What is the NSA Foundation?

The NSA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the National Speakers Association and serves to help those members and families of our NSA Community, as well as those in need in our larger global community. It is devoted to upholding the spirit of serving, sharing and supporting embodied by our founder Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE. The Foundation is able to act on behalf of our members to do something that comes naturally in the speaking profession – helping others.

How did the Foundation get its start?

The NSA Foundation was established in 1983 by Founder and Chairman Emeritus Nido Qubein, CSP, CPAE and the NSA Board of Directors. It is governed by the NSA Foundation Board of Trustees. Specific awards are reviewed by the Scholarship, Professional Speakers Benefit Fund (PSBF), and Art Berg Fund Grant committees under the guidelines established for each program. Most contributions to the NSA Foundation are tax deductible; however, contributors are encouraged to consult with a tax professional regarding any contributions/donations made.

How is the Foundation helping NSA members and the public?

Today, the Foundation serves members and the public through:

  • Financial help (PSBF) for NSA members who have suffered either personal health or natural disaster emergencies;
  • Scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in public speaking;
  • Grants (Art Berg) to help charitable organizations communicate through technology; and
  • Grants to support a charity each year in the city of our annual Convention.
What is the PSBF?
The Professional Speakers Benefit Fund (PSBF) provides financial assistance during serious health emergencies, catastrophic loss from natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, and when long-term members have outlived their assets. Over $500,000 has been given to our members who met the guidelines since the first assistance provided to an NSA member back in the late 1970’s, before the Foundation was even established.

History of PSBF
NSAFoundation recipientIn 1977, several CPAEs heard that a highly respected speaker and his wife were facing severe financial difficulty due to the speaker’s prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s. The CPAEs decided they wanted to DO something in addition to BEING members of the elite Speaker Hall of Fame®. As word spread, they began sending checks in various amounts that were forwarded to the speaker’s wife. The speaker was none other than Frank Bettger author of bestselling book, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling. Both he and his wife were feeling the weight of medical bills and outliving their saved assets. When Frank passed away in 1981, his wife still faced a financial challenge, but because Frank had been in the insurance business, the proceeds from his insurance provided her the income she needed. When Mrs. Bettger passed away, unknown to the CPAEs who had helped them when they needed it most, she had made the necessary changes to her will to make sure the money the CPAEs had sent her was to be repaid in full.

Realizing that other members might one day be in a similar situation, a group of CPAEs suggested using these repaid funds to form a Foundation. Thus, the Professional Speakers Benefit Fund (PSBF), operating as the NSA Foundation, was born and later transformed into the 501(c)(3) organization known today, operating as the fully-funded charitable arm of the Association.

Since that initial act of generosity, the PSBF has helped hundreds of members facing financial, health, or natural disaster emergencies:

“I was resting on our family couch fighting my prolonged illness, when I heard my wife crying in the kitchen. I thought,‘What now?’ I asked her ‘What’s wrong?’ She came into the family room and showed me your letter and the PSBF check. We both cried tears of joy, of course.”
Professional Speakers Benefit Fund Recipient

“Thank you for your generous support during these challenging times. Just when one loses focus & questions man, there is a ray of hope which restores faith, belief and hope in each other. NSA, thank you for being that ray of hope. I am truly grateful and will never forget the support.”
Calvin Mackie, Harvey, LA, Disaster Relief Recipient

“I consider myself one of NSA’s biggest cheerleaders, endlessly applauding my speaker colleagues to reach their highest good in the industry. With my recent brain surgery and the generous support of the Foundation, now I’m the one being cheered on by hundreds of my “family” members. During this little interruption in my life, I’m grateful beyond words for the assistance… I love NSA!”
Nancy Vogl, Traverse City, MI

Guidelines for the PSBF Grant
Members can request assistance themselves or other members can make requests on their behalf.

  • Any member of the Association, who has been in good standing for at least three years, may be eligible for a grant.
  • Any former member of the Association, who was in good standing for at least five years, may be eligible for a grant.
  • The Committee Chair must personally contact the applicant or, if that is not possible, the closest relative or caregiver, to determine need and circumstances.

