Membership Advanced Settings

After creating your first Membership Category, you can configure its settings more in-depth. The advanced options can yield detailed customization with your setup, so we will cover each section one-by-one.

Table of Content

    1. Membership Type
    2. Renewal Period
    3. Workflow (Approval Process)



First, you have the option to change the basic information for this Membership Category like its name and description. Some more detailed considerations like the Application Workflow can be specified here as well.


If needed, edit the Membership Name or re-write its Description. During this tutorial, you have already specified these fields in the Simple Membership Builder, so we likely do not need to make any changes.

Membership Type



You can change the ownership of this Membership Category if you wish. Remember the distinction between Individual, Organization, and Family Memberships from the Planning phase.

Individual Membership

Members apply and renew for themselves. Memberships are granted on a one-to-one basis.

Organization/Group Membership

These Memberships allow you to enroll groups and organizations as Members. One representative from a corporation can purchase a Group Membership on behalf of their team, then send their coworker's details after you have approved the application.

Family Membership

The Family option is another type of Group Membership that allows representatives to purchase enrollment on behalf of their family members.


Renewal Period

How often must members renew? Will you use an Annual, Anniversary Date, Term, or Lifetime renewal cycle? The Overview Tab allows you to change the Renewal Period if necessary and specify exactly when your members must renew.


A Lifetime Membership does not need to be renewed. Once members become active, they remain active indefinitely.


Annual Memberships are renewed on the same date every year. You specify the date.

Example: consider a Membership Category whose members must all renew on January 1st.

Anniversary Date

Members enrolled in an Anniversary Date membership also renew once annually. Their renewal falls on the same calendar date as the previous year; each member has a unique renewal date based on when they applied or last renewed. 

Example: Bob was approved on December 1st 2019, so he must renew for December 1st, 2020. 


A Term Membership Category will prompt its members to renew on your custom schedule. Membership Terms can be customized to last anywhere from one month to 120 months in duration.

Example: You could create a category that requires members to renew once every three months.

Workflow (Approval Process)

Are your applicants subject to an approval process before they become members? You can specify whether applications must be reviewed, and whether prospective members are charged before or after their approval all from within the Overview Tab.

No Approval

Prospective members pay at the end of their application. These individuals become active members automatically, as soon as their payment goes through.

Non-Refunded Approval Process

Prospective members pay at the end of their application. An administrator must then conduct a review and decide whether the individual should become a member. Denying applications will not refund the invoice automatically.

Pre-Approval Process

Prospective members only pay after you approve them; there is no payment during the application. Once an administrator conducts their review and approves the individual, an invoice is sent to them.

This option is ideal if you review applications and do not wish to charge those you deny.

Member Portal Access (Login Details)

You can specify whether a pre-approved member is sent login details to the Member Portal once they are approved, or whether they must also pay in full before receiving their password.

Administrator Email Notifications

You can configure Member365 to send email notifications to you or anyone on your team every time an application or renewal comes through.


We specified our Application Fee and our Renewal Fee when we used the Simple Membership Builder. To charge your membership dues in a more sophisticated manner, consider the Fees Tab and its options.

Flat Fee

With the Flat Fee option, all prospective members are charged the same amount: the Application Fee and the Renewal Fee that you specified with the Simple Membership Builder.

Category Dropdown

With Fee Categories, you can charge members different amounts for the same Membership. Prospective members will see a drop-down menu. Applicants must choose a Fee Category from the drop-down menu, and pay that amount for their membership dues.

Why use Category Dropdown? Example 1
Suppose you wanted to charge a different membership fee depending on someone’s age: you could add Youth, Adult, and Senior fee categories.

When applying, prospective members will have the option to self-identify as a Youth, Adult, or Senior, then pay accordingly.

Why use Category Dropdown? Example 2
Suppose you offered Membership to organizations and offered different rates depending on their size.

Fee Categories would be perfect for applicants to self-identify the number of employees they have, and to have their fee charged accordingly.

To learn more about Fee Categories and how to configure them, consult this Knowledge Base article.

Custom Fee

When Custom Fee is selected, you can charge each applicant a custom amount for their membership dues on a case-by-case basis. As an administrator, you will specify the amount upon reviewing incoming applications: do not use Custom Fees if you do not have an approval process.

To learn more about Custom Fees and how they work in Member365, consult this Knowledge Base article.

