TIMEFRAME

4-6 Hours

TIMELINE

2-3 Months out

(10-12 Weeks)

PRAYER

Ask the Lord to lead you to the men and women He has prepared to speak at your forum, those who he wants to have attend, and anyone with whom He wants you to partner as you put on the forum.

DEVOTIONAL

Psalm 127

Section 1: Seeking Classroom Speaking Opportunites


 

Keeping in mind that the purpose and vision behind the EII Forum is to reach student leaders on campus with the Gospel, one of the most important things we can do in our forums is bring our leaders before as many audiences as possible that they may then attract students to other subsequent Cru events. As such, as soon as you have solidified your coordinator, dates, and venue, your next step is to begin to connect with faculty in an effort to secure opportunities for our leaders to speak in front of different lectures during the first day of the event! Depending on your team’s capacity and connectedness within the university, this process may vary significantly from event to event. As such, here are the steps in full. Use your discretion to determine where your team lies in this process:

 

  1. Compile Speaker Bios: It may sound simple, but this step might be one of the most important in seeking to garner classroom speaking opportunities. Faculty actually can be very receptive to this offering of an outside presenter, but they need to know who these people are before they can make such a decision. As such, as soon as you have a confirmed speaker, be sure to send their resume to the national EII coordinator. You can elicit speakers' resumes from them by sending them a Sample Bio (.pdf) so they can see what kinds of information we are looking for.

  2. Brainstorm: No matter how connected you are to faculty campus, take some time as a staff team to write down any faculty connections that you have personally.

  3. First Contact: After you have listed these names delegate your initial faculty members amongst your team based on relationship. In the next week, seek to introduce yourself and the event, and ask if this individual would be interested in having these men and women speak in their classroom. In this process, an incredibly helpful guide is the Classroom Opportunity Resources folder. It will help you succinctly explain the event to these faculty as you ask for their classroom time. Within it you fill find the following files:

    • Asking for Classroom Time from a Professor: This document is for you only. It is a quick overview as you seek to garner classroom speaking opportunities.  It also includes a script you can use as you speak with faculty about getting into their classrooms.

    • Sample Email to Faculty: This document is a form email drafted by our EII Advance Coordinator. He uses it when first contacting faculty. You can adapt it for your purposes.

    • Introduction to EII Forums for Faculty: This document is a letter you can print out and give to a faculty member you are asking for classroom time.  You will need to edit the e-mail address at the bottom, however, so that the professor knows that he/she can contact you and not Bob Francis.  This document may be used in tandem with the Professor Ask document.

    • Professor Ask: This document is a letter that you can print out and give to a faculty member you are asking for classroom time.  You will need to edit the name of the professor, your name at the bottom, sign it, and also append the speaker bios.  This document may be used in tandem with the Introduction to EII Forums for Faculty document.

    • Professor Referral Letter: This document is a sample letter you can give to a professor who has hosted a speaker in his/her classroom; its purpose is to help that professor inform fellow faculty members about their EII experience and encourage them to consider hosting an EII speaker in their classrooms, as well.  This is a key way to continue to develop a network of faculty on campus who are willing to host classroom opportunities for your future EII Forums.

    • Once you have these resources before you, your task is to visit your faculty contacts and ask if they would be interested in having your speakers present in order to augment their teaching objectives. Bring the Introduction to EII Forums for Faculty document and speaker bios to your meeting as leaving pieces and establish that you will follow up with them within a week about their decision in order to own the process.

  4. The EII Forum Web Site: Another valuable tool we have been developing in order to help gain more classroom speaking opportunities is a web site called e2forum.org. This site is designed for administrators, faculty, and students on your campus, giving a succinct and compelling vision for what EII Forums are and why they should consider having one on campus, hosting speakers in their classrooms, or attending one themselves. You can simply share the link with them and give them a chance to see that we have our own brand and that EII Forums are legitimate opportunities for developing students into leaders.

