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Defer payment until application is approval

I think it would be helpful to have an online application with an option of deferring the membership fee until the applicant has been approved for membership.

This would allow them to complete an application, which would enter the system as a Pending status. Once they have been approved, and the record is marked as Approved, then they would receive an email requesting that they then pay for the membership.

Our group has certain guidelines that must be met for membership. There are also other documents (proof of insurance, etc) that must be sent in for review. Once these items have been verified, then they can become a member. (Another requirement is that they've been in business at least two years).

In this case, there is a possibility that someone would apply and pay, only to get denied membership, requiring us to refund the payment.

ON ANOTHER NOTE - it might be nice to allow them to submit files with the app, such as the insurance certificate, etc.

29 votes
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djtommye shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
Evgeny Zaritovskiy responded  · 

For now, this is not something we’re going to change – not sure if ever.
Workaround to use: create a special “entry” free level to apply to, and close “normal” ones for application. For the entry level, create also a dropdown field where a potential member can choose a level they want to apply to. Add other fields you need to assess the application. When application is successful, your admin is to change membership level to required one and generate membership invoice (membership upgrade invoice). The member will be emailed with the invoice and can pay.


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  • Kyle commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The amount of finagling I am going through to make WA work for our organization without this feature (fee after approval) is substantial. If there is another membership software that provides this functionality then I will migrate.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We need to review and approve applications and therefore it would be useful for the invoice to be sent AFTER confirmation. It is confusing and we have people paying before they have been accepted, which we then end up refunded.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Just adding I agree with the need for this. My group has been on Big Tent for 10 years where they easily allow you to have a prospective member fill out an application, you click a button to approve, then the invoice is auto-generated and sent. Unfortunately last year Big Tent stopped processing online payments so I am here checking out Wild Apricot for a possible platform move. Why is WA so unwilling to fix this function?

  • Beverly Hicks commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In an all volunteer organization we have a hard enough time getting someone to take on the board position of membership. Because of the type of organization we need to make a phone call to speak to the applicant prior to accepting their application. I loved the idea of collecting their payment information with their application but not processing it until approval. In a previous program it automatically invoiced them once approved. They paid and then had access.
    Either of these options works for us but the current situation involves so many extra steps on the part of the Membership chair it becomes a problem. In addition if we have to refund annual dues after making a phone call this complicates it further including adding the treasurer in the mix as well.

    The free level and then invoice negates the automatic nature of the program as they have to be manually approved after payment.

    We vote for a correction of this feature.

  • Club commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We would like to be able to collect new applicants credit card at the time that they fill out the application form, and authorize it, but not collect the actual payment until they have been accepted.

  • AnnaG commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Regarding Admins Free Level advice: this what we were advised as well and we started with it. This workflow had multiple issues:
    - Discounts don't work when admin changes a level
    - Extra charge items are not pulled
    - No prorating
    Basically, you need to type the whole invoice, as opposed to generating it.

  • LeBon Abercrombie commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We would like a membership waitlist function similar to the event waitlist. There should also be a "delay billing until <condition> is met" feature.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    My organization has some robust membership requirements, and our board reviews and approves applications once a month.

    As we use PayPal for online payments, I've noticed applicants are paying their annual dues before they're approved. This could lead to some uncomfortable situations if/when we decide an applicant is not the right fit for our organization. I'm hoping Wild Apricot will create a functionality that will allow an applicant to pay annual dues only after she becomes a member.

  • MaryA commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are new to Wild Apricot. I have to say that when we saw the check boxes for requiring approval prior to accepting a membership, we expected the payment to not be invoiced until we accepted the membership. So we were surprised when the opposite happened.

    Our membership committees take their jobs seriously and spend time evaluating an applicant. We have not taken payment in the past until the application was approved.

    We definitely vote for this improvement.

  • Jeff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have worked around this by creating a "member level" called "member applicant" with no cost and another called "member-probationary". It still doesn't really do the trick, because I would like to have a button that I can select when the administrator upgrades an "applicant" or "probationary" to full membership and send the bill at that time. As it is now, you bill them as soon as they fill out an application for a membership that has a price, and you don't automatically bill if an administrator upgrades them from "applicant" to "full member".

  • Jeff commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We have a waiting list for members to join. We want them to sign up on the waiting list, but not get an invoice for membership dues and fees until they clear the waiting list. It would be nice to have a "delay billing until <condition> is met" feature, with ability to have more than one <condition>.

  • Chris commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks but neither thread addresses my issue, it has nothing to do with member emails.

    Just as one can put a red asterisk near a field in any online form and make it mandatory, and the submit will fail if it is not present or correct, we need to have our membership application not submit if Submit is clicked and payment has not yet been completed. We are hooked up to PayPalStandard I think. But it creates extra hassles for me to see numerous pending apps over time because people chose not to pay at the last minute for whatever reason, then I have to chase people down for money - waste of time and not intuitive...I am trying to find where I can set it so the membership application will not go through unless payment has been made - generating an invoice for payment after the app has been put through is a moot point and backwards to what we need.

  • Chris Mezzolesta/World-Voices Organization commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Could someone please direct me to a thread or solution for the exact opposite problem? Our org accepts all applicants, we then vet them into different membership levels, but we do not start the process of evaluation for level until payment is received, and there are people going thru the registration process all the way up to the payment phase, where they drop it. This causes hassles for me and our membership committee due to the system emails being sent out, time invesstigating the dead apps etc., so I would like to find where in WA I can stipulate that an application will not be accepted into the system until payment is made. I am looking......many thanks.

  • Dmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Our current thinking is that this enhancement makes sense - but we have not scheduled this to a particular release so the timeline is unknown. Not in the 2013 though.

  • Phil Dailey commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    For any organisation that applies an acceptance approval process a 2-phased application process is a must.

    This should be tied in with the membership Id, which should not be generated until membership has been approved and payment received (i.e. phase 2).

    Taking a membership payment and then rejecting the application does not help the image of the organisation.

  • mcorden commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are evaluating WA. The lack of a 2-phased membership workflow has caused objections from other committee members. We too have to approve applications before acceptance and payment.

    please advise when this will be incorporated.

  • Secretary commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'd like to provide an alternative perspective.

    After many years as the membership secretary of an organisation that customarily only invoiced via Paypal after an application for membership had been assessed and accepted, and then suffering the frustration of about 5% of applicants not following through, I find it a wonderful relief that now with WA implemented they must pay up front.

    And I've edited the automatic initiation reply email to advise applicants that their application will not even be examined until payment has been made.

    My experience has been that the frustration of dealing with that 5% of applicants is enough to make the unpaid task of managing memberships for a not-for-profit professional association more than anyone can be expected to bear.

    Once again from a volunteer perspective, the small number of people who are reluctant to part with $100 in an application process are the same people who create ongoing excessive demands on volunteer staff. This organisation is better off without these people.

    And by virtually enforcing payment via Paypal the process of reversing payment is so simple, takes about 1 minute and is simple to handle through the accounting process.

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