Fee Calculator

The Fee Calculator prompts applicants to enter a number. The prospective member’s response is then multiplied by a pre-set value to calculate their custom application fee.

Why use the Calculator Example 1

Consider a cat owner’s Membership that charges its applicants $5.00 per cat. Someone who owns three cats would pay $10.00 more than someone who owns one cat.   

Why use the Calculator/Example 2
Suppose you run an Organization Membership that charges its Fees by revenue. You could charge $0.005 per dollar reported. A corporation that applies for Membership and reports a revenue of $1M would pay $5000.00 for their application! 

To learn more about the Fee Calculator and how it can meet your needs, consult this Knowledge Base article.

Late Fee

If you wish to charge a Late Fee to members who miss their renewal date, specify how much they must pay and how many days must pass before the Late Fee kicks in.

Fee Calendar (Annual Memberships Only)

If you have an Annual Membership Category, you can charge different amounts based on the time of year!

Why use the Fee Calendar/Example
Suppose you wanted to charge members the full amount in January, but only half price if they apply for their membership in September or later. The Fee Calendar is built for you to facilitate that type of workflow.

To learn more about the Fee Calendar and how to configure it in Member365, consult this Knowledge Base article.

Membership Extension (Annual Memberships Only)

If a new member applies in the final month of your annual membership cycle, the Membership Extension option will keep them active for a full year instead of simply that one month.

Why use Membership Extension/Example
Suppose your annual renewal date was January 31st. A member whose application is submitted and approved on January 15th would need to renew a second time just two weeks later. But with Membership Extension, that member would be active for the full year: they would not be asked to renew again immediately after becoming a member.

Proration (Annual Memberships Only)

Annual Memberships have a fixed renewal date; use Proration if you would like to prorate Membership Fees depending on the month. Member365 gives you four options:

We will give an example of each Proration Method below. In each case, consider a Membership Category whose Annual Renewal Date is January 1st.


A member who registers in February of 2018 pays the same as a member who registers in December of 2018: the full yearly amount. Both members would need to renew by January 1st, 2019.


A member who registers in December would pay one year and one month of Membership.

They would not renew on the closest January 1st: their fees are prorated forward on registration. This member would be active already for the upcoming year, and would renew the following January 1st.


A member who registers in December would pay only one month of Membership.

This member would need to renew on the closest January 1st.


Extended Proration works the same as Forward proration, but members pay for multiple years at a time.

Consider a member who applies in December given the screenshot above. They would pay the fee for one month of Membership, plus the additional three years you have set, and would not need to renew for three full years.

Automated Recurring Billing (ARB)

A member who pays their dues through Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) will have their credit card charged automatically at the end of each Renewal Period.

You can give contacts the option to use ARB, or force enrollment on all members.

Before configuring ARB for your membership dues, read this Knowledge Base Article for some important considerations.

Payment Methods and Sales Tax

We configured our Payment Methods and our Tax Settings when we created this category in the Simple Membership Builder. Under the Fees Tab, you have the option to edit your previous choices as needed.


You will typically want to collect information from prospective members when they are applying. The Application Form tab allows you to customize what is and isn’t asked to members when they are applying and renewing!

Contact Form Configuration

Member365 provides a series of system-default fields to hold contact information. Every record must contain a First Name, Last Name, and Email Address: those fields are mandatory and cannot be turned off.

All of the other system-default fields can be disabled at your discretion. You control how much personal information you collect from applicants.

Custom Questions/Fields

You can create your own Membership Form that collects information from prospective members when they apply and/or renew. The questions on this form are created and managed by you!

You must build your Membership Form before attaching it to the Membership Category. Consult this Knowledge Base Article to learn how to create a new Membership Form.


Unless you are building a Lifetime Membership, your members in this category will need to renew eventually! The Renewals Tab allows you to configure your renewal settings in-depth, with customization that stretches far beyond simply choosing its renewal period.

Renewal Description

Much like the Membership Description, the Renewal Description will display to individuals in this category when they are renewing their membership.

If you have any special instructions or thank-you messages for members, write them here. 

Member Portal Access Grace Period

The Grace Period allows contacts to renew late without facing penalties or losing their membership.

Members within their Grace Period are technically lapsed, but retain active benefits like Member Portal Access until their Grace Period expires.

