Setting up an Association

The documents and forms on this page are used by the Federation to manage the agreements between member organizations. For a list of helpful documents for Federation Associations, visit our Association Resources Page.


We provide the following points for any new speakers association to consider:

  • You need 40 Professional Members – It is the emphasis on the ‘Professional’ that is important. Some countries have had over 60 members but struggled to join the GSF because they did not have the core number of professional members. This means that you need to make sure you have a tier status within your organization which identifies who the professional members are. This in turn means that you need to have a way of measuring this.
  • You need to have a properly constituted organization which is legal within your country. This also means that you have a Board and all the processes necessary to elect Board Members. We would also be looking for how you are doing your succession planning for the Board. You need to have the necessary structure in place to be financially stable.
  • You need to have a code of ethics that members agree to abide by. The GSF provides the service now which enables you to deal with issues pertaining to ethical standards but you need a local person who is the custodian of ethics and to whom people can take an issue and know it will be dealt with professionally, legally and ethically.
  • You need a program that is at least six months in advance at any time. Alongside this is the need for marketing material and communication systems. For example, a website, regular updates sent out by email or mailings and ways for people to make contact with your association. Your association needs to be professional as well as having professional members. Being professional means that you have good administrative support so that people are kept informed and new and current members are dealt with in a way that they get the most out of their membership.

Speaking organizations interested in joining the Federation may contact Shari Bricks

GSF Policies for membership

1.2 Admissions and Application

Full Membership eligibility requires the speakers association:

Be an applicant for the time determined needed to verify eligibility for Full Member status

  • Apply in writing for Membership prior to acceptance of the association as a Full Member Association
  • Pay a non-refundable $1,995 USD Membership Application fee
  • Meet the Membership requirements as determined by the GSF Board of Directors and outlined in this GSF Membership Policy
  • Comply with the Policies and Bylaws of the GSF
  • Uphold an image of integrity and have a written policy to enforce a Code of Professional Ethics
  • Organize and implement educational events and programs for professional speakers
  • Conduct its activities in compliance with the not-for-profit rules and regulations of the speakers associations home nation’s.
  • Conduct its administrative and marketing activities in a professional manner.

1.2.1 Membership Documentation

The following documents are required from a speakers association when applying for membership:

  • Proof of not-for-profit organizational status
  • Articles of incorporation or equivalent
  • Bylaws, constitution or equivalent
  • Membership Roster
  • Board of Directors and Officers list
  • Schedule for officer rotation
  • Election process or equivalent
  • Proof of organization support for ethical guidelines of membership
  • Code of Professional Ethics or equivalent
  • Membership dues structure
  • Most recent fiscal year’s Revenue Over Expenses (i.e., Profit and Loss) Statement and a Balance Sheet

1.2.2 Member Review Process

Speakers association applications for GSF membership are reviewed by representatives of the New Association Development committee as appointed by the current GSF President. The representatives bring recommendations forward to the Steering Committee. During the review phase, the committee evaluates the application documents and the general speaking experience of the speakers association’s current members and membership requirements.

Process for Forming a National Speakers Association