3-4 Months out
Ask God to direct your first steps in planning your forum and that he would go before you as you seek initial classroom speaking opportunities
Section I: Select Forum Coordinator
EII Forum Coordinator: The first step in the successful planning and completion of your forum will be selecting your overall forum coordinator. This person will be leading throughout the entire process and thus should be a strong leader who will be responsible for knowing all of the moving parts of the event and will subsequently delegate elements/roles of the forum to different individuals. Qualities desired-- confident, organized, detail oriented, and strong communicator.
Section II: Select Forum Date and Dinner Venue
Brainstorm a date: when do you want your Forum to be held? Keep in mind, the event is designed to run all day (on the day of your weekly meeting) through lunch time on the second day. Take time to brainstorm with your team which two-day option is best based on your own calendar of events, holidays, and school functions that could draw away your students and the student leaders. Think through the calendar both in terms of the academic calendar, as well as the "ministry effectiveness" calendar. Be mindful of when Greek leadership elections are held and try not to have your Forum within two weeks of them. Think through when regular student government meetings are held and avoid those. Also be aware of collegiate athletic events and try not to schedule your Forum over them so as to not lose out on athletes attending your Forum.
Brainstorm a venue: where do you want your Dinner and brunch to be held? For the Dinner, keep in mind that you want a little more of an upscale location that is easily accessible, well known to students on campus, and practical for catering a meal. Further, plan for a minimum of 30 student leaders, 6 table hosts, a handful of professors and faculty, and a few select staff and students totaling approximately 50 people. For the brunch, consider how many student leaders and staff your are inviting and if the location is practical for catering a meal. Once you have determined the date and best locations for your event, book these locations as soon as possible.
Section III: Staying Organized
Staying Organized: (Especially for the Forum Coordinator,) the EII Forum Timeline is about to become your new best friend over the next few months as it details what needs to be accomplished, who needs to do it and when it needs to get done. If you use it in conjunction with the content on this website, it will help you stay on track and keep you from getting overwhelmed.
EII Logo: Attached you’ll find the EII Logo Folder for your use. There may be times throughout the planning of your forum that you would like to attach this to a document in order to make it look more professional.
Section IV: Register Your Forum
Apply for the EII Forum Next Step Grant: Having been impressed by the strategic nature of the EII strategy and the capability of Cru Missional Team Leaders, a Cru ministry partner is providing a $3,000 grant to Missional Teams that implement the EII strategy. You can register to receive this grant here! Importantly, filling out this survey also acts as a registration of your Forum.
The survey will ask you to provide the chartfield account to which all your Forum expenses will be cleared. It is important to note that this is not the same as your normal campus operating account! You will instead need to clear your Forum expenses to your local campus operating chartfield account with the PROJECT ID of SPEAKERSFORUM.
For instance, if your Forum was at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, then you would clear your Forum expenses to CAMPS / UWIEC / FIELDMIN / SPEAKERSFORUM. If your Forum was at North Dakota State University, you would clear them to CAMPS / NDSU / STAFFED / SPEAKERSFORUM. If your Forum was at the University of St. Thomas, you would clear them to CAMPS / TWINMET / CATALYTIC / SPEAKERSFORUM.
Note: In order to receive this grant, your Forum must fulfill three requirements outlined in the survey here. (Note: you cannot fill out the survey until you have completed Sections I & II in their entirety.)
Section V: Enlisting Speakers
Now that you’ve covered the basic logistics of your forum in Pillar 1, it’s time to find your three speakers for the event. These men and women will be a voice of wisdom, a representative for your movement on campus, and ultimately, a mouthpiece for Christ! As such, we want to choose these individuals wisely while beseeching the Lord for his guidance.
As you do this, we want to explain 1) The process of recruiting a speaker 2) the profile of a good speaker and 3) how to effectively invite someone to speak at your event.
