Speakers Bureau Booking Guidelines:

The Speakers Bureau is an easy way to bring high quality humanities programs to your community. You can book a single event, or even curate a series or whole day of programming! Our catalog has over 40 programs for you to choose from, presented by experts. The catalog has poets, musicians, dancers, historians, story tellers, and Chautauqua presenters who perform in character as historic figures. Each Speaker uses their knowledge and unique perspective to engage audiences with a variety of topics such as New Mexico history, folklore, life in the borderlands, Native American history, and environmentalism.

The Speakers Bureau is available to any nonprofit and school around New Mexico to use, and is especially well suited for small organizations who may not otherwise have the budget to host or produce humanities programs. Host organizations are no longer required to pay a booking fee. Instead, host organizations are required to meet a 1:1 match, which can be met through volunteer hours, services and materials, providing a venue, and even paid staff time spent planning and executing the event!

The New Mexico Humanities Council will provide funding for the Speaker’s honorarium ($250), and reimbursement for lodging, mileage, and meals at the federal rates. These rates change approximately once a year, and can be checked here. NMHC strives to keep our forms up to date with current rates.

OUR GUIDELINES HAVE CHANGED. PLEASE READ CAREFULLY. NMHC no longer pays speakers directly. Instead, the council makes a grant to the host organization (based on the information the organization provides in the Speakers Bureau Payment Request Form) and the host organization makes payments to the speaker from that grant. Speakers are not booked until the Speakers Bureau Payment Request Form has been approved by NMHC staff. Name your organization as the payee.

Please read through all of the steps listed below before starting the booking process. NMHC will not pay for speaker engagements that do not follow the specified procedures.

Email Keelyn Byram or call at (505)633-7370 ext 101 if you have questions. This the current Speakers Bureau contact information, any other email addresses or phone numbers you may have are out of date.

Program Restrictions:

  • All non-profits, schools (5-12) and local, state, and federal government agencies are eligible to book a program.

  • For-profit organizations are ineligible for NMHC- sponsored Speakers Bureau programs.**

  • All programs must be open to the public and advertised to the community at large.

  • Programs may NOT be used for private audiences such as conferences, luncheons and meetings.

  • Free admission to the program is required.

  • Sponsor must meet 1:1 in-kind match of the total cost of the program.

    Sponsors are encouraged to email Keelyn Byram if there is any question about the eligibility of an organization or event.

    ** As independent contractors, scholars are free to contract with for-profit organizations outside of the Speakers Bureau program without NMHC funding or support.

General Guidelines:

   • Host organizations may book up to 6 programs per calendar year.

   • Speakers may schedule up to 8 programs per calendar year.

   • Expected audience attendance must be a minimum of 20 people.

   • Speakers must be contacted by the host organization and the booking process initiated at least 45 days in advance. Speakers Bureau Payment Request Form (provided by NMHC staff once the initial website request has been received) must be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the program. NO EXCEPTIONS. This allows time for NMHC to process the request and get funds to the host organization ahead of the event, and time for the host organization to process and pay the Speaker in a timely manner (preferably immediately following the event). Failure to pay the Speaker in a timely manner may result in NMHC not approving future requests.


Hosts must provide 1099-MISC forms to Speakers if their honorarium and reimbursements are over $600. 1099-MISC and instructions can be found here: About Form 1099-MISC, Miscellaneous Income | Internal Revenue Service (irs.gov)

Also please note that any recording of Speaker presentation must be agreed to by both the the host and the Speaker prior to the event.


Host Organization Responsibilities and How to Book a Speaker

Step One

Contact the Speaker of your choice to arrange a date and time for the selected program at least 45 days in advance of the program. Click the “Request Information” to receive their contact information.


Step Two

Once you and the Speaker have confirmed a date: Begin the booking process by clicking on the button labeled “Apply to Program,” next to the description of the speaker’s program. Enter the requested information and click “Confirm” You will receive an automated message confirming that your application has been received.

Step Three

Once your application is approved you will receive an email with a link to the Payment Request form.

Consult with the Speaker to determine the total cost of the program, i.e. standard honorarium, mileage reimbursement, lodging (if needed), and covered meals. NMHC will cover mileage, lodging, and meals in addition to honorarium (honorarium is $250 per Speaker). Submit the  Payment Request  form at least 30 days in advance of the program.  NMHC staff will contact you within 5 business days if your request is approved, and will send the Project Director’s Evaluation, In-Kind Receipt, and Audience Surveys at that time. Payment will occur only after NMHC approval. Note: Bookings are only complete once NMHC approves payment

Step Four

Advertise and promote your program to the general public as well as to your membership. You must aim to have at least 20 people attend the program. Publicity for the event must state that it is open to the public and made possible by the New Mexico Humanities Council, which is supported by grants from National Endowment for the Humanities.

If your organization has a Facebook presence, create an event and add NMHC as a co-sponsor so we can share the event. Also send a letter to your state and federal representatives to attend the program. A sample letter can be found here. Additionally, click here for NMHC branding materials/logos.

Step Five

Provide mutually agreed-upon facilities, equipment, and technical needs for your program.

At the introduction of the program, credit the New Mexico Humanities Council for sponsorship of the program.

Step Six

Return the completed program paperwork via email to keelyn@nmhumanities.org within 5 business days following completion of a program, along with any balance of the grant amount paid to your organization minus the amount actually spent on program costs. Documents/forms to be sent via email to NMHC at this point in the process include:

- Evaluation Form: Please complete the entire evaluation form (you may type directly into the MS Word document), and don’t forget to include substantive comments regarding the presentation. Also tell us how you spent the grant funds (in accordance with the figures for standard honorarium, lodging, mileage and covered meals that you provided on your Payment Request Form) and cost share (also referred to as in-kind). Cost share/in-kind is the value of the time you and others contributed to organizing this program, as well as the equivalent value of the program venue or other contributed materials. For help calculating cost share/in-kind, click here.  By applying for a speaker, you agree to report cost share. Incomplete evaluations will be returned and further bookings will not be permitted until they are corrected. 

- Completed audience surveys

- Copies of, or links to, program publicity
 (flyers, news articles, links to online calendars, social media posts, etc.)

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