If you would like to submit an application for a PSBF grant, download the Professional Speakers Benefit Fund (PSBF) application form (PDF).

In 2015, realizing the need to have more direct communications with our members, each NSA chapter was asked to add the position of NSA Foundation Liaison to their list of officers and board members. The purpose is to have a greater physical presence at each local gathering of our members as well as to keep them informed and up to date on the Foundation’s programs and policies.

For more information on the PSBF Grant, please email Jessica@NSAspeaker.org.

History of NSA Scholarship Grants
In 1989, the Foundation established a scholarship program to encourage and reward juniors, seniors and graduate students who have a burning desire to pursue some aspect of professional speaking as a career. Each year the Foundation awards six $5,000 student scholarship grants in recognition of these individuals:

  • Cavett Robert, CSP, CPAE
  • Bill Gove, CSP, CPAE
  • Earl Nightingale, CPAE
  • Nido Qubein, CSP, CPAE
  • Jeanne Robertson, CSP, CPAE
  • Robert Henry, CSP, CPAE

Since its inception, over $350,000 has been awarded in grants and student memberships to worthy individuals allowing them to achieve their educational goals and to give back to the communities in which they attend classes, work and live.

How can I apply?
To be considered for one of our six scholarships, please review and fill out the Scholarship Criteria and Application Form. The deadline to apply is May 19, 2018.

“I am forever thankful for the generosity and support of the National Speakers Association. As a 2012 Earl Nightingale Scholar, I had the opportunity to obtain a Master’s Degree at my dream institution—Harvard University. Today I use all I gained through this experience to help corporations and organizations tackle tough generational workforce problems, bridge the gap to unleash the potential of next generation employees, and increase sales to Gen Y, Millennial, and Gen Z consumers. I am eternally indebted to the National Speakers Association Foundation for believing in me and believing in the future of this industry. Together, I am confident that we are well on our way to radically changing the world.”
Paul Moya, 2012 Earl Nightingale Scholarship Recipient

“I cannot truly express how touched, amazed, exuberant, and thankful I am to be a scholarship recipient and member of the NSA . Providing me with both the monetary means to achieve my dreams and the entire support of an organization is incredibly humbling. I am now one step closer to my dreams as I volunteered at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in LA. Seeing the tears of joy on those wonderful athletes, as I shed my own tears, solidified my future aspirations and made me even more thankful for this wonderful award. Your kindness and support will never be forgotten, and I cannot wait for the day when I am able to provide others the same wonderful opportunity.”
Isabella Curtoni, 2015 Bill Gove Scholarship Recipient

To honor the memory and contributions of Art Berg, CSP, CPAE, the Art Berg Fund Grant was created to provide grants to 501(c)3 organizations in which an Association member is involved as an active volunteer for use in a technology-related project that enhances communication for the benefit of the clients of the non-profit organization. Each year, one grant is awarded in the amount of $4,000. Examples of the types of projects eligible for funding include:

  • Creating and distributing free audio packages to the blind.
  • Providing software and/or hardware to after-school programs.
  • Developing a wireless project to connect at-risk children and/or their parents to 911 hotlines.
  • Establishing educational programs in sign language to parents/siblings of deaf children.
  • Funding research to identify ways volunteers can use technology to assist the elderly demographic.

To be considered for the Art Berg Fund Grant, please review and fill out the Art Berg Fund Grant Criteria and Application Form (PDF). The deadline to apply is April 20, 2018.

For more information on the Art Berg Fund Grant, please email Jessica@NSAspeaker.org.

