Smedley Fund FAQ
What is the Ralph C. Smedley Memorial Fund® (“Smedley Fund”)?Back to Top
Toastmasters International established the Ralph C. Smedley Memorial Fund® in 1965 to advance its mission through the research, development and distribution of educational programs and materials relating to communication and leadership.
According to Policy 8.5, the Smedley Fund is the organization’s only repository for charitable contributions. It is restricted to educational purposes and cannot be used for operating expenses or capital expenditures.
How will my contribution help others?Back to Top
Your gift, no matter how big or small, is an investment that will pay dividends in the personal and professional lives of members around the world. As contributions increase, more people will benefit from the Toastmasters experience.
Can I designate my donation for a specific purpose (i.e. youth)?Back to Top
While the organization would prefer your contribution to be unrestricted, we will certainly accept your contribution. However, unrestricting your contribution opens doors for the Board of Directors to research, determine and address the greatest needs.
Why is there a focus on fundraising now?Back to Top
In Toastmasters International's 2010 Strategic Plan, one of the five-year objectives was to increase non-traditional revenue to invest in education and training, which in turn supports a higher-value Toastmasters experience. The strategy was to reinvigorate the Smedley Fund to enhance education program development worldwide and assist with meeting the educational needs of the membership and community in a wide range of cultural, social and economic situations.
Who authorizes distributions from the Smedley Fund?Back to Top
According to Policy 8.5, only the Board of Directors has the authority to approve distributions from the fund.
What are some examples of how the funds were used in the past?Back to Top
- The establishment of a Speech Evaluation Research Grant to research the best technique of speech evaluation.
- The completion of a new leadership manual.
- Additions to the Toastmasters website, including an online club locator, online catalog, online Distinguished Club Program reports and online data submission.
- A video on how to conduct speech evaluations, emphasizing the importance of constructive, helpful evaluations and offering examples.
- Market research on awareness and perception of Toastmasters International and its programs, in particular its leadership programs, to guide the formulation of future programs and practices.
- A qualitative research project to explore opportunities for the youth market.
- The development of a new youth market program (Interpersonal Communication: A Toastmasters Youth Communication Module).
- Support of the development of the Toastmasters Pathways learning experience.
Will there be changes to the contributor recognition program?Back to Top
Yes. In January 2017, Toastmasters International will launch a new contributor recognition program that will focus on giving more recognition to individual contributors, club contributors and corporate contributors. Tokens of appreciation will continue to be sent to contributors.
Is my contribution tax deductible? What if I am not from the United States?Back to Top
Toastmasters International holds a 501(c)(3) nonprofit U.S. Federal tax exemption (EIN 95-1300076), which means that your contribution may be listed as a tax deduction if you live in the United States. If you live outside the United States, please consult your tax advisor to find out if your donation is tax deductible.
Will I receive updates on the impact of my contribution?Back to Top
Yes! Updates will be published in future Toastmaster magazines and Financial Reports. These reports will be emailed, mailed and/or made accessible to you through the Toastmasters International website.