“How much do you charge?” – The most obvious, and the most difficult, question people ask me about my drama/storytelling ministry “Faith Heroines Alive”.
It’s difficult because my goal is to tell as many true stories to as many audiences as will have me. But groups who would like a guest speaker have very different budgets and expectations. I don’t always know what is wise, but my heart wants me to go wherever I am called, while still trying to face the real fact that life requires me to earn a living.
So, because church groups and other groups fall into different categories (small, medium, large, well-off, financially needy, etc.), I try to be sensitive. If a group wants to do a freewill offering, I always accept that offer. That allows the audience to truly respond according to its means. I have an account with a nonprofit through which I can receive tax-deductible donations. Church accounts don’t need that advantage, but it is good for individual donors.
But freewill offerings are sometimes complicated for churches because of tax laws. So, for the sake of simplicity, I tell the person planning the event that I want to work within their budget.
Then if they ask me what I usually receive, here is the answer.
For most medium to large groups, I receive $250. to $300. For smaller groups, I receive $100. to $200. After agreeing to a price, I often ask for a $75.00 deposit to be paid at the time of the reservation, with the balance due at the time of the performance. Some groups ask me to offer multiple performances in one weekend, for a women’s retreat or congregational missionary conference. I LOVE doing this, and am glad to negotiate a fair price for two, three, or four dramatizations.
If travel expenses are incurred, it is always great if I can find more than one speaking venue to pay for the plane tickets. I’m happy to be lodged in someone’s spare room if that kind of arrangement is possible. If it is appropriate for my husband can come along, we’ll pay for his ticket. I think you get it – I want to “do my thing” which is storytelling and faith-building. Thankfully, most places want to pay me adequately for my effort, but I try to leave it in God’s hands. As several Christian missionaries have pointed out, “He owns the cattle on a thousand hills.” Corrie Ten Boom would quip, “When I need money, I ask God to sell a cow to help me out.”
Occasionally, someone chooses to “sponsor” me for a period of time with a series of donations, unrelated to specific performances, and just to help me pay the bills. I am so grateful when that happens. I can give anyone interested the information to make such donations tax-deductible.
But mostly I just want to tell the stories. Please feel free to call me at 206-498-4598 to schedule a performance at a cost that will meet your budget.
Joel 1:3 Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.