OK, I know it’s easier for you if I just spell out all my fees, so here goes:
My fee is $800 for a one-day author visit in the Twin Cities area. This includes a maximum of four presentations, plus lunch with teachers or students. My fee for a standalone one-hour professional development session is $350. If you’d like to add a before- or after-school PD session on top of a school visit, the fee is reduced to $200.
For schools more than 50 miles away but within a three-hour drive from the Capitol Building in St. Paul, Minnesota, schools pay travel and lodging expenses. To reduce costs for outstate Minnesota (or nearby destinations within a three-hour drive), consider contacting other schools in your area. When I do several visits in the same area, schools can split the travel costs.
Please contact me for out-of-state visit fees.
Not sure if your school has the funds available for an author visit? Here are a few ideas for fundraising. You could also consider a Skype visit as a lower-cost alternative.
Ideas for Raising Funds for a School Visit
- Ask the PTO/PTA or a community organization to sponsor the visit or to match school-raised funds.
- Apply for a grant. Try http://www.donorschoose.org/homepage/main.html, https://unsungheroes.scholarshipamerica.org/, or http://www.ala.org/aasl/awards/innovative.
Finding money from an outside source is great, but if your teachers, parents, and students are involved, they will be more invested in the author visit itself!
- Hold a book sale. Most publishers give schools a substantial discount (around 40%), which allows you to fund a visit by selling the author’s books.
- Go to your families. Divide the visit cost by your number of families minus 10%. If the visit is $1,000 and you have 700 students, divide 1000 by 630. You get 1.59. Create a “permission slip” and ask each student to pay $1.60 (because you don’t want all those pennies!).
- Sell a small reading/writing-related novelty item, like bracelets, to your students (try a company like http://www.school-fundraisers.com/).
- Sell an extra treat in the cafeteria for 3 days only.
- Ask the PTO/PTA to run a raffle. Solicit an excellent donation from a major retailer and sell raffle tickets. Announce the winner on the author visit day!
- Ask parents who travel frequently to donate a flight or hotel stay.
Students love to see adults look foolish! If your teachers are willing…
- Rent a dunking booth and have kids pay $1 for a chance to hit the sweet spot and send their favorite(!) teacher into the water.
- Hold a coin drive. Each teacher chooses a prize to motivate the kids. The teacher of the top fundraising class delivers! Teachers have shaved their heads, sung songs onstage at lunch, and dressed up like book characters.
- Hold a staff vs. kids challenge–and charge admission–anything from volleyball to trivia. Handicap the grown-ups to give kids a good chance of winning. Talk up the event, and hold it at night so that parents will come, too! Sell snacks.