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Toastmasters International FAQ part 2 of 5: Membership

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alt.org.toastmasters Frequently Asked Questions part 2 of 5:
Membership in Toastmasters International

1. How does one go about joining Toastmasters?

     First, of course, you must have found a club to join.  If you
     have visited a club and found it to your liking, ask a member
     (preferably an officer, who is more likely to be able to help
     you) for an application form.  

     According to the bylaws all Toastmasters clubs operate under,
     any new member of a club must be voted into membership by the
     club.  In practice, this rarely happens.  Instead, members are
     welcomed enthusiastically into the club as soon as a standard
     membership application ("Form 400") is turned in with a check
     for the appropriate dues.

2. How much does membership cost?

     Upon joining Toastmasters, you will find yourself paying three
     different fees.  One is the standard $16.00 fee that every new
     member must pay in order to receive educational materials (see
     below).  One is the standard International dues, $3.00 per
     month.  One is your Club dues, if any.

     All Toastmasters clubs are billed in March and September for
     semi-annual dues for their members who wish to remain members
     for the next six months.  If you join in between those
     periods, you submit a _pro-rated_ share of the dues.

     Clubs usually charge dues on top of the world dues.  This is
     so they'll have money in the treasury for expenses.  It's up
     to each club what they want to charge.  Some clubs waive the
     club dues for new members and only assess them at the semi-
     annual dues payment dates.

     So, to make a long story short, if you join at the following
     times, you'd owe:

     April or October:     $16.00  +  $18.00   +  club dues
     May or November:      $16.00  +  $15.00   +  club dues
     June or December      $16.00  +  $12.00   +  club dues
     July or January       $16.00  +   $9.00   +  club dues
     August or February    $16.00  +   $6.00   +  club dues
     September or March    $16.00  +   $3.00   +  club dues

     Then, once you're signed up, dues of $18.00 are assessed every
     six months, in September and March.

     * Note: due to California law, members of _California_ clubs
     pay sales tax on their new member fee.

3. Can I belong to more than one club?

     Yes.  This is called "dual membership" even if you belong to more
     than two clubs.  When you join the second club, of course, you don't
     need to pay the New Member fee because you don't need a second set of
     starter materials (see below).

4.  If I belong to more than one club, do I have to pay full dues for each?

    Yes.  If you belong to more than one club, you must nonetheless pay full
    dues for each club. 

5. Are my dues tax deductible?

     In the United States, they are -- IF your job is of a sort
     that requires or necessitates good communications skills.  In
     other words, it must be an educational expense to be tax
     deductible.  Toastmasters International will send you complete
     tax deduction explanations if you request them to do so.

6. What do I get for my dues?

     Your $18.00 semi-annual dues paid to World Headquarters goes
     partly for a subscription to the _Toastmaster_ magazine
     (which, to be honest, is an excellent magazine), partly to
     support development of new educational programs (they've got
     some *nice* new programs coming out these days), partly to
     support operations at World Headquarters (i.e. the staff who
     process membership applications, CTM applications, new club
     applications, etc. etc. ad nauseam), and partly to support
     your local District organization.  

     Furthermore, when you finish your CTM, you get three of the
     Advanced project manuals for no extra charge to work toward
     your ATM with.

     Dues went up for the first time in over ten years last year
     and as a result, dues should not rise for a long time (it was
     like pulling teeth to get the most recent dues raise through,
     and some members remain unconvinced that it was necessary). 
     This raise had a lot to do with printing costs and so forth
     quintupling over the last decade.

     Your club dues generally go to pay for the club's supplies,
     such as ballots, awards, ribbons, and educational materials. 
     In some cases, such as when your club has a meal at each
     meeting, your dues may go to pay for that.

7. What do I get for my New Member fee?

     Your $16.00 New Member fee gets you the following:
          * the Communication and Leadership project manual
          * the "Gestures - Your Body Speaks" manual
          * the "A Speaker's Guide to Evaluation" manual
          * the Voice manual

     The latter three are instructional manuals rather than project
     manuals.  Only the first is a workbook.

8.  If I want to drop out of Toastmasters after joining, what do I
do?

     Simply wait for March or September to arrive and don't pay
     your dues again.

     It'd probably be a good idea to let your Vice President 
     Education know to stop scheduling you for speeches, though.

9.  How receptive are clubs to new members?

     Since most people are genuinely terrified of public speaking,
     Toastmasters has its hands full recruiting members.  There's
     virtually no chance that you won't be enthusiastically
     welcomed into any club you join and immediately be considered
     one of the gang.

     Occasionally, however, people get into bad situations, but the
     same is true of ANY organization.  There are jerks everywhere. 
     Toastmasters probably has its share.  For this reason, the
     author of this FAQ considers it a good idea to visit ALL
     Toastmasters clubs in your area before deciding which one you
     want to join.

     If a club that you visit turns out to be full of jerks, please
     don't assume that this is true of the entire organization.  
     Once in a while, people come to forget that they're part of a
     larger organization and act as though the message and mission
     of Toastmasters doesn't concern them.  Please nod, leave, and
     visit some other club.  This is definitely the exception, but
     we cannot honestly say that it never happens.

10.  If I join, will they make me speak right away?

     No.  You will not be asked to speak unless you're ready to. 
     If you feel more comfortable waiting a few months, that's fine.
     Most clubs attempt to arrange the meeting schedules in such
     a way that most members are involved in some capacity at each
     meeting, so you'll need to let them know what your wishes are.



Give Toastmasters a try!  If you want information about clubs in your 
area, do one of the following:

* call (714) 858-8255 and ask
* send a postcard to TI, P.O. Box 9052, Mission Viejo, CA 92690
* access http://www.toastmasters.org/index.html
* send email to tminfo@toastmasters.org (include a postal address)

We're looking forward to seeing you!



User Contributions:

Matthew Kleinosky
Report this comment as inappropriate
Dec 20, 2011 @ 7:07 am
fees are way out of date - need updating.

e.g. $16.00 New Member fee
should be

$20.00 New Member fee

and $3 a month should be $6

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