Chi Hack Night now offering $100 presenter honorariums

Published on Jul 1, 2021 by Derek Eder

$100 honorariums
$100 honorariums

In our nine years of existence, Chi Hack Night has operated as a volunteer-run organization. This applied to our more than 300 presenters as well, who each have given us their time and expertise completely free of charge.

While some presenters are more than happy to do this, or do it in service of their government, company or organization, there are many who cannot afford to give away their time as freely. As an organization committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and one that constantly seeks to expand the reach and members of our community, Chi Hack Night has been leaving out, and frankly missing out, on a large number of people and organizations that we should be hearing from. We intend to change that.

To increase the diversity of speakers at Chi Hack Night and to provide opportunities to potential presenters who may not have the privilege or ability to give their time away for free or in service of their company or organization, Chi Hack Night is now offering a standard presenter honorarium of $100 for all speakers to compensate them for their time and expertise.

If you would like to present at Chi Hack Night, and get paid to do it, follow the instructions on our speaker submissions page.

A few additional rules for honorariums
We plan on offering honorariums in perpetuity, so it was important to consider both the costs and ethical concerns that come from paying people. In order to bound the costs for our non-profit organization, we have put a cap in place on the amount that will be paid to speakers on any given night. In the case of multiple presenters, an honorarium of up to $300 will be distributed among all presenters.

Additionally, there are some groups that would have conflicts of interest with getting paid by Chi Hack Night, either due to their relationship to Chi Hack Night or from their employer. For that reason, we will not offer honorariums to presenters in the following groups:

  • current Chi Hack Night sponsors
  • current Chi Hack Night Members or Board Members
  • government employees
  • political candidates
  • or people otherwise not able to receive compensation for presenting

Our process
This is a pretty big change for Chi Hack Night, and we wanted to make sure it came from a deliberative and inclusive process. Here’s the timeline and steps we took to make this policy official:

  • July 8, 2020: Derek Eder writes Speaker Honorariums draft proposal for the Board of Directors to consider
  • July 23, 2020: Board of Directors discusses the proposal and agrees to try it out on a limited basis as a pilot for 3 presenters
  • September 3, 2020: Board of Directors reviews the results of the pilot, but consensus is not reached to proceed
  • March 28, 2021: Booking Committee meets and revisits the policy and comes to consensus on proceeding with the Honorarium policy
  • April 22, 2021: Board of Directors discusses the policy and approves it, pending feedback from the Chi Hack Night Membership
  • May 14, 2021: Honorarium policy is shared with the Chi Hack Night Membership for approval via a Slack poll. Official vote is 14 Yes and 0 No votes for the policy.
  • May 21, 2021: Honorarium policy is made official by the Board of Directors

About the author

Derek Eder

Derek Eder
President, Chi Hack Night