From civic halls to board rooms, public libraries to government agencies, restaurants to retirement centers, Toastmasters clubs are in communities, businesses, and organizations, small and large, throughout the world. Toastmasters has several types of clubs, including the following categories:
- Community Club
- College Club
- Company Club
- Government Agency
- Advanced Toastmasters
- Military Club
- Other Institution or Specialized Club
- Correctional Institution
Most clubs, however, fall into one of two general categories: "Community" clubs or "Company" clubs. Within each category a club may be either an "open" club or a "closed" club having specific membership requirements.
Most new Toastmasters Clubs are formed in cities where other clubs already exist. However, there are thousands of communities large enough to support at least one Club but don’t presently have a Toastmasters Club. Community Clubs in urban areas whose membership is open to anyone are very common; these exist in every Toastmasters District, but a tremendous number of new club opportunities still exist in this market. They can be difficult to build unless you conduct a planned, organized campaign.
Nearly half of the new Toastmasters clubs being formed fall into this category. Corporations, government agencies, and other organizations recognize that Toastmasters offers the most effective, cost-efficient form of communication training available.
Open Versus Closed Clubs
Most Toastmasters Clubs are open to any interested individuals. The membership of some clubs, referred to as “closed” Clubs, is restricted to a certain group of people. This most often occurs when a company forms a club for its employees only.
Membership is not restricted according to age (except those persons under 18 years of age - see Youth Leadership Program), race, color, creed, sex, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, marital or veteran status, or physical or mental disability, so long as the individual is able to participate in the program.
As you organize a Toastmasters Club you’ll need some specific materials. The most important of these is this manual, How to Build a Toastmasters Club: A Step-by-Step Guide.