their event in order to attract the broadest possible audience. Due to limited resources, some requests may have to be deferred to a later date or denied.
The Committee on Lectures has the following criteria for funding:
- Requests for funding need to come from a registered student organization.
- Students must be included in the planning and presentation of the event.
- The event being planned must be free and open to the public.
- The event being planned must take place while classes are in session during the fall or spring semester. The committee does not fund summer programming. Events are not held during Finals Week, and events scheduled during Dead Week require special approval.
- Student organizations may request funding for only one speaker per academic year, except in extenuating circumstances.
- The committee does not fund speakers who have made a public presentation on campus within the last three years, except under special circumstances. Contact the director if there is a question about a speaker's previous campus visit(s).
Contact the Lectures Program office early in the planning process (at least 4-6 weeks) for assistance communicating with speakers or agents and making initial arrangements. Submit a completed application by e-mail at least two days before you present to the Committee on Lectures. Do not confirm your speaker until you have received approval of funding.
Please use the following information when preparing a budget for the proposal:
- Honorarium/speaking fee - If the speaker's fee is unknown and not publicly available (e.g., posted on their website), please work with the Lectures Program staff to obtain this information. In some cases speakers are willing to come for a reduced fee.
- Travel - Consult an online reservation service (such as Google flights, Expedia, etc.)in order to include accurate travel expenses in your budget. The Committee understands travel costs are subject to change. For a roundtrip flight, please budget a minimum of $500.
- Lodging - A variety of lodging options are available in Ames, and many of them offer university rates. Examples for planning purposes include Gateway Hotel and Conference Center, $130/night, and Iowa House Bed and Breakfast, $150/night. Some guests' itineraries may require an overnight stay at a Des Moines airport hotel, which is closer to $175/night.
- Meals - It is reasonable to figure $60/day for meals. Meal expenses are not a per diem. If the speaker will be attending a dinner with students before the Lecture, please budget $400. Student Government guidelines do not permit the funding of receptions.
- Event Costs - The Committee on Lectures calculates its event costs at $500/event. This includes electronic publicity, room and technology costs for the event, captioning the recorded event, and related exepenses.
- Cosponsors - The Committee likes to see broad support for events being planned. Please indicate any departments or programs, student organizations, and outside groups that have or may be willing to commit funding to the event. The Lectures Program staff will assist in this effort.
Academic departments, colleges, and university units may request co-sponsorship of events from the Committee on Lectures. If the event is placed on the Lectures Program account, up to $500 will be provided to pay for event costs, including A/V support, set-up fees, publicity, and captioning the event. The Lectures Program staff will ask for cooperation in the logistics and planning of the event in order to ensure the Committee's goals for student participation and access are met. If a university unit does not require the event to be placed on the Lectures account, Publicity Assistance is available (see below).
Student organizations and university units that do not require financial assistance for a lecture may still request cosponsorship from the Lectures Series to help publicize an event. The Committee on Lectures considers requests for the following two types of publicity:
Electronic-only - A posting of the event on the Lectures Series website and the university's online calendar as well as inclusion on an electronic schedule of events distributed to faculty, staff, community members, and central Iowa media.
Full publicity - Posting of the event on the Lectures Series website, which feeds into the university's online calendar; inclusion of the lecture on an electronic schedule of events distributed to faculty, staff, community members, and central Iowa media; social media posts; and, when appropriate, inclusion on the Memorial Union marquee. Requests for assistance publicizing an event should be sent to Lectures Program office and may be requested using the online application.