It can be challenging to make the important work we do financially sustainable – for my clients and me. If my standard fee seems out of your budget, consider the following creative possibilities.


If you can share me with another organization or school in your area, your fee can be reduced. This way my empowering message reaches more people, and you save money. It can also support you in community building. I’m easy to promote to decision makers for professional organizations, community groups, schools, wellness programs and well, any company that cares about its employees. Just forward them my speaker sheet or a link to and share your plan.

Consider combining your conference with other organizations in the area, such as a dietetics or psychotherapy trade organization. Share the costs and broaden the audience.

Schools, in particular, often host speakers, and are grateful for compelling suggestions. Individual departments and student groups are also possibilities; my work is popular in a diverse range of departments, including psychology, women’s studies, gender studies, queer studies, biology, health, nutrition/dietetics, nursing, and medicine, and I have frequently been hosted by student groups.

Build community

Contact local business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, or businesses that have a health or social responsibility mission. Ask for the owner, CEO or Community Services Department, and present them with a win-win situation: should they sponsor the event, you’ll return the favor by publicly recognizing their support.

Reflect on other speakers, fairs, or events that have been in your area before, and look on their websites to see who sponsored them.

Charge fees

Consider charging participants a fee and make this into a workshop, expanding beyond your membership. I can support you in qualifying for CEU and/or CMEs.

Advocate with Parent Organization

Lobby your parent organization to have me keynote a conference, making the message available to a larger audience.

Sell books

I can make it possible for you to purchase my books at my author’s discount (50% of cover price, plus shipping). You can then sell them for full cost, which will help you generate income as well as support participants in delving into the ideas more deeply. Unsold books can be returned for credit.


Solicit donations.

Hold a raffle or auction. If your audience are fans of mine, consider these prizes:

  • A meal with me, or an invitation to a small cocktail gathering. The cost of an inexpensive meal or cocktails can be offset by generous donation. Set a minimum donation amount higher than anticipated costs to ensure profitability.
  • Signed books.

Use volunteer energy

Forget cabs; have your members drive me to and from the venue, to and from the airport. This can also be an auctionable opportunity if you’ve got fans amongst your ranks.

Grant funding

There are several organizations that fund educational events with a social justice message. Check around.

Incentive packages

Explore deals with hotels, restaurants and attractions. Many will throw in perks if you refer enough people to them. For example, if enough event participants book hotel rooms, the hotel may give you free rooms, which you can use to defray travel costs for a speaker, or they may credit you for event expenses.


Below is sample language for a cooperative event request, which you can modify to introduce yourself to others and propose a cooperative venture. Follow this link for an example of a successful request.

Sample Language for a Cooperative Event

In our efforts to help educate our community about addressing weight in clinical practice, we would like to hire Dr. Lindo Bacon to provide training. Dr. Bacon is a highly acclaimed scientist, researcher and author who… What drew us to Dr. Bacon is…

We don’t have the full resources to bring Dr. Bacon to speak, and we want you to consider co-sponsoring their seminar. To bring them here would cost us $_____. Of this we’re able to cover $_____.

You can find out more information about Dr. Bacon by visiting Please let us know if this something you would consider, and thanks so much for your time!

Other ideas?

Please contact Lindo if you have other creative funding ideas to share, or to brainstorm additional possibilities.