Twenty at last!

WA has an average membership of 20.0!

At week end September 24 we had 1,100 members in our 55 clubs.  That is an average of 20.0!

What’s the big deal?

I have been keeping detailed records of our WA Clubs for over 10 years.  This is the first time in that time we have reached this significant average.  It’s significant because Toastmasters International makes this the goal for clubs and Districts – 20 members is needed for effective club maintenance.

District WA

In the early days of our campaign for our own District in WA we were given two targets to reach – at least 60 clubs and an average membership of 20.  That was when we had 35 clubs and an average membership of 16.7!   Well, we have reached an average of 20 members per club (but not for long – see below), but we have only 55 clubs.  Yet, World Headquarters has promised we will be a full District on July 1, 2011 – only 9 months away.  What is going on?

Two things have tipped the scales in our favour

The first is our energetic pursuit of growth in new clubs.  In the 4 years since Mike Helm became the first West Australian District Governor of District 73 and I launched the District WA brand, we have been averaging a net growth of 5 clubs a year.  That average growth has given credibility to our push.  It has been significant overall and steady from year to year.

The second is pure luck! Toastmasters International has re-organised their structure to make it reflect the reality that growth is occurring outside North America.  A Region structure has been adopted with a minimum of 5 Districts per Region.  Geographically Australia and New Zealand have been grouped together in Region 12.  Currently there are 3 Australian Districts – District 69 Queensland and the Northern Territory, District 70 New South Wales and Canberra and ou District 73 Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and WA – and 1 New Zealand District – District 72.  Region 12 needs another District to bring up its quota.  Enter District WA.  They need us and we have established credibility – they know we will get there soon, so they have relaxed the entry criteria.  In November this year we will be allocated our District number, along with a new District in China.  That is very appropriate given the close association between our WA mining industry and China.

Twenty now!  16 next month?

That’s my gloomy prediction, again based on monitoring our figures over many years.  Members must renew their membership for the next six months by September 30 – next Thursday.  In practice the real date in the past has been October 9 and the final figures wont be available until about October 23.  When they come through most clubs will have suffered a member loss of about 20%, which will bring our WA totals down to around 900 members and an average of less than 17.  That’s my prediction.    And then we start the climb up again – more clubs and more new members.

Let’s start the action now.

David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator

David Nicholas