Creating a Membership Category may look daunting, but do not worry, we are here to give you a helping hand.
To begin the process of creating a Membership Category, hover over ‘Payment Options’ in the main menu and select ‘Membership Categories’ in the drop-down menu that appears.
Next, select ‘Add new’.
You will now have a few decisions to make in order to make your Membership Category perfect.
Step 1: ‘Name of Membership Category’
The world is your oyster – name it whatever you would like.
Step 2: ‘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.
We realise you may not want to restrict the members of this to one category, so we have given you the choice to set which other Membership Categories (if any) members of the joint membership can belong to without incurring further cost.
Step 3: ‘At Renewal time’
- ‘Create a new membership category and give members the option to renew’
This option is recommended for organisations whose members opt to renew at the start of each membership period.
- ‘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 on a fixed date, for example, at the beginning of each month or the start of the membership year.
Selecting this option will require you to select a renewal frequency: Monthly, Quarterly, Bi-annually or Annually.
If your account has been setup to take payment by Direct Debit, by default, the system will require people to pre-authorise payment. This allows the system to automatically collect and reconcile money when it is due.
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 – a problem for memberships renewing annually.
Step 4: ‘Limit the number of members that can join this membership category?’
If you have limited space for the Membership Category, you can set a cap for registrations.
If you want the system to add people to a waiting list once the cap has been reached, you can, by selecting ‘Yes’ to the question 'When full, give prospective members an option to join a waiting list?'.
They will then be added to the system group, 'Online registrations awaiting approval'.
Step 5: ‘Prefix membership number’
If using the membership number feature (enabled in ‘Settings > Account’), 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.
Step 6: ‘Cost of this membership category’
Charge as much or as little as you like – the decision is yours.
Step 7: ‘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 to 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 has not paid will no longer get the discounted rate. Snooze you lose!
Step 8: ‘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.
Here, you can set the number of instalments the cost can be spread over and the frequency with which they are paid - for example, ‘Monthly’. Each time an instalment is due, the system will generate a payment request, collect and reconcile the money automatically.
Step 9: ‘Add an additional cost for members paying by instalments?’
You can add an additional fee to the subscription cost for those opting to pay by instalments. This fee is spread over the number of instalments.
Step 10: ‘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.
If you do not want to make pre-authorisation mandatory, you can make it optional or opt not to display the pre-authorisation option.
Step 11: ‘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 passed.
Step 12: ‘Allow members to change membership category?’
This option allows existing members to change the Membership Category they are in.
As an administrator, you can set which Membership Category (if any) members can change to by selecting the permitted Membership Categories from the list.
Step 13: ‘When members pay, move or copy them to a new group?’
You can choose one of two options when a member pays in full for the Membership Category: ‘Copy member to group’ or ‘Move member to group’. These options are useful if you want to be able to group together all the paid members for quick reference.
Step 14: ‘Display the form for this membership category in the member's online account?’
Because members can be associated to any number of Membership Categories and groups which often have different forms, when the member logs into their online account, we provide you with the option to select whether you want the member to see the form for the Membership Category they are in. Typically, the answer will be ‘Yes’.
Step 15: ‘Allow prospective members to register for this membership category via the online registration page?’
This setting determines whether the Membership Category is available for selection on your 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.
Step 16: ‘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. If you select ‘No’ you will be able to vet prospective registrants.
Step 17: ‘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, however.
All email templates are customisable and give you the option to select who they should come from, what the subject header should be, whether to insert field data or add an attachment.
Here is a full list of templates available:
Template 1: ‘Payment request email template’
This email template is used when requesting payment from members added to the category.
Template 2: ‘Welcome email template for people registering online’
This email template is sent to people registering online.
The default text of this email template differs depending on whether you have opted to take payment at the point of registration or if you want to vet people before approving their membership.
Template 3: ‘Overdue payment reminder email template’
There is an option to switch this feature on and decide how many days later after payment is due the reminder should be sent.
Template 4: ‘Membership renewal notification email’
For Membership Categories that automatically renew, this email template is used to send the renewal notifications to members. This includes the option to switch on / off future notifications.
Template 5: ‘Instalment notification email template’
For Membership Categories that have the option to pay by instalments, this email template is used to send the instalment notifications to members. Again, this includes the option to switch on / off future notifications.
Once you've input the settings for the Membership Category, click 'Save' or 'Save and build form for this membership category'. The latter will link you through to the form builder page.
You have now successfully created a Membership Category!