Consider a Membership Category with a 7-Day Grace Period whose annual renewal date is January 1st.

Your members would still have access to the Member Portal, and could still renew their membership with no penalties for one full week. Their Membership would lapse fully after January 8th.

Force Renewal on Login?

If you select Yes, lapsed members will be redirected to the renewal form automatically as soon as they try to access the Member Portal. These members cannot login to the Member Portal until they complete their renewal.

This option makes it easy for lapsed members to renew if they have lost track of their Renewal Reminder emails.

Renewal Reminders

A Renewal Reminder is an automated email that sends to members, with a link they can click to renew their membership.

Click to add a Renewal Reminder for this Membership Category, and to schedule its delivery for either before or after the Renewal Date!

Renewal Reminders are among the most important considerations for your Membership Category’s setup, as they allow for your members to initiate their renewals by simply clicking a link in their email.

For a detailed overview of Renewal Reminders and how they work in Member365, consult this Knowledge Base article!

Advanced Renewal Rules

To customize your renewal workflow further, consider the following series of advanced options.

Renewal Limit?

If these members should only be allowed to renew a finite number of times, specify as such using the drop-down menu.

Select ‘Unlimited’ if you do not wish to institute a Renewal Limit.

Do Members Lapse?

If these members should never lapse - even if they fail to renew within the Grace Period - specify as such by selecting ‘Never’.

Most organizations, however, lapse those who fail to renew their membership.

For more information on what ‘Lapsed’ means in Member365, consult this Knowledge Base article

Charge for Missing Years?

Should members who fail to renew - then return years later - pay for one renewal fee, or must they pay retroactively for each year they missed?


Bob’s annual membership lapsed in 2017. Bob did not renew again until 2020.

Selecting ‘Yes’ for the option above would force Bob to pay three renewal fees to become active; Bob would need to make up for each year that was missed.

Next Renewal Date [Anniversary Memberships Only]

Consider an Anniversary Date member who renews late. We know that each Anniversary member has their own unique Renewal Date.

When must these members renew the following year if they fail to renew on time?

Choose Inception Date to keep their Renewal Date fixed: Anniversary members would always renew on the same calendar date that they first became active, even if they renew late.

Bob became a member on January 1st, 2018. Bob didn’t renew until March 1st, 2019.

Bob’s next Renewal Date would be January 1st, 2020: he only gets another ten months of Membership because he renewed late. 

Choose Last Renewed Date to ensure that Anniversary members always get the full year of Membership, even if they renew late.

Bob became a member on January 1st, 2019. Bob didn’t renew until March 1st, 2019.

Bob’s next Renewal Date would be March 1st, 2020: despite renewing late, he has still purchased a full year of Membership.

When can Members renew through the Portal?

Within the Member Portal, there is a button - called the Renewal Badge - that your contacts can click to renew their Membership.

You probably don’t want this button to appear all the time, however: it wouldn’t make sense to let members renew the day after becoming active.

As such, Member365 lets you specify when this Renewal Badge appears in the Member Portal.

Select ‘Never’ if the button should not appear at all. The Renewal Badge is one of three ways members can renew themselves. For more information on renewals, consult this Knowledge Base article.


If you are building an Individual Membership, then you will not see this tab: skip to the next sub-header. For the other two membership types, the Group Membership Tab allows you to customize the way that Group Members are treated in your system.

How do Group Memberships Work?

For each group, one contact acts as its manager. We refer to this individual as a Primary Contact: they are responsible for the application, payment and all other administrative tasks on behalf of the group.

The other members are added to the group afterwards. These Group Members - called “Employee Accounts” - are full members: everyone in the group receives the same privileges. The difference is that only the Primary Contact must renew and pay on everyone’s behalf: Group Members do not renew themselves. 

Number of Seats

How large can each group be? Use the Number of Seats section to specify how many members each group enrollment can provide.


Select Unlimited if one group can support as many members as possible.

Consider an HR manager who applies on behalf of their organization: a Membership with Unlimited seats would allow them to create Group Accounts for everyone at their company. 


Select None if you will not offer group accounts at all. One contact still represents an entity beyond themselves, but they act alone and would not add group members.

Consider a Membership for PR representatives, each on behalf of their company. They would still hold an Organizational Membership, but simply to represent their corporation; no actual Group Accounts are needed so we would select None.


You can also enforce a maximum size on groups by choosing the Limited option.

