NEW CLUB BUILDING
Toastmasters clubs are formed every day in a variety of settings. They meet at corporations, churches, community centers—even in restaurants. Clubs identify themselves in many ways. Generally speaking, clubs identified as community clubs are open to anyone. However, a community club may opt to include only members who meet certain criteria; in such cases, the community club is considered “closed.” For example, advanced clubs require that members are all Advanced Toastmasters.
New club building is a significant to District 12’s growth. The first step involves identifying the need for a startup club.
- Is there a geographical location not currently served by a club?
- Are there communities or cultural groups that could benefit from Toastmasters?
- If you speak a foreign language, is there a need for a local club that focuses on that language?
- What is the key industry in your area? Does it have a vertically-focused Toastmasters group?
Contact the Lieutenant Governor of Marketing (LGM@d12toastmasters.org) if you wish to discuss a prospective club idea. The LGM will work with you and the New Club Building Team to plan and schedule a meeting structure, prepare a sample club meeting, and determine how to best reach out to prospective members.
Types of Clubs
From civic halls to board rooms, public libraries to government agencies, restaurants to retirement centers, Toastmasters clubs are in communities, businesses, and organizations, small and large, throughout the world. Toastmasters has several types of clubs, including the following categories:
- Community Club
- College Club
- Company Club
- Government Agency
- Advanced Toastmasters
Most clubs, however, fall into one of two general categories: “Community” clubs or “Company” clubs. Within each category a club may be either an “open” club or a “closed” club having specific membership requirements.
Most new Toastmasters Clubs are formed in cities where other clubs already exist. However, there are thousands of communities large enough to support at least one Club but don’t presently have a Toastmasters Club. Community Clubs in urban areas whose membership is open to anyone are very common; these exist in every Toastmasters District, but a tremendous number of new club opportunities still exist in this market. They can be difficult to build unless you conduct a planned, organized campaign.
Nearly half of the new Toastmasters clubs being formed fall into this category. Corporations, government agencies, and other organizations recognize that Toastmasters offers the most effective, cost-efficient form of communication training available.
Open Versus Closed Clubs
Most Toastmasters Clubs are open to any interested individuals. The membership of some clubs, referred to as “closed” Clubs, is restricted to a certain group of people. This most often occurs when a company forms a club for its employees only.
Membership is not restricted according to age (except those persons under 18 years of age – see Youth Leadership Program), race, color, creed, sex, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, or physical or mental disability, so long as the individual is able to participate in the program.
As you organize a Toastmasters Club you’ll need some specific materials. The most important of these is this manual, How to Build a Toastmasters Club: A Step-by-Step Guide.
Each new club needs two mentors and two sponsors to provide guidance during the first six months of meetings. If you derive satisfaction from seeing others succeed in a new endeavor, contact the Lieutenant Governor of Marketing (LGM@d12toastmasters.org) for more information about being a Sponsor or Mentor to a new club. Serving in this capacity not only helps the new club and the district, but also fulfills a requirement to achieving the Advanced Leader Silver (ALS) designation. *Mentors must be approved by the District Governor to serve.