Overview of Starting a New Community Club

It takes some hard work. Of course it does. But it's a straightforward activity if you follow the process explained here. We know it works because of our success in using it to establish many new clubs.

There is a more detailed version of this plan available for you to work with as well.

Work hard and work smart.

Leonor Ragan DTM

Leonor Ragan DTM

Get your funding in place

You are going to need money - it takes from $500 to $1,000 to set up a Community Club like this. The good news is that we can organise quite a lot of funds to help.  District 17 has some limited funds available for this process. For further information email Leonor Ragan D17 District Director. However there is much more support available from a few of our active clubs in WA.  Email David Nicholas or phone him on 0401 011 212.

Apply to World Headquarters to Organise a Toastmaster Club.

That costs US$125 which is about A$180 at present (Jan 2016). For that you get a big box with 20 New Member kits, and a lot of other helpful publications.

Open a bank account

  • With no fees - yes, societies accounts still exist.
  • You use the Club Number supplied by World Headquarters when you apply to organise the club.
  • You need a preliminary business meeting to appoint a temporary President, Treasurer/Secretary and Vice President Education. This meeting authorises the bank account.

Find a venue that is central to your target audience

Most suburban Councils have community centres with suitable rooms.  There may be a TAFE or a Bowling Club.  Check out your location.

Set a date for the Demonstration meeting

  • Not too soon, because you need time for the publicity.
  • Not too far away, because your helpers will grow tired of waiting.

Recruit a team of helpers.

You will need

  • 2 Demonstration speakers - one should be a rookie and one should be experienced.
  • 1 Table Topics Master and 1 Table Topics Evaluator.
  • 1 Timer.
  • 1 extra helper to be a speech evaluator.
  • 2 experienced Toastmasters to be Mentors for the club for the first 6 months - they are very important - and of course they will fill some of the helping roles already outlined.

Market your meeting

  • It's best to use professionally printed flyers which are letterboxed.
  • Ask for a phone response so you have an idea of how many will turn up.
  • Contact a reporter from the local newspaper - they will probably be pleased to get the story.
  • Approach local schools to put into their newsletter to parents.

Have a look at the Canning Vale Flyer for a very successful example.

Make the demo meeting the best and liveliest meeting you can.

  • Involve your audience by showing them some basic speaking skills in an interactive workshop - get them to stand up, show them good stance, where to put their arms and hands, and eye contact.
  • Get them involved in table topics.
  • Have a demonstration Icebreaker
  • Have a question and answer session at the end.

Have a look at the Canning Vale Demonstration Meeting Agenda

Keep a record of everyone who attended

Get their phone # and email address and follow up if you need to.

Bring application forms and ask people to join.

  • Get them to fill in the New Club Member Application Form - it's different from the standard New Member Application Form.
  • Collect the money - or arrange for it to be collected next meeting

Complete the documentation and send it to World Headquarters

The new club has to hold a formal business meeting at which it chooses a name, elects Officers, decides on various housekeeping issues and adopts the Toastmasters Constitution.

Someone has to complete the application and send it to World Headquarters.  An important part of this is to pay the necessary fees.

Do you want help?

If you want to discuss your idea or proposal for a new club, contact David Nicholas DTM, the District 17 New Clubs Coordinator.

For a more detailed version of this plan have a look at Community Clubs Check List.

David Nicholas
David Nicholas DTM
District 17 New Clubs Coordinator
0401 011 212