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Club Charters Are Not Transferable

A new charter is smarter!

When struggling clubs are losing the battle, the question often comes up about transferring the club charter to another group. This tactic should be avoided for some good reasons. The first is, transfer of a club charter is specifically prohibited by Toastmasters International policy, as follows:

“There shall be no transfer of an issued charter from an inactive club to another group whose members are either interested in organizing a new club or in joining an existing club.” Though this policy may seem harsh, setting up a new charter is preferred for the following reasons:

New clubs are more successful
If a new club has 20 members, it has a much better chance for success than a smaller club. Moreover, it’s eligible for sponsors and mentors to keep that success going. Remember, Toastmasters International provides materials to sponsors and mentors to help successfully manage the new club. New clubs also receive administrative/start-up materials. In short, these clubs have the tools and resources they need to function.  If a group takes over an old charter, many times they have minimal materials.

Corporate Clubs Find New Opportunities
Recently, some corporate clubs have faced a crisis – the company employing the members and sponsoring the club has folded. This sort of situation is not pleasant for members suddenly finding themselves without a club. However, remember the old adage: When a door is shut, a window opens. This simple yet strong statement holds true in most cases. Opportunities arise when the employees are hired to start fresh with a new company.

In some cases, large numbers of employees are hired from a failed company directly (and as a group) to a new employer. The question arises, “Why can’t we just transfer our charter?” But why miss the opportunity to start fresh with a new company culture? Have fun mixing your new home into a new club culture.

As a hypothetical example, let’s say Beagle Manufacturers shut their doors, and most of its employees were hired by Beagle’s competitor, Dachshund, Inc. The members of the Beagle Toastmasters club were tempted to transfer their old charter to the new company. But in the end it made much more sense to start a new club, Dachshund Hounds, to represent the new home for its meetings. And Dachshund Hounds changed the meeting time from mornings to lunches to take advantage of their new company’s exceptional cafeteria.

So, move on in style. Start fresh with your new club. It’s a great opportunity to give back to your new employer and your new group.