New charitable initiative Speakers4Africa delivers first tangible results
Released on = November 6, 2006, 6:12 am
Press Release Author = Carole Spiers Group
Industry = Non Profit
Press Release Summary = Speakers4Africa (S4A) is a new initiative to raise much needed funds for African charities. The way S4A works is that a client wishing to book a professional speaker can ask them whether they are happy to speak as part of the S4A initiative. If they agree, the client will pay their expenses as usual but will pay their fee direct to an agreed African charity.
Press Release Body = Speakers4Africa (S4A) is a new initiative to raise much needed funds for African charities. It was launched at the Professional Speakers Association National Convention in Brighton, UK, in October 2005, and is endorsed by Desmond Tutu, whose words of support, along with those of leaders from the professional speaking profession are captured at www.speakers4africa.org (http://www.speakers4africa.org.)
The way S4A works is that a client wishing to book a professional speaker can ask them whether they are happy to speak as part of the S4A initiative. If they agree, the client will pay their expenses as usual but will pay their fee direct to an agreed African charity. With an estimated 10,000 professional speakers associated with institutions around the world, this is a huge potential fund-raising resource.
"The hard part of the S4A initiative is making clients aware," explains Carole Spiers, S4A Communications Co-ordinator (UK). "We believe this will happen once the charities realise the potential funds this channel can provide. In the meantime, speakers themselves are a great way of making connections.
"One way is to use S4A as an option where the client cannot afford the speaker\'s usual fee, but the speaker cannot compromise their fee rate - as doing so is regarded by many speakers as unprofessional and \'the thin end of the wedge\'. An example of how these situations have led to funds being raised is provided by Clive Wilson, the founder of S4A."
"My first experience of an \'S4A solution to limited budget\' was in 2005 when a school asked me to speak on leadership and career development with their sixth form boys," explains Clive Wilson. "They had heard about my \'Designed for life\' keynote and wanted a version for the boys as they prepared to make their university choices. I said I\'d love to speak with them at such a critical time in their lives (who wouldn\'t?).
When it came to the fee, I gave my quote and could sense the embarrassment at the other end of the phone. I informed the client that I wouldn\'t compromise the fee rate but would be happy to waive the fee completely if they would make a donation as close to it as they could to the Open Arms Infant Home in Malawi. They were delighted, they got their speaker, and they were proud to have contributed to a worthy cause. (And their donation was over three times their original budget for the job, so this was great win-win for us all.)"
"Being prepared to step out and \'speak for those without a voice\', as Carole Spiers is often reminding me, can be hugely worthwhile for all involved. The funds raised will keep a young child whose parents died of AIDS in an environment of love and safety for about a year. Who wouldn\'t speak for a few hours to achieve that?\"