Dramatically simplify membership renewal process for members
This is a request to improve the process for members to renew memberships. Non-Profit organizations depend on memberships and membership renewals for continued funding and advocacy. As a result it’s necessary to repeatedly lobby members to renew, so it’s critical for membership renewals to be a convenient one click process to get to the Pay-Pal screen. Sending members to the home page and requiring a login and password in order to renew membership is inconvenient and cumbersome. We have two requests for improving the process:
- A direct link to the “membership renewal page”, bypassing the password requirement (the way the “invoice” form functions), should be included in every Renewal Reminder email:
Renewal Day Notice
Grace Period Email Notice
Lapsed Email Notice
- The link to the “membership renewal page”, bypassing the password requirement, should be one of the “link” selections in the “edit” option for emails. This would allow us to include a direct link to membership renewal in individual customized emails.
Below is an example from a “Renew Your Membership” menu tab on our website. This is the amount of explanation and instruction that is currently necessary for members to understand what is required to renew their membership. We must also explain this in our Renewal Reminder emails! It’s way too much to have to explain, making this too cumbersome for the public’s expectations. We say “It’s quick and easy” in hopes that people won’t get turned off by the amount of instruction.
It’s quick and easy to renew online!
Login with your email address and password (bottom left corner of this page).
Tip: Be sure to use the email address that our Membership Renewal email was sent to; our system accommodates one email address for each member and relies on the uniqueness of email addresses to differentiate among memberships.
Don’t have a password? Click the “FORGOT” password button (bottom left corner of this page). A password will be automatically emailed to you at the address connected with your membership. There's no need to memorize another password!
When you’ve logged in, follow the link under the “View Profile” menu button and click the “Renew” button next to your renewal date. Your renewal payment is secure through PayPal.
We just haven't analysed the problem yet, not in our Roadmap. We will get to it as soon as we can. But in general, creating a workaround is always much easier that implementing a proper process.
Aero Club of PA commented
I know this is old post, but I don't get the impression that this was ever addressed.
The solution already exists!
Today, members and guests alike can pay for Events in Wild Apricot without logging in. Their payment gets associated to an email address. So, we could fake what we want by setting up an Event called "Renew Membership". Login is optional. So, why can't WildApricot just build that same kind of option on top of membership functionality? Don't log them in. There is no security issue.
Can you please clarify about this:
Where do you see this message? Is it on membership application page?
Mia Schober-King commented
Agree, with Could you change this to say "Click here to edit your profile or pay your dues."
Bonnie Tessler commented
I agree totally with Becky. The renewal process is overly cumbersome and difficult to explain, especially to non-technical members.
I like the idea of being able to include the invoice in an email, perhaps this could be a macro so it could be included in any email? And/or the ability to go to a payment page without having to log in. Our members rarely need to log in so this is a confusing/alarming process (Forgot my password? But I never had one in the first place!) and then even if/when they are logged in, it's not at all intuitive how to get to the renewal page. (Edit my profile? What does that have to do with paying my dues?)
One minor suggestion - on the yellow notice that says "You are already logged in, Click here to edit your profile." - Could you change this to say "Click here to edit your profile or pay your dues." - that would be SO MUCH CLEARER.
But my first preference by far would be to avoid logging in. People don't have to log in to pay for events, they don't have to log in to join in the first place - let's let them renew without logging in, too.
Other clients can discover these in a number of ways:
- when they actually search or browse the wishlist
- on the forums homepage among most recently updated topics
- by receiving email updates if they subscribed to a certain topic
Also, our customer service/tech support people regularly send people to specific threads if they bring up topics already being discussed.
To find your recent posting, one good way is:
1) Start on the wishlist forum homepage
2) Find the right category, in this case Fundraising/Donations:
3) On that page you will see all threads with most recently commented on top - the one you mentioned is right now is the top one. http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8825839-multiple-separately-customizable-donation-forms
Becky Parsons commented
Thanks Dimitry. I have used the wishlist function only a couple of times, so don't know very well how it works. Since you asked everyone for input, how does your request get broadcasted to other users for their opinion? It seems to me that I only know of wishlist items if I have an issue and happen to log in and hunt to see if anyone else has posted on the same issue. I rarely have the time to do that.
