Gavel Clubs FAQ
1. What is a Gavel Club?Back to Top
Gavel Clubs are open to any group of individuals who cannot otherwise qualify to become a Toastmasters club due to age restriction (18+ years old) or other circumstances which would prohibit full participation in Toastmasters activities (for example, incarceration). Participants of Gavel Clubs use the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals. The club pays a single, minimal annual fee.
2. What are some of the limitations of a Gavel Club?Back to Top
Gavel Clubs cannot participate in any Toastmasters Area or District speech contests and do not enjoy many of the privileges and benefits of full membership in Toastmasters, including limited access to Toastmasters products. Due to the high cost of translation fees, all Gavel Club materials are only available in English. Additionally, the option for translated materials is not available in print.
3. Can a Gavel Club meet online?Back to Top
No, Gavel Clubs must specify a physical meeting location and may only meet in person.
4. Is a Gavel Club counselor mandatory and are they a participant in the club?Back to Top
A Gavel Club counselor is required for the certification and good standing of all Gavel Clubs. This role is administrative and acts as a point of contact for the club. Gavel Club counselors are not, and cannot be, participating members of the club. The counselor is not a voting member of the club and cannot occupy officer roles.
5. Does the counselor have to be a Toastmasters member?Back to Top
The counselor does not have to be a member of Toastmasters; however, they must be over 18 years old.
6. Does the District get Distinguished Club Program (DCP) credit for starting a new Gavel Club?Back to Top
Gavel Clubs are not assigned to a specific District, so are not eligible to contribute toward DCP points.
7. How does a Gavel Club change its counselor information?Back to Top
An email, letter, or fax from the current counselor should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with notification of the change. The club name along with the full name, address, phone number, and email address of the new counselor must be included.
8. Do Gavel Clubs have access to the Pathways learning experience?Back to Top
Gavel Club participants do not have access to Pathways, the online Toastmasters education program. Gavel Club participants become more confident public speakers and stronger leaders by working in the traditional education program. Gavel Club participants can work their way to the top of the communication track. However, they can only work up to Advanced Leader Bronze in the leadership track.
9. Can Gavel Clubs use the Toastmasters Logo?Back to Top
No. However, they are welcome to use the Gavel Club logo.
10. Can I get a list of all the Gavel Clubs in my area?Back to Top
Gavel Club information is not distributed.
11. Can a Gavel Club and a Toastmasters Club meet at the same place at the same time?Back to Top
Gavel Clubs and Toastmasters Clubs cannot meet together. They can have the same general location and. same time; however, their meetings should be separate.
12. If a former Gavel Club participant joins a Toastmasters Club as a new member, are they still required to pay the $20 New Member Fee?Back to Top
Yes. The $20 New Member Fee is a standard processing fee that all individuals must pay when joining a Toastmasters club for the first time.
13. Is a Gavel Club the same as a Prison Club?Back to Top
No, there are some Toastmasters clubs in prisons that work with the Pathways program. If inmates lack internet access or funds to pay for a Toastmasters membership, a Gavel Club is a viable alternative.
14. Is a Gavel Club required to fill all officer positions?Back to Top
No, the standard minimum three required will suffice. The three required positions are President, any Vice President, and Secretary, each held by different individuals.
15. Do Gavel Clubs have Employer Identification Numbers (EINs)?Back to Top
Gavel Clubs do not qualify for an EIN.
16. Can a Gavel Club open a bank account?Back to Top
Gavel Clubs may apply for bank accounts based on local ordinances. In the United States, an EIN is usually required to open a bank account. However, EINs are not provided to Gavel Clubs.
Below are a few alternate suggestions:
- A responsible counselor may open a checking account at a bank in their name, which the club may use.
- The Gavel Club can hold and use a physical lockbox, in which club funds may be stored and held by the Treasurer and passed along after each term.
If an existing Toastmasters club sponsors the Gavel Club, they can hold funds in a bank account under the club's name.
EDUCATION & CREDIT
1. Does a Toastmasters member or club have to sponsor a Gavel Club?Back to Top
Although it would benefit the Gavel Club, a Gavel Club is not required to have any affiliation with a Toastmasters club or member.
2. If a Toastmasters club or member sponsors or mentors a Gavel Club, does the club/member get credit for sponsoring a new club?Back to Top
Toastmasters members will not receive sponsor or mentor credit but may use the Gavel Club as part of developing their Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) project. Clubs do not receive credit for sponsoring a Gavel Club.
3. Can Gavel Club participants achieve education awards?Back to Top
Yes, Gavel Club participants can work their way to the top of the Communication Track. However, they can only achieve through the Advanced Leader Bronze in the Leadership Track. Gavel Club participants cannot achieve the Advanced Leadership(ALS) or Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM,) and we cannot process a High Performance Leadership award for Gavel Club participants.
4. Can a Gavel Club conduct a speech contest?Back to Top
Since Gavel Club members are not paid members and there is no Area, Division, or District contest they can progress to, they cannot have an official speech contest. However, if a Gavel Club wants to host an event and use the rulebook as a guideline, they can do so. It is not a Toastmasters contest, and Toastmasters International is not responsible for checking eligibility.
1. How many participants are needed to certify a Gavel Club?Back to Top
Excluding the required Gavel Club counselor, at least three total participants are required to fill minimum officer roles.
2. What are the fees involved with a Gavel Club?Back to Top
There is a one-time certification fee of $125 USD. Additionally, annual club dues are $125 USD. The initial dues are prorated depending on the certification month. The 125 USD annual dues cover the entire club; individual members are not charged a membership fee.
3. How many physical materials/kits does a Gavel Club receive with their club certification?Back to Top
None. Gavel clubs receive digital copies of the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals along with a link to other club resources once certification is complete.
GAVEL CLUB ORDERS
1. Does the club have to be active for the counselor to be able to purchase materials?Back to Top
Yes. Only the counselor on file can place an order for materials. Participants may not place orders.
GAVEL CLUB RENEWALS
1. If a Gavel Club does not pay at renewal time, what happens to the club?Back to Top
Unpaid clubs are suspended. A club in suspended status cannot have participant education awards processed or material orders fulfilled. Clubs can face permanent closure if dues are unpaid after two renewal periods have passed. A closed club is subject to all certification requirements and previous club records are no longer applicable.
2. When are Gavel Club renewal notices sent out, and to whom?Back to Top
The renewal notices are emailed to all Gavel Club counselors of current Gavel Clubs in mid-September.
3. When are renewal payments due for Gavel Clubs?Back to Top
Renewal payments are due November 1 each year. The Gavel Club annual term runs from November 1 to October 31. The $125 USD annual dues cover the entire club.
4. What is sent out to Gavel Clubs once they pay their renewal dues?Back to Top
Each renewal period, Gavel Clubs receive a link to the digital Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals when the renewal is processed.