Toastmasters International — Featured Article March 2023

March 2023 Leader Letter

Help Them Find Your Club

Maximize your existing resources to their fullest club-growing ability!

By Kiki Jones

Illustration of four people at a holiday party

As a club or District leader, it may sometimes feel like a daunting task to grow your membership base while simultaneously managing your other Toastmasters responsibilities (not to mention life outside of Toastmasters!) However, one of your most powerful recruitment tools may currently be under-utilized.

Between July 1, 2022 and December 31, 2022, Toastmasters International collected 91,068 unique inquiries through Find a Club. That's a lot of people who are eager to nurture their communication skills! However, a recent survey to Find a Club prospective members revealed that 41.6% of those surveyed never visited a club because they never heard back from club leadership.

Could your club have accidentally missed out on connecting with someone who was interested in seeing what Toastmasters is about? Follow these tips to ensure you successfully follow up with all your future Find a Club prospects.

  1. Update your club's Find a Club information. It's possible that the email address connected to your club in Find a Club belongs to someone who served as an officer years ago! It's worth double-checking now to ensure current club officers are set up to receive Find a Club inquiries. To do so, go to Club Central, select the “Club Contact and Meeting Information” card in the “Club Management” section of the page, and update all fields with your club's current information.
    Additionally, if you link out to a club website or social media accounts, make sure that your Club President, Vice President Membership, and Club Secretary all have log-in information to those accounts in case a prospective member chooses to reach out to your club through one of those platforms.
  2. Create a communications monitoring plan. A prospective member is the most energized about visiting your club in the days following their initial contact. By checking your club's email (and other platforms) at least every 48 hours, you'll be able to respond to the prospect while they're most likely still enthusiastic about visiting. But you don't have to take this task on alone! You could ask for a member of your leadership team to take sole responsibility for checking and responding to communications, or you could establish a scheduled rotation for which officer will take responsibility for this task at scheduled intervals (each month, for example). Establishing a system for checking club communications will empower you to quickly respond to people who could be the perfect fit for your club.
  3. Establish a prospect follow-up plan. Don't feel discouraged if the prospective member does not respond to your initial email. They may be busy, or even confused about the club visit/joining process. Either way, follow-up contact will keep Toastmasters top of mind, help you gauge and encourage the prospect's interest, and enable you to clear up any confusion to support them in visiting a club meeting. It is recommended that you personalize the linked email templates to respond to the prospect's inquiry within 48 hours, follow up four days after your initial response if you haven't heard back yet, and touch base a last time seven days after your previous email if your first two contacts went unanswered.

Additional Resource:

Prospective Member Conversion Guide