In the coming months I hope to speak with more of you who are district leaders — or have influence with district leaders — about allowing me to present a workshop to leaders in your district or, better yet, agreeing to sponsor club websites on Toastmost.org. I am also available to help with district websites.
I hope to be able to announce soon that I’ll be working on one or more districts on all of those things. WordPress for Toastmasters is an independently funded operation, and district sponsorship is one way I hope to be able to fund its continued expansion. The Toastmost hosting service, where most users of the software have established their websites, recently got a significant upgrade and needs to earn its way back to break even. Toastmasters International provides branding review but not funding.
I’m happy to present to any district with or without any bigger commitment. However, for those who may be interested, details on a more ambitious program are included below.
Value of the Toastmost Service
Toastmost aspires to deliver both marketing power and innovations in agenda and club management in one package. The software benefits from continual innovation in the broader WordPress community, so features like mobile website support and social media integration are superior.
Popular features include web-based forms for evaluations and for the membership application, as well as online payments integration for collecting dues. The underlying software is available for use on other web hosting services, but Toastmost has it all preconfigured.
District Sponsorship of Club Websites
Districts may also choose to sponsor the cost of club websites, “buying in bulk” to make the service available free for clubs within the district.
The regular club rate is $50 per year for each club, following a 6-month free trial. Districts might consider encouraging clubs to sign up for the free trial. If enough clubs see the value and want to continue using the software, the district can negotiate a flat rate to allow access for all district clubs.
Pricing for the 2021-2022 Toastmasters year: If a district invests $500, the first 15 clubs to go live from that district will get a year of Toastmost service for free. Since the clock doesn’t start running until the end of their six months free, they would actually get access for at least 18 months (even if future district leaders don’t continue the relationship). The “go live” requirement is that the club must make its website public (available to be indexed in search engines). New club websites are set to discourage indexing by search engines to allow club leaders time for testing and content development.
Ideally, we would encourage dozens of district clubs to at least set up a trial account with the goal of getting 15 or more to commit to modernizing their club website.
Help with District Websites
You can see a mockup of a district website with a sample leader directory at d2021.toastmost.org. I expect to unveil an example of a revamped district website I worked on within the next few weeks. I’m holding off on naming the district until it’s official, but the idea is to make it a website worth bragging about. I’m talking with the PRM at another district that may come on board.
District websites may be hosted at Toastmost or with another web host that supports WordPress. The details are subject to negotiation.
I expect most districts to want the site to appear with their own web domain rather than the subdomain.toastmost.org setup of the demo site.
See the Toastmost for Districts page for more details.