THE RECRUITING PROCESS
Below are the steps involved in recruiting three individuals to speak:
Contact your region's Fund Development National Director: Explain that you’re planning on hosting an EII Forum on the following dates (if you haven’t already) and ask if he/she can help you recruit 1-2 individuals for the event. Your regional Fund Development National Director will be one of your greatest allies in this process
Brainstorm: With your staff team, come together to devise names of individuals you know who might be interested in coming alongside you for this event. Here are some categories to get your minds churning:
Someone you know from Church/your bible study
Past Table hosts from a fellowship/vision dinner
Inviting these individuals can be incredibly strategic as you give them a greater window into your current ministry efforts and can use their involvement to challenge them into greater involvement in the future. After you have brainstormed as a team, narrow your list to the top 3-5 people.
The speaker invitation: Begin with the top individual from your brainstorm session. Contact this individual for an hour meeting. In this time, challenge him/her to consider joining hands with you to reach student leaders on your campus using the speaker packet (explained below).
THE PROFILE OF A GOOD SPEAKER
There is a lot that could be said here, but if we could boil it down to some main criteria, these are the big ticket items to consider:
A strong Christian who is actively growing in his/her faith, invested in a body of believers, and seeking to grow the kingdom through his/her professional and personal life
Successful business leader; ideally someone who has moved up the corporate ladder and has learned a lot about what it takes to do well in his/her work
Alumnus of the university at which you’re holding the forum
Alumnus of a cru movement/the cru movement of the university at which you’re holding the forum
A gifted communicator
*Note: Number 2 can be sacrificed a little for the sake of numbers 3-5. By this we mean, you don’t have to have someone at the top of their respective field, so to speak. Sometimes it can be more advantageous to have an alum or strong speech giver instead as you want students to feel connected to these individuals and, ultimately, able to connect with the message of the gospel.
CHALLENGING SOMEONE TO SPEAK
After you have selected your top three speaker choices, it’s time to reach out to these individuals and have a meeting with them face to face. Depending on your relationship with these men and women, your communication to arrange this might vary significantly. As such, we’ve drafted a generic sample email here in order to give you a baseline. Hopefully you find it helpful! Ultimately, your goal in contacting this individual is to arrange a hour or so meeting in which you introduce him/her to the forum, cast vision for its potential, and challenge him/her to speak.
Your greatest resource in this meeting will be the Speaker Packet, which contains several documents that you will want to use when you invite donors and other friends of the ministry to consider speaking at your EII Forum. Print the contents of this packet as a conversation piece you will use when you meet with a prospective speaker in person. Below you’ll find an explanation of the contents and how to walk through each of them:
Cover Page: This is the cover page of the Speaker Packet. Be sure that the correct academic year is listed below the logo.
Cover Document with Quotes from Cru Leaders: This is a page that includes visionary quotes from Cru staff and student leaders. You can feel free to make a copy of it and insert EII quotes from your own region/campus. In essence, your goal with this page is to show how the forums have benefitted other campuses in recent years.
Purpose Statement: This page succinctly describes the purpose and goals of the EII Forums strategy.
Regional Map (optional): This page helps the prospective speaker visualize and understand the geographic scope of our ministry.
Introduction to Forums for Speakers: This page is the vision-casting document of the Speaker Packet. It gives some context for why the EII strategy was developed, rooted in Bill Bright’s own vision of reaching future leaders. You can highlight different elements of this document to explain the “why” and “how” behind a forum. It also describes the distinct events within an EII Forum.
EII Speaker Guidelines and Description of Events: This page contains a generic EII Forum schedule and detailed descriptions of each Forum events so that the speaker knows what to expect.
Forum Budget: This page generically breaks down the costs of executing an EII Forum and helps a prospective speaker see how his/her financial gift of $1,000 will help cover all the costs of the Forum and give a boost to the local ministry.
All told, your goal when sitting down with a prospective speaker and the speaker packet is cast vision for the potential such an event holds to further the gospel by reaching student leaders on campuses, explain the schedule of the events of a forum, and challenge the individual to both invest - a $1,000 gift to cover forum costs - and speak to students about his/her lessons in faith and business.