Toastmasters International is an international nonprofit educational organization dedicated to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality. With its headquarters in southern California, the Toastmasters International organization is governed by a Board of Directors representing various clubs and regions around the globe. District 4 Toastmasters is a part of this organization, as summarized by the hierarchy listed below:
- Members the participants - and benefactors - of the entire organization. There are currently over 270,000 members worldwide with 4,500 residing in District 4.
- Clubs the core unit of the Toastmasters organization typically made up of 20 to 30 members. There are 13,000 clubs worldwide with approximately 230 in District 4.
The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.
- Areas a group of 4 to 6 clubs supported by an area governor and area council made up of club officers. There are 42 areas in District 4.
The mission of the area is to provide district contact, support and services to the club so that the club may in turn fulfill its responsibilities to its members.
- Divisions a group of 4 to 6 areas supported by a division governor and division council made up of area governors. District 4 is made up of 8 geographical divisions.
The mission of the division is to serve the clubs assigned to it by providing district support and resources through the area governors.
- Districts a geographic area established by the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International. There are 85 districts worldwide. District 4's geographic area includes the San Francisco peninsula, Silicon Valley, and the Santa Cruz and Monterey peninsulas.
The mission of the district is to enhance the performance and extend the network of clubs, thereby offering greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from the Toastmasters educational program.
- Regions a geographic grouping of districts. There are 14 regions worldwide with an elected international director and an appointed region advisor marketing in each supporting their districts. District 4 is in Region II, which includes Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and California from Ventura County north.
Every group within this structure exists solely to improve the activities offered by the Toastmasters program, and each of the larger groups is dedicated to helping the more local groups and individual clubs realize the Toastmaster vision of effective oral communication.