Taking on a Leadership Role : Lessons learned as a Toastmaster Treasurer Part 2

In part one I focused heavily on the broader idea of leadership. You can read that article over here.

In this article, I’ll take a brief look into the Treasurer role itself in Toastmasters.

Introduction

First off, this role is actually pretty easy. It’s much easier than you initially think, especially when you approach it with the right mindset which is get your tasks done early.

Main Tasks

There’s a couple of core things to do to keep you club running smoothly.

  • Collect Members semi-annual fees and New Member fees and transfer it to TMI on time
  • Build up a reserve to handle operational activities like snacks, prints, etc
  • Provide reports and feedback to the leadership team and the club

That’s really it. There are some rules that govern what you can and cannot do, but for the most part that is it.

Great Overview of Treasurer Duties

Here are some additional resources that provide a deeper dive.

Toastmasters really excels in providing massive amounts of support in performing your role. I was exceptionally grateful in having five other Treasurers from clubs near by to assist me whenever I had questions.

Furthermore, the broader Toastmaster International organisation provides two massive free Club Officer Training sessions each year to train up all members of the Leadership team. They even have online version which you can see below.

Recorded Online Treasurer Training

Processes

Strong processes are needed to to get payments to Toastmasters International in on time. I use a combination of early communications and the Waves financial software to help manage this.

The Toastmasters renewal periods are from April to end of September and from October to end of March. So you need to engage with your members very early, in beginning February and beginning August by sending out invoices, subtle reminders and communiques.

Building a culture of paying on time and awareness about the fees is a good idea. Actively involving the entire club by presenting the finances to them and highlighting how the funds are spent works very well. Asking the members for input also helps build a sense of collaboration.


Many clubs have elections to for the nest set of leadership because these are coveted positions. Our club handles it a little differently in we get volunteers, however I would like to try the election process the next time around. Here is a great example of this.

Election Speech – Treasurer

I used to always find it difficult requesting payment from people, but it doesn’t bother me anymore. Going through these processes enables you to learn about people; who is a diligent payer, who might need more time and who you will need to follow up with.

It also makes you realize why your team needs to work effectively. If you as a team aren’t delivering value for your members, then there will be hesitancy to pay.

If you deliver value and people have grown, then they will handle payment gladly.

Dependencies

One of the core tasks is to build up some cash reserves to fund things like competitions, snacks, venues and stuff like that. Since this is a NPO(Non Profit Organisation) you’re limited by what you can do to raise funds for the club. You can hold raffles, have prizes, run Youth Leadership Programs and a few other things. Therefore it is critical for the entire team to be running a good operation so that you have ample members that will help keep your reserves flush .

Areas of Risk

Always handle things early. Being on the leadership team is going to teach you to get things done upfront, and deal with things well ahead of time. Do not leave things till the last minute.

If you do not renew at least 8 people before the renewal cut-off then your club is no longer in good standing with the Toastmasters International and you could lose your charter status. This is where the realization dawns that even though the Treasurer role is “small”, your team still needs to work together to achieve the big goals. The Treasurer alone can not renews eight or more people. This needs to be a team effort.

Leaders do not work in isolation. They work with people to achieve goals.

Conclusion

Any leadership role in Toastmasters is a great place to start exploring your leadership capabilities. Even if you’ve never considered it before; the learning experience is well worth it as long as you approach with the right mindset to do a good job.

I’ve mentioned this before and I’ll say it again. Our world is dire in need of capable leaders. People who can guide us forward and make a positive difference.

Toastmasters is the place where leaders are made.

If you dream of bigger and better things, step up for leadership. What you’re capable of will astound you!

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

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