The all time high
During September the total financial membership of Toastmasters in WA went over 1,000. You can track the current registered membership for each club, area and division at the DCP Report Page.
This is the first time we have exceeded this milestone. It won’t be the last. But we have to brace ourselves for …..
The coming plunge
Yes, our membership will drop dramatically in the next few weeks. The Renewals will do it.
Financial membership in Toastmasters runs in two 6 month cycles – from April to September and from October to the following March. The previous 6 month cycle from April to September has just expired. A payment of US$27 is required to maintain member status. Many clubs will have members who have not yet renewed – perhaps they are not going to, or in many cases they haven’t done so yet. That’s the group of members that clubs need to target. They intend to renew but haven’t done so.
There is a grace period for the next few weeks
Member payments lodged up to October 10 will be accepted as meeting the September 30 target. Beyond that, there is a grace period up to November 30. The full 6 month fee paid up to then will maintain a member’s financial status in the 6 month period. After November 30 members need to be reinstated.
There’s work to be done
Area Governors – you have an important role here. Perhaps the officers of one or more of your clubs don’t understand the situation. If they haven’t yet lodged any Renewals, they may need help to train them in the procedure. You can direct them to a page which explains the payment procedure. Or they may have lodged a small number and need to contact the remaining members to pay the club member fees so they can be sent to Toastmasters International.
The member drop is not a disaster
It is inevitable that there will be peaks in March and September and falls in April and October. That’s a fact of life for our clubs – average membership time is about 18 months, so on average clubs will lose about 1/3 of their membership at Renewal time. We don’t like to lose members, but it is part of our cycle. That’s why recruiting new members is such a priority – constantly we need new members to join to maintain our club strength.
How long before we hit the 1,000 target again?
That’s an important question. We need to build steadily now that we have provisional status for District WA. If we grow steadily, adding new clubs and building the membership of our existing clubs, we may be there by Christmas.
Yes, club and member growth is important always, but particularly so now for us in WA, now that we have Provisional District status approved.
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David Nicholas DTM
Western Division Governor 2009/10