An honorarium is a monetary token of appreciation in lieu of payment for services.

Foundation Payment of Honoraria

The department receiving the service determines the appropriate amount to pay an individual or guest performing the service. The vendor does not invoice the department because an invoice negates the honorarium agreement.

All Foundation honorarium payments must be made straight to the recipient (vendor) and not to a designated recipient or charity.

If the honorarium is $600 or greater, the recipient will receive a W-9 for the appropriate calendar year.

Foundation Receipt of Honoraria

Given the State guidelines below regarding honoraria, the Foundation cannot deposit honoraria for speaking engagements by State employees that occur relative to the employee’s state duties.

Excerpt from the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management Budget Manual, Section 6.7.

6.7 Honoraria

6.7.1 State Employees

A state employee shall not accept an honorarium for an activity where state-reimbursed travel, work time, or resources are used, or where the activity can be construed as having a relationship to the employee’s state position (G.S. 138A-32). Such activity would be considered official duty on behalf of the state. A relationship exists between the activity and the employee’s state position if the employee would not participate in the activity in the same manner or capacity if not employed in his or her current state job. The employee should make every attempt to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

An employee may receive an honorarium for activities performed during regular non-working hours or while on annual leave if the following conditions are met:

  • All expenses are the total responsibility of the employee or the non-state sponsor of the activity in which the employee is participating.
  • The activity has no relationship to the employee’s state duties.

Nothing in this policy shall be interpreted as preventing the payment to the state by an outside source for actual expenses incurred by an employee in an activity, or the payment of a fee to the state (in lieu of an honorarium to the individual) for the services of an employee. Any such payments made to the state should be deposited to the account and an appropriate entry should be made to the appropriate revenue line.

6.7.2 Non State Employees

Honoraria are the responsibility of each agency contracting for the personal services of a non-state employee. Each agency shall develop a form letter for such invitations and it shall include the amount of the honorarium offered. This amount shall cover any expenses incurred by the non-state employee in lieu of a per diem.

See Questions – Who to Contact for additional support.