Membership Building Ideas

Members are the life-blood of our Toastmasters clubs. 20 is the magic number: to charter a new club, to be distinguished for exisiting clubs, to maintain the energy and people needed to fill the club positions each week at the meeting.

Virtually all Toastmasters clubs need a constant influx of new members to stay healthy. People move, get that promotion because of their improved self-confidence and speaking skills, take a break for family, health issues – among many reasons. The bottom line is most members join Toastmasters with specific objectives in mind and leave when they have achieved them. More than 95% of the people who leave Toastmasters leave happy and say they might join again in the future.

There are many things your club can do to attract new members and/or keep the ones they already have. If your club is struggling with membership, are you and your fellow members doing three simple things:

  1. Getting Guests
  2. Converting Guests to Members
  3. Retaining Members

If not, below are some ideas on membership building

Membership 101

You need at least 20 members to maintain charter strength or a net growth of 5 members if under 20, to be eligible for the DCP, and put on dynamic meetings. Set a goal of one to two new members a month. Accomplish this by:

Getting Guests

  • Word-of-mouth, bring a friend, co-worker, anyone who will listen
  • Hold an Open House
  • Participate in TI membership contests during the year:
    • Annual Membership Program – recognizes individuals who sponsor 5, 10, 15 or more new members during the year
    • Smedley Award – Clubs adding 5 new members during August-September
    • Talk up Toastmasters – Clubs adding 5 new members during February-March
    • Beat the Clock – Clubs adding 5, new, dual, or reinstated members during May-June
    • District 5 Sponsored Contests – watch for announcements during the year
  • Hand out flyers to business around your meeting location
  • Create a Club Website – (then link your club’s site to TI & District 5)
  • Publicity (FYI or Calendar section in local newspaper, submit an article)
  • Hold a Speechcraft
  • Have club business cards to hand out
  • Wear your Toastmaster pin to work
  • Recycle Toastmaster magazines to promote TM
  • Post a sign showing TM meeting times at your meeting place

Converting Guests to Members

  • Make guests feel welcome
  • Rate your meeting quality, the club climate makes the difference – View¬†Guest Friendly checklist [PDF]
  • Have name tags for members and guests
  • Have a guest register
  • As Toastmaster of the Day call on a person sitting next to the guest introduce them
  • Have a Guest Packet to give every potential member
  • Follow up with guests by e-mail, a note or telephone
  • Ask them to join (many clubs simply forget this step)
  • Submit new member applications to Toastmasters Headquarters right away – Mail application, or on-line at Toastmaters International / Members

Retaining Members

  • Assign a mentor for new members
  • Conduct a new member orientation
  • Members give manual speeches
  • Members receive effective evaluations
  • Start meetings on time, every meeting – end on time.
  • Prepare an agenda for the meeting
  • Toastmaster contacts people on the schedule
  • Fulfill your assignments or find a replacement
  • Create a professional feel to the meeting
  • Be willing to fill in for missing members
  • Hold special meetings
  • Have a theme for your meetings
  • Include educational training presentations
  • Follow up on members who have missed meetings
  • Recognition on completing awards (half-CC, CC, AC, CL, AL etc.)
  • Attend Club Officer Training, Conferences, Workshops, Educational programs during term.

Want more ideas?HundredsMembershipIdeas [PDF file]

Need more help? Contact your Area Director, Division Director, or Club Growth Director.

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