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Provide ability to set group join policy by each group

I keep wanting to love Wild Apricot. But time after time I run into limitations that truly make no sense to me. I am glad that WA instituted some other way than Member Level to limit access to Restricted Pages. That was way too limiting. But the way Groups work to limit access is an all or nothing affair because of the way Group Participation works.

Let's start off with an example of various groups you might have in a HOA: Board Member, Volunteer Group, Newsletter, Swim Team, Tennis, etc. Now let's say that you want a restricted page for Board Members only. Well this won't work in the current schema in WA. Because my choices in setting up Group Participation in the Database Fields section are to allow users to opt in to all Groups or to none at all. So if I allow them to opt in to all groups, anyone can make themselves a Board Member and get access to the restricted pages. And if I do not allow each member to opt in to groups of their choice, they cannot add themselves to social groups like Volunteer, Newsletter or Tennis. An admin would have to field requests to add people to groups and that is way too cumbersome. [pulling my hair out].

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    wchesterwchester shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    SommerSommer shared a merged idea: Groups question/suggestion  ·   · 

    16 comments

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      • Doug MilesDoug Miles commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The "Board of Directors" (admin control) vs "Tennis" (user opt-in) sums this up perfectly. Simply need a tick on the Edit Group page, or for more sophisticated control, a tick per membership level, as per fields.

      • SommerSommer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Thank you. It would be immensely helpful. Perhaps as simple as each group having its own settings whether it can be joined by the member or is an admin-only group. That makes more sense than my first suggestion of two sets of groups!

      • SommerSommer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I don't want to change their membership level, I just want to create sub-groups of members.

      • bigskyastdbigskyastd commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We don't have a Groups option but we do have Membership. One of the options when viewing a Membership Option is Level Security Options. The two options are typically Public Can Apply and Member Can Change To:

        Meaning that for each level, if allowed, a member who belongs to that level can be allowed to change their level to something else or not. If they can't change themselves, an admin can always go in and do it.

        For me this is a set of options that appear as check boxes to the right of the Member Level Information.

        Not sure if that helps but maybe you'll be able to find something similar.

      • sofiaceliclisofiacelicli commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I would like to add my vote for this feature. I would like to have groups that are available in membership applications and profile edits and other groups that are admin only. This would allow a member to choose the member groups they would like to be associated with, and edit those choices at will, but not allow a member to add themselves to the steering committee group.

        Ideally, I would like to choose which groups are available in the membership application for a particular membership level. That way, different membership levels can present different groups and the admin-only groups are not visible at all.

        Thanks,
        Sofia

      • thecarpentersx4thecarpentersx4 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Has this issue been addressed? I would like the ability to manage groups as an admin but allow some groups to be managed by members as given in the examples listed by others in this thread.

      • James KerichJames Kerich commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes I agree, it is kind of a problem that group particpation control is all or nothing. It would be good to set up the group management area to allow group access to be controlled by the admin function or by the users.

        Looking at it, It would be nice if you could just move the access functionality you have on the member database field page to the group management page and allow each group participation name to have separate access controls established.

      • wchesterwchester commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I think you have it right. Each group has a separate setting for access rights. Some allow users to change their participation. Others are locked down by the admin.

      • cas232cas232 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I'm new to WA but I agree that private/public policies for groups should be on the wishlist. I'm running into a similar issue.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OK, so just to reconfirm (we have thousands of organizations using Wild Apricot in very different ways so it is not a good idea for us to assume too much):

        What you would like to see is ability to set 'join policy' for each group separately. So that some groups will be shown on the new member application form and anyone can join - while others are maintained only by the site administrators.

        Please confirm/comments and I will rename ths thread and move to the wishlist.

      • wchesterwchester commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Um, what he said above. It's pretty self explanatory as to what the solution is. As far as over-dramatic, OK...I'll give you that. But if a function does not work as you advertise it, then I would say it is a fatal flaw. In your Help file on Groups you say, "This function gives you the ability to organize members into groups - such as 'Board of Directors', 'Volunteer Committee', etc.". So you make HOA groups like ours hopeful that you have built in functionality with us in mind. Then a few paragraphs later you write, "Here are the main ways you can set up Group participation control:...2) Member access: View only. In this case members will see their groups via their profile - but can not change it. This is the most common setup in our experience." What's the point of groups if people cannot join them? And on the flip side what's the point of restricting pages to group membership if everyone can opt in? If this is the most common setup then the former contradicts the latter in regards to usability.

        Like I said, this one should be self-explanatory.

      • saberlightsaberlight commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I noticed this limitation myself as well when wanting to setup groups. How about giving each group the option to make registration public, instead of globally allowing everybody to register for groups or not allowing them to. That way, I can have a board members group and a group I want people to signup for.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        OK, can you elaborate what would you see as the ideal solution to this situation?

        I would love to hear what other people think too.

        Personally I think your post title is overdramatic :-)

      • SommerSommer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I am looking at the groups feature, and right now it's set so that our members can assign themselves to groups, which are our committees. I like that and want to keep it that way.

        However, I'd also like to have groups for my BOD and Sponsors - groups that I don't want people to be able to add themselves to. Is there any way to have two sets of groups, each with different controls?

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