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.
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.
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.
I created a post here:
and copied my first post below. I'm amazed this hasn't been a more requested feature. It also combines with the problem of PayPal Recurring payments and Joining Fees to become a real barrier to client uptake :(
Our membership is structured as follows:
Joining Fee $150.
Yearly sub $200.
I would like the applicant to apply for membership but not pay the joining fee until they have been approved.
I've unchecked the following checkbox:
Payment has to be received in full before membership is activated
If unchecked, approved memberships activate immediately, regardless of payment status"
But it still shows the normal pay online directions.
I can see this causing chaos with applicants paying the fees regardless of whatever text I write.
Then we have to manually refund them....
Is there any way around this?
Gavin, sorry - this is not currently possible in Wild Apricot - this is why it's on the wishlist.
I can't see an answer in the knowledge base.
I am also after a process where people can apply,(we have them answer questions then we look at their website), then if approved, a request for payment is sent out.
Is this possible yet?
I would appreciate comments from other users who have a similar need.
It's semantics but they are not really bugs (unexpected behavior) but rather deficiencies of current design. We will create a separate thread re level change emails. Second one should be taken care of in our next release 3.5 in August as we are changing how payments are recorded.
Mike Davison commented
Matthieu suggested a workaround:
Create a free member level that requires admin approval and allows a change to the paid member level. This level doesn't have access to member-only content. After we get the "free" application, we review them offline and then approve the free membership and tell them to change their level to the paid membership.
This is a reasonable workaround, except for a couple of WA bugs:
- Member level changes generate email notifications, but these notifications are not editable like all of the other notifications (new and renewed memberships). Also, the emails are only sent to the member, so admins won't get notified if they need to confirm a payment.
- Manual payment on member level changes doesn't behave the same way it does for new or renewed memberships. Instead of the payment confirmation button, admins have to edit a membership to change the status to active.
If these bugs were fixed, my wishlist item would be satisfied.
Thanks for posting Mike!
I would appreciate comments from others who want to use a similar workflow - approval before payment.
Mike Davison commented
I have a two-phased membership application process that is currently not supported in WA. Phase I - member applies and is interviewed to see if they meet my member criteria Phase II - member is approved and pays membership fees
I found out that I couldn't just post an annual membership application on the public part of my site because potential members could submit payment before I had decided if they were qualified to join.
WA suggested a "workaround" - I create 2 types of members; a "free" membership level that was open to the public with no fee, and an "annual" membership that is not open to the public with my annual fee ($250). I manually change the "free" members into "annual" members after I confirm their qualifications and set their renewal date to today's date.
This workaround is confusing because the email notifications and the payment screens are talking about "renewing" when this is a brand new member. It also distorts my membership renewal stats since all new members are "artificially" renewed.
WA already has the concept of a 2 phased membership approval. It just needs to give me the option to separate the initial application workflow from the payment workflow and allow me to initiate the payment workflow after I have verified the qualifications of a potential member.
I would expect that there are other member groups out there that need to review/evaluate applicants before they accept them as members - if you have this issue, please chime in.