How to Host a Conversation Project Event

Kim Nguyen

At this time, Oregon Humanities staff and facilitators are developing online conversation-based programming that will center the need for conversation and connection within specific communities and across the state. Your can read about our first such program here. Some facilitators are adapting their Conversation Project for a virtual setting, while others are developing virtual programs focused on immediate issues related to the impact of COVID-19. Many of us are on a learning curve with technology and are reimagining how format and partnerships can bring people together to share, listen, learn, and grow from their homes. Please reach out to Jade Schey ( if you are interested in discussing partnership and outreach support for these upcoming virtual conversations.


Each year, we partner with dozens of organizations to host Conversation Project discussions in communities across Oregon.

This page outlines the steps to host a conversation in your community.

If you have questions about the Conversation Project contact Jade Schey at or (503) 241-0543, ext. 110.

1. Choose a program. There are more than forty programs to choose from, and you can apply to host up to six programs at a time. Check out the Conversation Project catalog

2. Complete the online host application. The application asks about your organization and the program or programs you’d like to host, including venues, contact information, estimated dates, and intended audiences. Oregon Humanities partners with community organizations, small and large nonprofits, universities and community colleges, and government agencies and corporations to host Conversation Project programs. We accept applications during the following periods:

Upcoming application periods:
July 1–August 31, 2020 (new catalog published July 7)

While we aim to approve all requests, we are prioritizing partnerships with groups that have historically lacked access to funding and resources, including rural communities and Spanish-speaking communities. We are committed to responding to all requests within two weeks.

We strive to be flexible in program scheduling, so please contact Jade Schey at (503) 241-0543, ext.110, or if you have a conflict with our application timeline.

3. Connect with the facilitator. After receipt and approval of the request, we will connect you with the facilitator of the requested program to talk about scheduling. 

4. Schedule the program. Schedule the program with the facilitator and send the final date, time, and venue to us.

5. Pay your host fee. Once we receive notification of the final date, time, and venue, we will send an invoice. Our flexible fee structure asks you to name the host fee you will pay. Read more about our suggested fee structure in the FAQ section below. 

6. Promote the conversation. Template press releases for each of the programs and event marketing suggestions are available with our resources for Conversation Project hosts (link coming soon). Conversations are best when at least ten people participate. 

7. Send us sign-in sheets and evaluations. As part of our efforts to continue improving the Conversation Project, we will ask you to distribute sign-in sheets and evaluation forms to participants and return them to us.

Frequently Asked Questions

We partner with organizations of multiple sizes and backgrounds—community organizations, small and large nonprofits, universities, community colleges, government agencies, and corporations— so we offer multiple rates for hosting Conversation Projects that best fit your budget and needs.

If your organization can afford to, paying a higher amount allows us to continue to make these programs accessible to smaller organizations. When you fill out the application, think about your budget and size to choose the rate that works for your organization at this time.

See table below for reference and name the price you are able to pay per program:

Host organizational budget Suggested Rates per Program  
 $0 to $1,000,000                       $50–$150
 $1,000,001 to $10,000,000                      $275–$375
 Greater than $10,000,000                        $500–$600


* Oregon Humanities’ average cost to run one Conversation Project program is $600.

Can I host a Conversation Project just for a particular group of people or for the staff at my organization? 

Yes. You will have a chance to indicate on your host application whether your program is public or private. A public program is one that is open and promoted to the general public. We will also list this program on our online calendar. A private program is one that is limited to the members of a group, company, or organization; there is no outreach beyond that group’s internal board, staff, members, or volunteers.

Can I charge a fee to participants to attend a Conversation Project Program? 

Host organizations may charge a modest admission fee (up to $5) in order to recover costs incurred by hosting the conversation, such as lodging, refreshments, and the host fee. We ask that no one be turned away from the event due to lack of funds. You may  solicit voluntary contributions to your organization at a Conversation Project program.

 When are hosts responsible for lodging?

If a Conversation Project facilitator travels more than 100 miles one-way to the venue, we ask host organizations to provide one night of commercial lodging. In cases when a Conversation Project program has two facilitators, hosts are only expected to provide one night of lodging for one facilitator and Oregon Humanities will pay for one night of lodging for the second facilitator. As of December 2018, we no longer allow home stays for Conversation Project facilitators.

Please take into account whether you are paying for lodging and adjust the host fee as you see fit—pay less if you need to. Oregon Humanities has funds available to cover lodging when the cost poses a barrier for hosting. There is an option on the application to request lodging assistance, and while we encourage all hosts to ask for this support, we are currently prioritizing requests for assistance from rural and Spanish-speaking communities.

What are the roles in this partnership for program hosts and Oregon Humanities?

Hosts should be in close communication with facilitators, promote the event and invite their communities to participate, set up the room, and participate in the conversation. We also ask hosts to share materials, such evaluations and resources about the topic with participants, and return evaluations to Oregon Humanities staff. All of these materials can be found in the resources for Conversation Project hosts (link coming soon).

Facilitators typically have a brief phone call with hosts prior to the event and will arrive at least 30 minutes before the start of the program. 

Oregon Humanities pays facilitators an honorarium for each event, plus meals and transportation costs. We provide outreach materials to hosts and promote public events on our website and social media accounts and in emails to our subscribers.