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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.

18 votes
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    djtommyedjtommye shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Evgeny aka Apricot KernelAdminEvgeny aka Apricot Kernel (Product Manager, Wild Apricot) shared a merged idea: Do not create membership application invoice until the application is approved  ·   · 

    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.

    22 comments

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      • LeBon AbercrombieLeBon 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.

      • MaryAMaryA 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.

      • JeffJeff 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".

      • JeffJeff 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>.

      • ChrisChris 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 OrganizationChris 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 ButerinDmitry 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 DaileyPhil 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.

      • mcordenmcorden 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.

      • SecretarySecretary 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.

      • mwmmwm commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I created a post here:

        http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308929-general-discussion-and-questions/suggestions/8823826-don-t-want-applicant-to-pay-joining-fee-until-appr

        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?

      • gavinbluegavinblue commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hi,

        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?

        G

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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 DavisonMike Davison commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        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.

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