What is Rotary?Back to Top
Rotary International is a global network of volunteer leaders and problem-solvers dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges, including those involving literacy, peace, water, and health (such as eradicating polio worldwide). For more than 110 years, Rotary's “people of action” have used their passion, energy, and intellect to act on sustainable projects that better our world and our communities. Like Toastmasters, everything in Rotary revolves around the club. Currently, there are more than 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world.
Why are Rotary and Toastmasters working together?Back to Top
Toastmasters and Rotary want to offer the best membership experience possible. There is much excitement about leveraging unique and similar strengths.
A collaboration between our organizations provides Toastmasters the opportunity to apply public speaking and communication skills, make new connections, and possibly give back to their communities through a vast array of service projects.
In turn, Rotary members have more opportunities for personal and professional growth to improve their leadership and communication skills.
How does Toastmasters benefit from this alliance?Back to Top
From a member point of view, Toastmasters have the opportunity to take their leadership skills and apply them outside of the club environment to make more of a community impact. As an organization, Toastmasters is open to potential new markets and members.
How can my club support the collaboration?Back to Top
The goal of this collaboration is to leverage our organizations’ strengths. There are multiple opportunities to support this, including:
Has the alliance resulted in any new programs?Back to Top
Yes, Toastmasters applied our educational expertise to create co-branded, structured leadership development courses for Rotary members, available on their website.
This structured program is based on current Pathways content, relying on self-assessment, independent study, applied projects, peer-to-peer feedback, and reflection. While the courses are based on Pathways, they are not the same. These courses are specifically for Rotarians and Rotaractors and reflects projects from various paths in Pathways, already available to Toastmasters. As part of this alliance, you may also have a Rotarian visit your club to receive an evaluation.
The first two courses, Develop a Speech and Deliver a Speech, launched May 2020 for Rotary members. In September 2020, Rotary received the final of eight leadership development courses, and in early 2021, they finished rolling out these courses in nine languages.
Do Rotarians receive credit in Pathways if they complete the Rotary courses and then join Toastmasters?Back to Top
No. There is no credit provided in Pathways for completing the Rotary courses. While these courses take content from Pathways, they are not as in-depth as the Pathways projects. Rotarians who join a Toastmasters club will benefit from completing all projects in their selected path. There is content included in Pathways projects that will be critical to the new Toastmaster’s learning.
As a Toastmasters member, do I have a role in helping Rotary members through the leadership courses?Back to Top
The Rotary course information is available only to Rotary members as part of their Rotary membership. With this in mind, Rotary members are encouraged to reach out to their world headquarters with any questions they may have regarding the courses and how to access them. As experienced speakers and evaluators, Toastmasters members may evaluate Rotary member speeches if invited to do so. However, Toastmasters members will not be able, nor are they expected, to answer questions, advise, or council Rotarians specifically about the Rotary courses.
Can Toastmasters take these leadership development and communication courses?Back to Top
No, not as a Toastmaster. You would have to be a member of Rotary to enroll. However, the content is based on Pathways, which is already available to Toastmasters members and is much more in-depth; the leadership development and communication courses would be more of a sample of the Pathways content. These courses will be optional for Rotary members.
Can Toastmasters also be members of Rotary and vice versa?Back to Top
Yes, you can absolutely be a member of both organizations. There are even some Toastmasters clubs that exist within Rotary clubs.
Is there a discount for Toastmasters members who want to join Rotary or for Rotarians who want to join Toastmasters?Back to Top
No, there are no discounts for dual membership currently.
Do Rotary clubs know about this alliance?Back to Top
Just like Toastmasters, Rotary International has communicated with its leaders that our two organizations are working together. However, there is the possibility that you may try to connect with a Rotary club that has not yet heard about the alliance. If that happens, you can share what you know (perhaps even sending them this FAQ), or direct them to www.toastmasters.org/Rotary for more information.
It’s important to note that much like Toastmasters clubs, Rotary clubs are autonomous, and determine their own activities/priorities that reflect their members’ interests and community’s needs. If a club doesn’t have the capacity or interest to collaborate at this time, there may be another one nearby with a better fit.
How far out is the alliance planned for?Back to Top
The strategic alliance is an ongoing collaboration.
Where can I go for more information?Back to Top
Can Toastmasters clubs or Districts participate in Rotary club or district fundraisers?Back to Top
If an individual Toastmasters member chooses to participate in a Rotary event, it is their personal choice. However, it is against Toastmasters policy to co-sponsor fundraising events and therefore, clubs and Districts cannot use their name in connection with non-educational events. Please keep this in mind if a Rotary club extends an invitation for fundraising.
What can I do as a club officer to support the Rotary/Toastmasters alliance?Back to Top
The ongoing relationship between Toastmasters and Rotary began at the grassroots level with local club involvement. Toastmasters club leaders and members have the option and opportunity to engage with the alliance by:
- Visiting a Rotary club meeting
- Ask club leaders if you can attend as a guest to observe how it works. Stay afterward to introduce yourself and potentially invite a member to attend your Toastmasters club meeting.
- Welcoming Rotarians who visit your club and providing them with information about Toastmasters
- Inviting a Rotarian to be a guest speaker at an upcoming meeting
- Holding a joint meeting with a Rotary club
Keep in mind that there is no requirement that Toastmasters clubs become involved in the Toastmasters Rotary alliance. However, if your club is interested in supporting the alliance, you can see what others are doing via this interactive map with examples of local collaboration.
- Visiting a Rotary club meeting
What topics would be covered in a joint Toastmasters Rotary meeting and what is the expected outcome?Back to Top
If you choose to hold a joint meeting with a local Rotary club, the goal would be to connect with local Rotarians, share more about Toastmasters, and learn about Rotary. Topics covered in your meeting could include a presentation about who Toastmasters is and how your club functions, as well as a presentation by a Rotarian sharing information about Rotary. This meeting would be an opportunity for members to meet one another and learn more about each organization.