European Reformation Committee Report

UPDATE: In August 2016, The Toastmasters International Board of Directors approves the below proposal.

NEW DISTRICTS NUMBERS
In the last Toastmasters International Board Meeting, the numbers of the new districts are the following:
– 59 District “B” (FR, NL, BE, LU, MC)
– 107 District “A” (ES, PT, AD)
– 109 District “E” (IT, CH, AT, BG, CY, GR, FL, MK, SM, VA).
You may find this information in the meeting minutes of the 14th December meeting at www.toastmasters.org

Following instruction from the Toastmasters International Board of Directors in August 2015 to districts 59 and 95 to set up a joint reformation committee.

The committee’s task was to conduct a needs analysis and develop a reformation proposal to create district structures in Europe that are:

  • In line with Toastmasters Policy (policy 7.0)
  • Sustainable
  • Operationally manageable
  • For implementation on 1st July 2018, needs Board of Directors approval.

Between September 2015 and January 2016, an analysis study on the foresight in club growth took into account factors such as financial feasibility, leadership potential, and geographical considerations.

The final report from the European Committee is now available here.

European Reformation Draft Proposal

During the ongoing Executive Committee meetings in Nice and Budapest on February 6th, Morag Mathieson, the Chair of the European Reformation Committee, is presenting a draft proposal to reform two districts. Members from both districts are attending the online session. The draft proposal results from an in-depth exploration of over 20 possible options. Upon scrutiny, the Committee deems most of these options unviable due to their numerous disadvantages.

The draft proposal was open for discussion until March 19th. Until that date, questions were sent to the committee, and all questions and answers are in the FAQ section below. On behalf of the Reformation Committee, we thank you for sending questions and comments about the reformation process and proposal.

There were three webinars held in both Districts:

You can access the replay at the end of this page. 

The Reformation Committee will send the final proposal to the District Directors by April 2nd and to all district council members on April 16. District Council Meetings will be held in May for the vote. You can send your feedback to the European Reformation Committee.

Timetable for Reformation of Districts 59 & 95

Dec, 16th 2015 & Jan, 7th 2016 Webinars for members to ask about reformation (the proposal will not be prepared)
Feb, 7th 2016Presentation of proposals to district officers at District Executive Commettee Meetings (DECM)
February 2016Proposal avaliable on district websites & webinar for club officers & members
February, 18th 2016Webinar for club officers & members Discussion on Division, Area and Club Level
Until March 19th 2016Question & Answers to Reformation Committee
April 2th 2016Final proposal send to District Directors
May 2016District Council vote on proposals - D95 on May 14th and D59
August 2016Proposal APPROVED by Toastmasters International Board of Directors
July 1st 2017 - June 20st 2018 Transition year, preparing for reformation
July 1st 2018New district structures are implemented

Reformation FAQ

Since District 59 was reformed in 2014 to create Districts 59 & 95, the number of clubs in Continental Europe has continued to grow. This is great because it offers more people the opportunity to benefit from the Toastmasters program. However it also makes it more challenging for district leaders, including area and division directors, to support clubs and effectively fulfill responsibilities to individual members. At the same time the chance of taking up leadership opportunities may reduce and the costs of running the district increase.
In December 2015 D59 has 203 paid clubs and D95 has 229 paid clubs. Once a district has 200 clubs it can apply to the Board of Directors at Toastmasters International to request permission to begin the reformation process.
This approval was given in August 2015.

The Governing Documents of Toastmasters International details the following factors:

  • Reformed districts will have no fewer than 100 clubs each
  • Number of clubs, club strength, growth trends, growth potential, population, education, languages spoken, and geographic influences for all districts
  • Reasons why the reformation is in the best interests of the members, the clubs, the districts, and Toastmasters International
  • Marketing plan projecting growth and identifying key market opportunities for all districts
  • Succession plan identifying qualified future leaders in all districts
  • Financial projections demonstrating the anticipated income and expense for all districts
The proposal will be presented to both district councils (D59 & D95) for their consideration. Only members of each district council: Club Presidents, VPs Education (or their proxy holders), Area & Division Directors, Administration Manager, Finance Manager, PR Manager, Club Growth Director, Program Quality Director, District Director and Immediate Past District Governor will be eligible to vote.
The proposals will be presented to the district leaders at their meeting in February 2016 and after this will be made available on your district website for everyone to see.
Districts can choose to hold up to 4 contests each year in a language other than English. This decision is made by the district director and has to be approved by the District Executive Committee. (Policy 6.0 Speech Contests)
Any decision about future speech contests would be made by the leaders of the newly created districts.
When a district is reformed, the district number is given to the new district with the oldest club in its boundaries. In district 59 the oldest club is Bossuet Gavaliers in Luxembourg and the number 59 will go to district B in the proposal.

The number 95 will go to district C because the oldest club in district 95 is Ramstein Speakers Bureau. The other districts would be assigned their number by World Headquarters by July 1st 2017.

The task given to the reformation committee by the districts was to prepare a proposal that was in line with Toastmasters policy and would create districts that were operationally manageable and sustainable. In the process of reformation, new districts need to have at least 100 clubs which are geographically adjacent to each other.

The possibility of combining Germany, Switzerland and Austria in a single district was considered but encountered some challenges:

  • The district that would be created would have had approximately 160 clubs at the time of reformation and within 2 years would begin thinking about reforming again. Meaning this combination would be short-lived. It also made it difficult to construct adequate districts around this one with strong countries with enough leaders and resources to be sustainable.
  • One option considered was to divide the country of Germany to make a district of an adequate size but the consultation with division directors from Germany indicated that this was not a desirable option for them and also was not desirable for the district leaders or for Toastmasters International.
  • Also considered was that in the last reformation the district did not want to create a German block of countries. In the proposal combining Austria with Switzerland gives a possibility of shared interest in the German language within that district.
Using the standard practice to calculate district budgets and the restrictions of expense categories a draft budget was prepared for each proposed district considering three situations: if no growth in membership occurred, if only 8% growth occurred and if the estimated growth is achieved.  The Budget Forecast District Reformation Proposal document shows the detail of this.
When we received notice of the planned dues increase in February we took a number of steps:
we spoke to the leaders of both districts to ask for their view on the impact of the increase and we looked at the impact of the last dues increase in 2011.
The last dues increase was in October 2011 and what we noticed then was that the number of dual memberships in the district decreased but overall membership growth was unaffected and club growth continued. Here is a link to the membership payment graphs http://dashboards.toastmasters.org/District.aspx?id=59&hideclub=1
The district leaders in consultation with the committee believe that because we calculated different growth rate options, even considerably lower than these countries show now, we will still grow enough clubs and members to create the proposed districts.
Once a district is in the reformation process, as we are, it is subject to periodic review by the Board of Directors. If the club and or membership growth were to deviate significantly they could change the proposal. However, it is unlikely that the whole process would begin again.

Reformation of Districts 59 & 95

Toastmasters in Europe have been growing steadily. District leaders in D59 & D95 committee appointments have to analyze and propose future district structures to maintain growth and offer good support to clubs. Learn more about the reformation and the work of this committee in this session.

European Reformation

Download the European Reformation presentation

Joint District 59 and 95 European Reformation Webinar – March 16th, 2016

European Reformation Webinar – February 18th, 2016

European Reformation Webinar – February 15th, 2016

European Reformation Webinar – January 7th, 2016

Want to know more? Check the 30 minutes webinar presentation delivered by Morag Mathieson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vMDjDTA_Yo

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