Revising bundle membership functionality
About a year ago we have created functionality which was originally called 'Group membership' and later has been renamed into 'Bundle membership' (See http://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Membership+bundles ). Our goal behind this functionality was to make it easy to deal with multi-person memberships (typically sold as a package, a 'bundle'):
* corporate membership
* sports team
In a nutshell, for a given membership level you specify that it is a 'Bundle' (limited to NN members per bundle or unlimited). Person applying for membership becomes administrator and can later add members to his bundle at no additional charge.
It sounds like this feature is not quite addressing the needs of our clients and we actively seeking feedback:
* What is missing?
* What is inconvenient/should be changed in current implementation?
here are some specific issues already identified by our clients:
* need to have different fields for the parent record (e.g. company-specific fields) and child records (individual persons).
- Ability to only show the parent record in a particular member directory and then on its profile page provide links to profiles of linked individuals
- Unlink the concept of 'parent' record and 'bundle admin' - right now they are the same. One possible solution we are considering is to add the ability for these related individual records to be in a different membership level from the parent record. In this way they can be shown/hidden in the member directory as needed - and can use different fields.
This suggestion has accumulated many votes over a year and is on of top 3 in “Members” category, so this year we started the analysis of it.
During analysis, we’ve processed all the comments here. And we concluded that while all of them are related to bundle membership problem, there are different cases. We know that we cannot address all the cases at once, we need to prioritize.
So, we have classified the comments and found either existing topics in the Wishlist or created new ones. Here is the full list of the topics that cover in full all the comments provided here:
- Family membership
- Registering families / bundles for events
- Allow secondary/alternate emails for members
- Support both Organizations & Individual contacts
- Bundle membership pricing
- Customizing the Term “Bundle”
- Keep financial information about bundle after switching bundle administrator
- Members, Summary – reporting on bundles
- Simplify adding new members into a bundle by removing extra steps to do
- Allow Bundle Administrator to add other members during application
- Simplified Membership Fields for Adding Members to Bundles
- Make it easier for a new member to sign up as part of existing bundle / organization
- Changing bundle members to nonmember or changing their level
We’re closing this particular thread and will be focusing on addressing topics above. To properly reflect your feedback in the listed topics, we’ve copied all your comments into related threads and added your vote there as well.
We appreciate your participation, your time and feedback. We will keep you updated on the particular topics – when we have some progress.
Katya, Astra crew
Membership management features @ Wild Apricot
Thanks for your kind words Tim and for your additional input.
Tim Rowe commented
I would like to revisit a request I made in this thread back in January 2009. I suspect most people who use bundles have some fields which are common to all members of the bundle. It makes no sense to ask each new bundle member to populate those fields again. For example, our bundles are companies. It doesn't make sense to ask every new member to retype the name of their company. Invariably, these are not typed in exactly the same way, and you get multiples in your membership directory. Same story for the bundle-company's logo, industry sector classification, etc.
When fields are defined for membership, there should be a check-box that says "Only show this field for bundle administrators". And the data in those fields applies automatically to all members. You already have this concept for the bundle renewal date. It should be the same for other fields.
I agree with many of the suggestions that have been raised here, and would like to suggest that a WA account admin be able to ad someone directly to a bundle.
As it is currently set up, I have not been able to find a way to add a newly created contact to an existing bundle without first assigning a membership level to them.
I would love for there to be an option to "add to bundle" before the required being required to assign a membership level.
(if this is already possible, without importing the records, can someone please point me in the right direction.)
Kyle Mitchell commented
I want to echo that the suggestions Russell posted below are spot-on for getting bundle functionality to where it should be. In particular, the most needed functionality change is to allow new members to apply into an existing bundle (selected from a drop-down).
For my organization, I want to use bundles to deal with volunteer management. Perhaps this is not what most would want, but I think the functionality needs are similar.
* I will create a new bundle called "Volunteers" and assign our volunteer coordinator to be the bundle admin for it
* I will then design a customized volunteer registration form that the public can apply to (thus it is important for the public to be able to apply into the already created bundle called Volunteers - I do not want them to become a new bundle admin)
* The bundle admin (volunteer coordinator) will then be notified of any new volunteer applications from the bundle members and review/approve it.
* The bundle admin/volunteer coordinator will need functionality to internally manage the list of volunteers (removing old volunteers, assigning groups) AND manage a bundle-only webpage (volunteer opportunity page for example)
Those are the must-have features I would think.
Not to dwell too much on my scenario...but in a perfect solution I would allow the bundle-member to apply to be volunteers free of charge and then if approved by the bundle-admin ask them to pay the membership fee BUT still stay in the current volunteer bundle. The thought is if you ask volunteers to pay up-front, you will get significantly less applications but once approved they are usually willing to pay.