Section II: Inviting Students


 

 Holding a forum is all for naught if you don’t have student leaders from your campus in attendance! Today we’re not going to actually send out student invitations, but we’re going to work to compile a list of at least 100 students you will seek to invite in the weeks to come. Remember, the strategic purpose of your forum is to gain audience with those students of influence on your campus. As such, with your staff team and student leaders, set aside 15-30 minutes to brainstorm key leaders on your campus. Here are categories to consider:

 

  • Student Government/Student Senate

  • Greek Student Leaders/Fraternity and Sorority Members

  • Leaders of Significant Student Orgs

    • Clubs based on degrees/majors

    • Clubs based on politics

    • Clubs based on interest

  • Athletic captains: Football, Basketball, Swimming, etc. Consider reaching out to AIA staff on your campus if there are any)

  • International Student Leaders/Leaders of Ethnic Student Orgs

  • Business students (you might even consider seeking to get a list from a business professor on your campus)

  • RA’s/Dorm Leadership

  • ROTC Leaders

  • Entrepreneur’s Club

  • President’s Leadership Class

  • Student Newspaper Writer/Editor (consider featuring the event in an article!)

 

After you have devised a list of titles/positions, work as a team to find out the names of the students that hold each of these positions. Be sure to scrutinize this list for quality and diversity (we want non-Christian students to attend and ideally at least 10 international student leaders). Compile all of your names and titles onto one list. In the weeks to come, you will delegate names on this list to students in your movement who will personally deliver them an invitation to the Forum!

And here's our best recruiting tactic:

One very helpful strategy some of our leaders have employed involves making the most of your campus student organizational fair. Many colleges and universities have a student org fair at the beginning of each semester, or at least one at the start of each academic year. Get yourself to the fair, take a deep breath, and make a point to approach every single student org represented and introduce yourself to the students leader(s)/officer(s) present. Then tell each of them that your organization, Cru, will be hosting the Executive and Entrepreneurial Leadership Forum, an informal association of top executives and entrepreneurs, this year on campus, and that you would love to invite them and other leaders in their organization. Tell them a bit about the event. Get their contact information and keep it in a safe place, so that when the time comes, you or one of your students can call them and set up a time to hand-deliver them their invitation to the Dinner. Though this strategy may seem daunting, there will be no better time of year when so many campus leaders will be all together in one place.

Section III: Partnership (Optional)


 

In Forums past, staff at different campuses have had success in inviting a local business organization or club to sponsor the dinner. Take a moment to consider if you know of any entities in your scope that it might be worth contacting to seek partnership. The process for doing this looks very similar to the speaker process:

 

  1. Brainstorm: with your staff team, set aside some time to consider any clubs or businesses that you may want to seek partnership with and in what capacity (sponsorship, financial partnership, etc.).

  2. For example: You want to partner with groups within Cru - be sure you are connecting with any other Cru ministries on your campus, such as Bridges, Athletes in Action, Destino, Nations, Impact, Faculty Commons, and Epic. You also want to partner with groups outside of Cru - be sure you think through entrepreneurial clubs, business fraternities/sororities, leadership organizations, and international student associations.

  3. Invite: reach out to these groups for a meeting. During the meeting, explain the the nature of the forum and challenge them to partner with you. Be sure to explain that they would have time at the dinner to intro the event and would be featured on the invitations. Finally, make sure they understand the spiritual nature of the Forum.

  4. The EII Forums Web Site: Another valuable tool we have been developing in order to help gain more classroom speaking opportunities is a web site called e2forum.org. This site is designed for administrators, faculty, and students on your campus, giving a succinct and compelling vision for what EII Forums are and why they should consider having one on campus, hosting speakers in their classrooms, or attending one themselves. You can simply share the link with them and give them a chance to see that we have our own brand and that EII Forums are legitimate opportunities for developing students into leaders.

©2019 Cru. These materials cannot be duplicated in any form without the permission of James W. Dempsey, with the exception of worksheets and forms. None of these materials should be used for profit.