by Larry Core DTM Finance Manager
What happens to the $45.00 Toastmaster International dues paid twice a year? Twenty-five percent of it is returned to the District Reserve bank account. That’s right. For every $45.00 collected by Toastmasters International, $11.25 is returned to the District.
These funds must be used for the benefit of the District and its mission. To ensure they are used appropriately, each year District leaders prepare a budget describing the anticipated revenue and how the funds are allocated.
Toastmaster International Protocol 8.4 District Fiscal Management requires that expenses be incurred in the following priority:
- Education and Training
- Marketing outside Toastmasters
- Club growth and club retention
- Membership growth and membership retention
- District communication and public
While the above five categories are considered the highest priority, additional expense categories may also be considered important to the District’s mission such as:
- Speech contests conducted by the District
- Administration expenses and District meetings
- Food and meals
Every item in District 25’s budget is carefully considered and measured against its ability to support the District Mission, its clubs and members. For example, recognition awards and incentives in the form of Toastmaster International Gift Certificates encourage club and membership growth and achievement. Club officers are provided specialized training twice a year. There are expenses from the Area, Division, and District International Speech Contests to encourage and recognize member development.
Other expenses supporting the District Mission include the District 25 website, the Hot Topics monthly newsletter, and the production of marketing materials and videos.
Production and support costs related to the Fall Summit and Spring Conference education sessions are considered vital to supporting the District mission. Yes, these events have Toastmaster registration costs, but those costs generally cover only the cost of the venue and the meals. There are many other necessary program costs including printing, Audio/Visual services, and keynote speaker gifts.
Marketing outside Toastmasters is an expense category expected to increase in the near future. TI World Headquarters is delivering large volumes of public announcements through various marketing channels. This year’s District budget requirements reflect the increased importance of external marketing.
District 25 leadership is very sensitive to spending its funds carefully. Every expense is pre-authorized and measured against how well it supports the District mission, the clubs, and members.
I encourage each of you to pay your Toastmaster International dues before the October 1 deadline. Remember, twenty-five percent will be returned to District 25.