Creating a Membership Category

Helpdesk -

To create a Membership Category, hover over Subscription Options in the main menu and select Membership Category.  

From the tool bar, select 'Add new membership category'.

Below is a list settings with an explanation for each

Step 1

Name of Membership Category

For example, 2017 Annual Membership.

Is this a joint Membership Category (for example, for families / couples)?

If you have a joint Membership Category (like a family or couple) where the lead member pays for all the linked members under one subscription cost, select this option.  By doing so, you can define the number of people that can join together under the joint membership (for example, up to 5 family members).  

You can set which other Membership Category and groups members of the joint membership can belong to without incurring further cost.  For example, a family could register for a joint membership but you may wish to include the children in the Junior Membership Category.   The Junior Category has a fee associated to it for juniors who join that aren’t part of a joint membership group but we don’t want that fee applied to family members who have already paid under the joint Membership Category.  In short, the system has been designed so members aren’t charged twice and you can freely move members about without them incurring unnecessary costs.

At Renewal time:

  1. Create a new membership category and give members the option to renew
    This option is recommend for organisations whose members opt to renew at the start of the membership period.  Not suitable for organisations who want their members to automatically renew without the need to ask the members for their consent each membership period.

  2. At renewal time, have the system automatically renew members in this category
    Recommended for organisations whose members automatically renew at different times throughout the year or automatically renew on one fixed date, for example, at the beginning of each month or at the start of the membership year.  Selecting this option will require you to select a renewal frequency - Monthly, Quarterly, Bi-annually or Annually.

    So for example, John Smith joined on the 15th June and the renewal frequency was set Annually, John would receive an automatic renewal notice on the 15th June the following year.

    If your account has been setup to take payment by Direct Debit, by default, the system will require members to pre-authorise payment by Direct Debit so each time money becomes due, it will get automatically collected and reconciled.

    If your account is not setup to take payment by Direct Debit then the system will require members to pre-authorise payments via PayPal. The limitation here is that PayPal's pre-authorisation agreements only run for 12 months so not so good for annual memberships that auto-renew.

Limit the number of members that can join this membership category?

If you have limited space for the Category, you can set the maximum number of people that can register for that Category.

If you want the system to add people to a waiting list once the maximum number has been reached, you can by selecting Yes to the question 'When full, give perspective members an option to join a waiting list?'

People registering after the maximum number has been reached will be added to the system group 'Online registrations awaiting approval' (you can view that group under the main menu option 'Members').  Once you have approved the person from there, they will be added to the waiting list.  Click here for information on approving people.

If using the membership number feature (enabled in Admin > Settings), you can prefix the number based on which membership category the member is in. To create a prefix for this membership category, enter it here:

Each Membership Category can have its own pre-fix and if you are using the membership number feature, you can add the pre-fix here.

Step 2

Cost of this membership category

Self explanatory that one!

Offer an early payment discount?

To encourage members to pay on time you can offer an early payment incentive. You can set a percentage or an amount and select the date in which this applies on and before. After the date expires, the cost of the subscription group will revert to the full cost so anyone that's not paid will no longer get the discounted rate.

Allow members to pay by instalments?

To help spread the cost, you can allow members to pay by instalments. If members opt to pay by instalments, they are required to pre-authorise future payments (click here for more information about pre-authorisation).

You can set the number of payments members can spread the cost over and the frequency, for example, Monthly. Each time an instalment is due, the system will generate a payment request, collect and reconcile the money.

The instalment logic is that if you request payment say on the 19th June and the instalments are paid monthly then the next instalment due will be on the 19th July regardless of when the parents login to pay.  So, taking that example, if someone logged in to make payment on the 5th July (after you requested it on the 19th June), opted for instalments, their second instalment would be due on the 19th July, 14 days after they made their first payment.

 If the second instalment due was on the 1-month anniversary of when they made payment (as opposed to when you requested it), it could be the case that someone may not login to pay 'til September and then they wouldn't have to make the last instalment payment until October.