Also, a few weeks ago I posted about a need for multiple donation forms, but today I don't see that category or know how to find out if others have made posts more recently.
Becky, thanks for the feedback!
Everyone, I would appreciate your input. We have been considering doing something like this - but would like to hear your thoughts on convenience vs. security. (The way we would implement it is by creating some special auto-generated links that would auto-log in people. These links would have to be individual and also auto-expire after certain time, e.g. several days)
Becky Parsons commented
Thanks for your reply and for the direct link to the membership renewal page - that is helpful to know. However, I still have the same concerns as before. Here are my follow-up comments and questions:
1. We often find it's necessary for members to receive more than one reminder email before actually renewing membership. For you to provide only one renewal link that bypasses the login and password - in the form of an invoice - just isn't enough. If you can bypass the login and password in an invoice, why can't you bypass the login and password in the reminder emails - why is one a security risk and the other is not?
2. When lobbying for someone to renew a membership, an "invoice" format is not a diplomatic and inviting message - we prefer to use "reminder" emails so that we can customize the language to be an inviting appeal to membership renewal. Your representative advised me to not customize the invoice wording to relate it to membership renewals because the invoice form is used for all invoices, not just for membership renewals. So for those reasons we don't have invoices automatically sent out for membership renewals. That leaves us with no direct link to a membership renewal that bypasses the login and password.
3. Out of over 1100 "contacts", only 4 or 5 people bother to use a login and password - and those few typically try it only once just for curiosity - that is a huge disparity. It reduces the membership renewal process to something that is very laborious and cumbersome.
4. We have gotten numerous complaints from both our members and our board members about a login and password requirement to renew a membership. The majority end up writing a check and mailing it! Then we must manually post the membership renewal and make a trip to the bank to deposit the checks. We want to be able to fully utilize your software - it has many fine features - but in this particular process the software is too limiting and needs to be broadened to better serve your clients. This leads me back to my original two requests for you to make the membership renewal process more helpful:
(1) A direct link to the “membership renewal page”, bypassing the password requirement (the way the “invoice” form functions), should be included in every Renewal Reminder email:
Renewal Day Notice
Grace Period Email Notice
Lapsed Email Notice
(2) The link to the “membership renewal page”, bypassing the password requirement, should be one of the “link” selections in the “edit” option for emails. This would allow us to include a direct link to membership renewal in individual customized emails.
We have been thinking about this but there are important security considerations to bypassing the login to access private member data.
btw, you don't have to send them to the home page etc.
You can give them a direct link to membership renewal:
If they are not logged int yet, system will ask them to log in - and then immediately start the renewal.
Another option is using our recent addition - to automatically generate a renewal invoice. Then your emails can simply send them the link to the renewal invoice and they can proceed to payment even faster.
Agree. Our members, too, have difficult time finding the renew option in the profile and they resort to downloading a New Member PDF, completing the doc, and faxing back. I then need to verify whether the revenue is "renewal" or "new" revenue, check for updated info against current record, and process payment. Not so automated.
This sounds like such an elegant solution to the difficulty some have in finding their way through the renewal process.
What if we make the following change: the link to renew membership inside renewal email does NOT require logging in. When a member receives the email and clicks on the link, he logs in automatically and gets to the profile with Renewal button. He can click it and easily pay right away. Would it help you?
I vote yes! Keeping it as simple as possible would be helpful for my members as well. Your demographic seems to be the same as mine.
why don't you use donations module instead of membership? If your members do not log in and basically all they do is paying money for you, why do use membership functions? It's easier to make the donation then apply for membership and you can blast emails when there is a time for the next payment.
Talking about membership - we still are not convinced that joining again is the best way to make renewal. Join form is usually a long list of fields - not very convenient to fill it in again and again. But I agree that we need to simplify renewal process - and we are planning to do some changes here. In v4.3 (releasing next week) http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308920-archive/suggestions/8835412-getting-ready-for-version-4-3 we are planning to roll our "payments from profile" feature - members will see all invoices and payments in their profiles and will be able to pay online for any invoice that admin email them. In the following release we are going to give a way to automatically generate renewal invoices and email them to members.