Art Berg Fund Grant Recipients

  • 2005 – American Immigration Law Foundation
  • 2006 – Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor
  • 2007 – Royce Arbour, Inc. – Hands on Help for Management
  • 2008 – Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
  • 2009 – Metrocrest Social Services
  • 2010 – Impact on Education
  • 2011 – Second Wind Dreams ®
  • 2012 – ShareTheCaregiving™, Inc.
  • 2013 – Together We Can Change the World
  • 2014 – The Coach Initiative, Inc.
  • 2015 – The Kugler Education Fund at South Africa Partners
  • 2016 – The Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor
  • 2017 – Empowering Lives and Building Foundations

“The support of NSA’s Art Berg Fund Grant will bring enormous benefits to the children and families of A.V. Bukani Primary School in a rural South African township. Through this grant, we will be able to provide critical technical support for the library which was created in 2010 with the help of hundreds of U.S. donors and volunteers. Now, the entire community will have greater access to the books, something the wonderful people of this community so richly deserve.”
Eileen Kugler, Trustee of The Kugler Education Fund at South Africa Partners

In 2014, The NSA Foundation Board of Trustees decided that since our Foundation had been so richly blessed over the years, we needed to “practice what we preached” to our members about being more philanthropic and continuously giving to the Foundation. A decision was made to provide a grant of $10,000 to a charity located in the city where the annual Convention of NSA was being held. That first year, our Convention was in San Diego, CA. Several charitable non-profit organizations in that area were selected and reviewed. The decision was made to provide our first grant to the The Warrior Foundation, a local organization, staffed and managed completely by volunteers who used 100% of the money they were given to provide aid to military veterans in the San Diego area.

  • 2014 San Diego, California, The Warrior Foundation
  • 2015 Washington, D.C., Capital Area Food Bank
  • 2016 Phoenix, Arizona, AZ Maggie’s Place
  • 2017 Orlando, Florida, Edgewood Children’s Ranch, Inc.
Each year at the annual NSA Convention, an event is held to raise awareness and funds for the NSA Foundation. This event is jam-packed with exciting performances and heartfelt stories from past grant recipients. This is also the time where the community grant is awarded to support a charity in the city of our annual convention. When you attend the Foundation event, you get the best in education and entertainment as well as the satisfaction of knowing you are supporting a worthy cause. Look for up-to-date information, and registration details for the next event soon.

How can I request help from the NSA Foundation?
Many people find asking for personal help to be difficult, but it is important to remember that all of us know people in NSA where help is needed. Most of us know personally what it is like to experience difficult times.

The Foundation exists to serve our members; to be there for them when a devastating natural disaster strikes or they face a serious health issue; to help the children of our members or young people they know who could benefit from a college scholarship; to provide funds for a nonprofit organization who needs help making technological improvements; and, to provide a grant to a charity in the location of our Convention each year.

NSA Foundation event

Does one of these scenarios apply to you or someone you know?

  • A health crisis is leading to financial disaster for yourself, your family, or someone you know in NSA who has been a member for at least three years.
  • You have suffered catastrophic losses due to a natural disaster.
  • You are a current or former long-term NSA member who has outlived your assets and are having trouble keeping yourself and your family afloat.
  • You have a student or know of a student who needs help with college tuition.
  • You are part of a non-profit organization that is struggling to find the funds for technology issues.

Contact NSA Headquarters at 480-968-2552 or email Jessica@NSAspeaker.org for more information.

How can I give to the NSA Foundation?

Our ability to help is limited by the amount of money available in a given year through contributions and interest earned on the Foundation’s corpus. Only 75% of the earnings can be used each year so that the corpus (the total amount of money given) remains intact and actually “grows itself” with the 25% of earnings received each year. Following this principle, the Foundation is assured of longevity and the funds are available to provide more help each year.

Contributions come from three basic sources:

  • Major gifts from you or your estate.
  • Memorial and direct contributions from individual NSA members and chapters.
  • Fundraising events such as seminars, receptions and events at NSA Conventions and Conferences.

All donations must follow the NSA Foundation’s Gift Acceptance Policy and NSA’s Code of Ethics.

You can donate any amount and have the option of targeting your philanthropic contribution to a specific Foundation program or establishing a donor-designated fund.

Giving is simple. Here’s how:

  • Donate online by clicking the button below.
  • Make a credit card donation by calling NSA Headquarters at 480-968-2552.
  • Send your donation to: National Speakers Association, Attn: Foundation Donations. 1500 South Priest Drive, Tempe, Arizona 85281
  • Attend a Foundation event at our annual NSA Convention and make an in-person donation.
  • Consider giving through your estate.
  • Obtain a paid-in-full life insurance policy with the NSA Foundation as the named beneficiary.