Gavel Clubs (TM club for youth under 18)

Gavel clubs are perpetual clubs. Meetings are typically held weekly, and the club operates in the same way adult Toastmasters clubs do. Members perform the same roles, and use the same manuals (CC & CL). Participants increase their self-confidence as they become better speakers and leaders.

Requirements to start a gavel club:

  • No special training is required. You have all the training you need from your Toastmasters club.
  • The Club Counselor (person in charge) must be a Toastmaster in good standing.
  • Counselor must have completed at least 6 speeches.
  • Have a sponsoring organization (preferably a TM club).

Note: Gavel Clubs are not required to have a minimum number of members.

It is highly recommended to start with a Youth Leadership Program (YLP), and extend it to a gavel club (after the 8 wks of the YLP).  However, a YLP is not required to start a gavel club.

What does the sponsoring club do?

They can be as involved as they like, but they should help the YLP or gavel club be successful.  Some things a sponsoring club can do are:

  • Make a donation to help gavel club get chartered/started.  (about $100 to get chartered, plus about $50 – $100 for supplies)
  • Send toastmasters to help run the gavel club and help at contests, etc.
  • Be the sponsoring organization whose name goes on the TMI paperwork to be chartered.
    (All youth programs and gavel clubs are required to have a sponsoring organization.)


  • Growth in Toastmasters clubs (parents joining TM clubs).
  • You make a difference in the life of a child, giving him/her the best gift ever (that will last him/her a lifetime).
  • This can be your High Performance Leadership Project (HPLP) which is needed for your Advanced Leadership Silver (ALS).


Members of a gavel club are called Gaveliers. The club counselor decides on the age range for members.  NOTE: Gavel Clubs are not required to have a minimum number of members.

2012 Cost of Starting a Gavel Club:

  • One time fee of $50 (to charter).
  • Annual fee of $48 to TMI (regardless of # of members), paid every November, and prorated at the time of charter.
  • Cost of any equipment needed to run a TM club. Cost of renting a venue.

Membership Dues:

  • Only reasonable dues may be charged to cover operating expenses.
  • No individual may profit or draw salary from Gavel Club or Youth Leadership activities or donations.
  • As an example, one gavel club charges $10/month (to help with the cost of running the club) plus the cost of CC and CL manuals.  Dues are renewed every 6 months, and new members pay a prorated amount.

Creating a Club:

Gaveliers vote on a club name and new officers.  A list of new officers will need to be sent to TMI every 6 months when new officers are elected. If the club counselor changes, it will also need to be reported to TMI.


To obtain the paperwork needed to start a Gavel Club, email TMI at

New Club Kit from TMI:

After the gavel club paperwork has been filled out and submitted to TMI, the club counselor will receive a new club kit.  A few of the things included in this kit are: 20 CCs and CLs, a gavel, membership cards, evaluation forms, etc.  You will need the Gavel Club name, and Gavel Club officers to complete the paperwork.

Note: Gavel Club participants can not call themselves Toastmasters. They are called Gaveliers.

Meeting Roles:

Some gavel clubs use different role names than a TM club.  As an example, one gavel club in WA uses the following:

  • Members = Gaveliers
  • Toastmaster = Ringleader
  • Evaluator = Coach
  • GE = Head Coach
  • Table Topics Master = Inquisitor
  • Ah Counter = Wizard of Ahs

New Members:

New members are voted in, after application & dues are received. Induction ceremony is usually once a month for new members, where they take the Gavelier’s Promise.

Parent Steering Committee:

The counselor should select some parents of members to form a steering committee to provide input, volunteer at the club, and help make decisions about the club.


This is an on-line scheduling program used to schedule Toastmasters and Gavel Club meetings. It allows members to indicate their attendance, request speeches, and select roles, as well as input speech titles and intros. It also allows the counselor / officers to create meetings, keep track of members, guests, & mailing lists, and send out group emails, and meeting reminders. In addition, it takes your meeting schedule and creates an agenda, which you can easily print. Furthermore, EasySpeak keeps track of members’ CC and CL progress. And much more! If you would like an EasySpeak account set-up for your club, contact Paul Osborn.

Note: FreeToastHost does not work for gavel clubs.

Educational Speeches:

Once every 4 – 8 weeks, the counselor invites qualified Toastmasters to come to the gavel club and give educational speeches, as well as demonstrate roles.


Gavel Club contests are: Spring: Inspirational Speech Contest, Evaluation; Summer: Tall Tales, Poetry; Fall: Humorous Speech, Table Topics Contest.

Liability Insurance:

Some venues will require that you have proof of liability insurance in order to use their facility.  Gavel clubs are fortunately covered by TMI, and you can obtain your certificate of liability insurance from TMI after you have been chartered, and receive your approval letter and new club kit. (It will not be included in your new club kit.)  The certificate expires in a year, so you will need to request a certificate each year. After your Gavel Club has been certified, you may request your certificate of liability insurance by emailing

Bank Account:

You should open a bank account in the Gavel Club’s name.


Some venues will rent out space for a reduced rate or even free if the organization is non-profit. Therefore it would be beneficial to get your non-profit status.

EIN (employer ID # or taxpayer ID):

Gavel clubs do not receive an EIN number, like TM clubs do.  TMI suggests that the gavel club and the sponsoring TM club share the EIN #.  The sharing of an EIN# means the gavel club also gets 501c3 status. However, if you wish to run more independently and have your own EIN #, you can apply for an EIN with your state. EINs are free. But you will have to pay to become incorporated, and pay also to obtain 501c3 status.

501 (c) 3 Status: (optional)

If you wish to accept matching donations or corporate donations, you will need to get a 501 (c) 3 status. But first, you will need to get an EIN# (free). Then, you will need to become incorporated in your state. ($35 in the state of WA) You pay the fee yearly to keep the incorporated status. This is only if you wish to get tax-exempt status.  Gavel clubs do not get this benefit from TMI, as Toastmasters clubs do.  Finally, you fill out a 28-page application called Form 1023. The IRS requires a $300-$750 application fee based on the size of the organization, your state, and annual reporting.

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