Frequently Asked Questions

Here are brief responses to questions most often asked of us:

Does non-profit mean there is no charge for speakers and artists?
While Speak Out is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization, speakers and artists do ask an honorarium plus travel expenses and accommodations must be covered. We work with some 100 speakers and artists – some of them make their living through lectures or performances; others are raising funds for their own organizations, communities and causes.

Fees range from $3000 and up. While all speakers and artists have a set fee there can sometimes be flexibility. For example, if a speaker or artist is already going to be in your area, block booking may reduce costs. Some speakers have specific criteria on when they might charge less, especially for groups or communities that have less access to funds. Contact Speak Out for costs on the specific people you’re interested in.

Where are the speakers and artists located geographically?
Speak Out has people all over the United States and Canada who are part of our roster. Our national office is located in Oakland, California.

How does it work if we want to bring someone from Speak Out to our campus or community?
After you’ve looked through our web site, contact our office by email or telephone. You’ll connect directly with one of our staff who will work with you, exploring the possibilities. Committed to the educational goals of Speak Out, our professional staff do not work on commission, so you’ll find we don’t treat you like a “market” to which we “sell” our programs.

Because we've been around 25 years, we have extensive experience and contacts. Oftentimes we can connect you with others on your campus who will support your efforts to bring a speaker or artist. Speak Out staff work with you to confirm an engagement and once details are finalized, we’ll send you a contract as well as publicity photo(s), technical requirements and any other information you may need to insure the success of the event. As we get closer to the event, we’ll also coordinate with you logistical arrangements, such as travel.

What if we can’t afford a speaker or artist?
Speak Out staff will work with you to identify funding sources on your campus or in your community. Joining together different organizations and departments can make all the difference. We can also explore other speakers or artists who better fit your budget. Some of our network do pro bono events but receive many more requests to do these then they are able to accept. They also tend to do events for organizations with which they already have a relationship. Contact our office for more details.

Are Speak Out speakers and artists available for other events related to their engagement such as book-signings, press interviews, receptions, etc?
Most of our speakers and artists are happy to accommodate other activities if time and logistics permit. All additional requests should be made well in advance and are subject to approval.

What if I just want to attend an event where a Speak Out person is scheduled to appear?
You should check directly with the campus or community sponsoring the event. Not all lectures or performances are open to the public or there may be a cost involved.

What are Speak Out’s other activities besides promoting speakers and artists? Speak Out, as an educational organization also publishes and distributes educational materials, is involved in specific campaigns, produces local educational events in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area, and serves as a clearinghouse of resources and contacts for organizing-efforts nationwide.

What if I just need to contact someone on your roster about something not related to a speaking engagement or performance?
We are unable to give out the personal contact information of the people on our roster. But within our capacity, we can forward an email or letter to them from you.

What if I’m interested in an internship position at Speak Out?
Speak Out has unpaid internships available from time to time. In the past, Interns worked alongside staff on engagements, events, and educational efforts. Projects vary depending on current priorities. Email [email protected] if you're interested in what opportunities are currently available.

What if I want to make a financial contribution to Speak Out’s work?
You can mail your tax-deductible donation to Speak Out, PO Box 22748, Oakland CA 94609. Or you can make a secure online credit card or PayPal donation - Click here to donate now.