Therefore, our logic is designed to make sure that everyone finishes paying as soon as possible.

 You can chose to notify the member of this request when setting up the instalment notification email template (described later in this article).

Add an additional cost for members paying by instalments?

You can levy an additional fee to the subscription cost for those opting to pay by instalments. This fee is spread over the number of instalments.

Ask members to pre-authorise payments?

You can decide whether you want people that are added to this category to pre-authorise payments.  Typically if the membership category is set to auto-renew you would select yes.  The option is also useful for collecting fees on an on-going basis, for example, smaller weekly fees.  So each time that you request the money that is due, the system will collect and reconcile the payments.

If you don't want to make pre-authorisation mandatory, you can make it optional or opt not to display the pre-authorisation option (this will hide it from the check-out page in the online registration process and on the payment page in the members login).

Step 3

When requesting payment from members, payment is due:

Typically, this is set to 'On request' but by changing this to any number will mean that in the detailed payment reports (member level), the number of days shown in the overdue column will not start to increment until the payment due by date has past.

Allow members to change membership category?

This option allows existing members to change the Membership Category they are in. For example, a member has received a renewal notice for their Silver Membership and they want to upgrade to Gold.

As an administrator, you can set which Category (if any) members can change to by selecting the permitted Categories from the list.  

When members pay, move or copy them to a new group?

You can choose to select one of two options when a member pays in full for the Membership Category; ‘Copy member to group’ and ‘Move member to group’. These options are useful if you want to be able to group together all the paid members for quick reference.  

Typically, you would not select the 'Move' option for Categories that auto-renew as the member would be moved out of the category and future payment requests cancelled.

Members would be moved/copied to this group once their payment has either been recorded as payment has cleared though your payment option or paid offline.

Display the form for this membership category in the members online account?

Because members can be associated to any number of Categories and groups and each Category / group can have a different form, when the member logs in to their online account, we provide you with the option to select whether you want the member to see the form for the Category they are in.  Typically, the answer will be YES here.

Step 4

Allow prospective members to register for this membership category via the online registration page?

This setting determines whether or not to display the option for people to register for the Membership Category via the online registration page.  Normally this would be set to Yes but you may want to change it to No towards the end of the membership year.

Ask for payment at the point of registration?

When people register online, you can set if you want them to pay at the point of registering or not.  Some organisations like to vet people first, others like to offer a free trial.  If you don't take payment at the point of registration, people will be added to the system group 'Online registrations awaiting approval'.  From there, you can view the information they entered during the registration process and either approve them (in which can you can request payment) or remove them.  Click here for information on approving members.

Step 5

Email Templates

Each Membership Category comes with its own set of email templates that are used when the system sends automated emails out.  

The email templates available depend on some of the settings entered during the setup of the Membership Category.  For example, the instalment notification email template will only show if you have opted to receive payment by instalments.

All email templates are customisable and give you the option to select who they should come from, what the subject header should be, insert field data and add an attachment.

Here's a full list of templates:

Payment request email template

This email template is used when requesting payment from members added to the category.  Added to the Category could mean adding someone individually, importing members via a spreadsheet or approving people that have registered online.  Each of those processes will purge the system to ask if you want to generate a payment request and this email will be used to request payment.

Welcome email template for people registering online

As the description suggests, this email template is sent to people registering online.  The default text of this email templates differs depending on whether you have opted to take payment at the point of registration or you want to vet people before approving their membership.

Overdue payment reminder email template

There is an option to switch this feature on and set after how many days the reminder should be sent.

Membership renewal notification email

For Membership Categories that automatically renew, this email template is used to send the renewal notifications to members. Includes the option to switch on / off the notifications.

Instalment notification email template

For Membership Categories that have the option to pay by instalments, this email template is used to send instalment notifications to members. Includes the option to switch on / off the notifications.

Once you've inputted the settings for the Membership Category, you can 'Save' or 'Save and build form for this membership category'.  The latter will link you through to the form builder page.

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