I disagree. A 'stranger' shouldn't be able to automatically claim membership. Realizing there are multiple uses for Wild Apricot, there may be membership groups aimed at executives or officers, and allowing anyone in the company to sign themselves up for access to areas otherwise restricted to the public is not prudent. I prefer Russell's suggestion on 10/7/09.
Paul at PEN commented
Daniel's idea for subscription by domain name is excellent. Would solve a lot of our bundle-related problems too.
It sounds to me like this would should be a separate request thread, this is not really about bundle functionality per se. I would appreciate if you would create a separate thread for changing membership level.
Interesting all those additional characters that appeared right before the ticket number (I did a copy on the the email message that I got back) in the message when I just sent it.
I used the bundle feature (with some help from yall) for a 3 month survey we did. At the end of the survey (now) I wanted to convert the survey members from full member level to associate member. I thought I could do that with a single stroke however, that was not the case. See my support ticket 14F-1301491C-CA37
Therefore, I think a feature should be the ability convert all the members, or selected members to another level of membership if so desired.
Thanks for a great product that is constantly improving!
We would find it extremely helpful if bundles could have e-mail domain names associated with them, so that new members (people who are not yet set up as contacts) could register for an event using their company e-mail address and automatically be added to the bundle. Currently, we waste a lot of time telling members who can't register to contact their admins, who don't know how to add them, etc.
I hope this is part of the next release!
You can do this now.
Business will be 'bundle administrator'. 'Contacts' will be bundle members (NOT contacts in WA terms).
I'm a newbie here and am really excited about what Wild Apricot can do for my new business venture. I am a little confused about bundles. Here's what I need to do;
I run a trade directory and have plumbers, electricians, roofers, builders etc. as members. These are business members but each one may employ more than one person. So, I need to hold the Business as the Member and then the people in the business as Contacts... the Business can edit member details but not the contacts, but I want the contacts to be able to have access to 'members only' areas of the website.
Can I do this with the system now? Or, when will this sort of functionality be available - I am planning on launching this business in April and this is critical functionality for me.
We've marked this as one of the Top 50 items for 2010. Our goal is to develop this feature during the next 12 months.
We'll continue getting ideas and feedback from this forum, and let you know when we have designed the solution and set a release date for it.
Great idea! We would love to see this feature added as well!!
We have some ideas for the revision, some small steps are being implemented in version 3.3 If you have a concrete suggestion for some specific aspects, feel free to create new threads on the Wishlist for each one (this would help us to focus on most important things).
Thanks for a detailed description, makes good sense.
And I agree about that process comment. We have designed some improvements - now wiating its turn in the development queue...
A suggestion that I would like to make now is to make it easier for a new member to sign up and be part of an existing bundle. Here is my current workflow, and the problem.
My organization has individual members, and corporate memberships, which are bundles with 10 possible places, one being the admin.
As it stand now, when new member signs up, and chooses corporate membership, they are assigned as a new bundle administrator and asked to pay the full corporate membership fee. There is no mechanism to have them be assigned to an existing bundle when they fill out the new member form.
Ideally, what I would see is the following workflow:
1. New Member signs up
2. Chooses Corporate Membership
3. Bundle is based on Company Name: Next screen shows pulldown of Company names that are part of a Corporate Bundle, as not all have corporate memberships.
4. New member chooses Company Name from pull-down.
5. If Bundle still has open spaces, the new member completes application. If not, go to 6
5a. Email is generated to bundle administrator who may approve new member being added to bundle.
5b. If bundle administrator does not approve, then new member is sent email to log in and either choose the same company and pay for new corporate membership, or choose different membership level.
6. If Bundle has no open spaces, set up new member as new bundle administrator and charge them for corporate membership.
Hopefully this makes sense, please contact me for clarification. My organization website is socalurisa.camp9.org if you want to see the current setup.
Another problem that I have with the bundle administration is changing someones bundle status. When a new member signs up, they are assigned to a new bundle as an administrator. In order to make them a part of an existing bundle, the process is extremely unclear. You actually have to change them from a corporate member, which is the bundle membership, to an individual member, and then choose to add them to a bundle. The only choices you are given there is a list of the bundle administrators, which doesn't help you know which company they are a part of. This part really, really needs some help.
Yes, this is one of the things with bundles we are working to redesign.
Paul at PEN commented
It would really help to be able to give bundles names other than the names of their administrators. I mean, bundles are meant for schools, organizations, teams etc., right? We should be able to name them that way.
At the moment, if I want to add a teacher to his school's account, I click 'Add to bundle' on his profile, and am faced with a list of school administrators' names, which mean nothing to me. So then I go back or open another browser tab, do a keyword search by school name to find out the administrators name, then go back and look for that name in the list -- a list which is not in alphabetical, or any other, order!
Can anything be done to improve this situation?
Thanks for the suggestion. We are working on redesigning bundles and this is quite helpful.