We understand that each member organization has unique requirements for the application and renewal process. With this in mind, Member365 comes equipped with robust configuration options, designed to meet your most specific needs.
Before building your memberships, let’s take some time to map out the requirements in advance. You will want to know what you are creating before we begin!
At any point during this exercise, contact the Member365 Success Team if you have questions or require further clarification. We look forward to working with you, and our agents will be happy to schedule a call.
Review the questions below. Note each of your responses, and what they will mean for your application and renewal setup in Member365. After formalizing your plan, we are confident that you will have all the knowledge necessary to start your Membership Management workflow.
WHAT IS A “MEMBERSHIP CATEGORY” IN MEMBER365?
Membership Categories detail unique renewal considerations, designate pricing, and - most crucially - define how your members are grouped together. The category name is important: it is displayed to members and administrators.
For this exercise, let’s consider an organization that offers Gold, Silver, and Bronze enrollment options. This institution would want to create three Membership Categories: members in each category might pay different fees, may receive unique benefits, and can be reported on separately.
HOW MANY MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES WILL I NEED?
If you already know how many Membership Categories you need, that’s great! If you are unsure, ask yourself the following.
Consider things like the Membership Name, or the benefits that are offered to your members. Different levels with different perks should exist as separate Membership Categories.
An exclusive newsletter is sent to Gold members but not to Bronze members. In this scenario, it would make sense to create “Gold” and “Bronze” as separate Membership Categories to facilitate who receives the newsletter.
Individual memberships and group memberships must be separate categories in Member365. Consider ownership: will each member pay for their own enrollment, or does one representative buy seats to manage the status of multiple group members at once?
Silver members must apply and renew individually; Bronze members can apply and renew on behalf of their organization. In this scenario, “Silver” and “Bronze” would be separate Membership Categories in Member365.
How often must your members renew? Each category in Member365 has its own Renewal Period; members in the same category renew on the same schedule.
Gold members renew once every six months, but Silver members renew on January 1st each year. “Gold” and “Silver” must exist as different membership categories in Member365 because their Renewal Periods are different.
Membership Approval Workflow
Your approval process is part of the Advanced Membership Setup, but we should consider the workflow now. All members in the same membership category must apply and renew with the same set of rules.
Gold applicants are subject to a review and approval process, but Bronze applicants are approved automatically. To facilitate these differing Approval Workflows, you would need to create “Gold” and “Bronze” as separate membership categories.
How much does your membership cost? Generally, memberships whose fees differ should exist as separate categories in Member365.
With the Advanced Membership Setup, it is possible to charge applicants different fees for the same Membership Category. We will cover Membership Fees in depth later on including how you can create fee categories, a custom fee calculator, and much more!
PLANNING YOUR FIRST MEMBERSHIP
The considerations above helped to determine how many Membership Categories we need. Let’s choose one of those categories and plan its setup!
The Membership Name is important because it appears on everything related to this Membership Category for both administrators and members. It is imperative to name your category something meaningful.
Members can see their Membership Name on application and renewal forms, membership certificates, directory listings, invoices, receipts, and anywhere you may wish to add custom messaging for them like the member portal or an email campaign.
You will want each Membership Name to be unique so that you can tell your categories apart on the administrative side. The name you choose will be used for things like reporting, the list builder, and any other module or configuration setting where the Membership Category can be selected.
Who will own this membership? Is membership granted on an individual basis, or does one person apply on behalf of a family or group? Member365 provides you with three options:
Members apply and renew for themselves. Memberships are granted on a one-to-one basis.
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 coworkers details after you have approved the application.
The Family option is another type of Group Membership that allows representatives to purchase enrollment on behalf of their family members.
Determine how often members in this category will need to renew. In Member365, you can choose from four scheduling options:
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.
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.