Consider a Membership designed for families. One parent can purchase enrollment on behalf of their children. You might decide to Limit, within reason, the amount of children allowed on one membership.

Additional Seat Packages

If your Employee Seats are Limited, you can charge extra for Additional Seat Packages. Leaders of group accounts could then pay a fee to increase their maximum group capacity.


Consider the family Membership we discussed in the previous example.

Suppose you specified a three-child limit. You could add Seat Packages to offer additional group seats - for an additional charge - to parents who have more than three children to add.

Group Member Permissions

Customize what Employee Accounts - i.e. Group Members -  will see upon logging in to the Member Portal.

Will they hold the same privileges as any Individual Member, or are they handled differently? Use the series of Group Member Permissions toggles to specify the access of your Group Members.


Can Primary Contacts Invite their own Group Members?

Specify whether Group Leaders - i.e. Primary Contacts - can add their own Group Members.

Alternatively, select No if Primary Contacts cannot add their own members: you would instead control that task for them as an administrator.


Control which confirmation emails will send to prospective members throughout the application or renewal process, and specify what those automated messages contain.

Click the EMAIL SUBJECT of the template to edit its contents, and use the STATUS toggle to choose whether or not it will send

New Application Emails

Configure the automated emails that can be sent to New Applicants.

If you do not approve members, there is one template; if you have an approval workflow, there are four situations that may trigger a confirmation email.

Application Accepted

If you do not have an approval workflow, the Application Accepted template - when toggled on - will send to new members automatically as they apply.

Submission Confirmation

If you approve applications, the Submission Confirmation template - when toggled on - will confirm to prospective members that their application has gone through and is pending approval.

Application Approved

If you approve applications, the Application Approved template - when toggled on - will send to prospective members when you approve their application.

Application Denied

If you approve applications, the Application Denied template - when toggled on - will send to prospective members when you deny their application.

Application Pre-Approved

If you collect payment after approval, the Application Pre-Approved template - when toggled on - will send to prospective members when you approve their application.

The Application Pre-Approved template is only relevant if you collect payment after approval.

Renewal Emails

Configure the automated emails that can be sent to Members when they renew. If you approve renewals, there is one template; there are two templates if your renewals follow an approval process.

Renewal Accepted

If you do not approve renewals, the Renewal Accepted template - when toggled on - will send to members automatically when they renew.

Renewal Approved

If you approve renewals, the Renewal Accepted template - when toggled on - will send to members when you approve their renewal application.

Renewal Declined

If you approve renewals, the Renewal Declined template - when toggled on - will send to members when you decline their renewal application.

Note that your Renewal Reminders are not configured here; use the “Renewals” tab to set up reminder emails.

Launch and Welcome Emails

Configure the automated emails that will send when Members are granted Portal Access. These are called “Welcome Emails” and will contain a password.

Membership Welcome

The Membership Welcome Email - when toggled on - will send to Individual Members and Primary Contacts to welcome them to your Member Portal and grant them a password to login.

To learn more about managing your Welcome Emails, consult this Knowledge Base article.

Group Membership - Employee Welcome

The Employee Welcome Email is only relevant for Group Memberships. This email serves the same purpose as the Membership Welcome template above; the Employee Welcome template sends passwords to Group Members as they are added to Group Memberships


Member365 can support Continuing Education (CE). This, however, is the guide for Membership Setup; we will provide the steps for configuring CE in its own Getting Started Guide.

If your organization does not offer CE, leave the module on ‘Disable’.


When your Members apply or renew, you can give them the option to donate to a Fundraising Campaign. Only one Fundraising Campaign can be linked to a Membership Category.

Prospective Members can choose to skip the process or donate as much as they wish to your fundraiser.

Specify whether prospective members can donate on their initial application, on their renewals, neither, or both.

To learn more about Fundraising Campaigns in Member365, consult this Knowledge Base article.


Congratulations! You have configured your Membership almost in its entirety, and you are ready to go.

As one final step, however, consider the Other Settings tab. There are roughly a dozen additional options that aren’t as pressing as what we’ve configured already, but they still may be important for you!


Your most important tab of all is the final one: the Application Form Link. We refer to this as a Public Link.

Anyone, from anywhere online, can apply for this Membership Category through its Public Link. Embed this Public Link on your external website or email it to prospective members to let them submit applications!

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