Membership Renewal Process Overview
There are 4 ways a member can have their membership renewed - three of them are available to the member, and one is available to Admins only. The options for renewing a member are detailed below.
The 3 ways a member can renew themselves:
A member can renew their own membership in one of three ways:
- By paying the auto-generated Renewal invoice tied to their renewal notification
- By logging in and submitting a Renewal Form
- By logging in and using the Renew option from the My Profile page
Note: in order for any of the three ways listed above to be available, your Membership Automation switch must have been turned on by a MemberClicks team member. If you aren't sure if your Membership Automation switch is on, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Membership Renewal Notifications
Membership Renewal Notifications go out automatically based on a member’s expiration date. There are 3 types of notifications:
- Renewal Notifications: there are 4 opportunities prior to the member's expiration date to send renewal notifications
- Grace Period Notifications: there are 4 opportunities during the membership grace period (if applicable) to send grace period notifications
- Lapsed Notifications: there are 4 opportunities after a member's profile has lapsed to send lapsed notifications
You are able to update the timing and verbiage for these automated Renewal notifications within your MemberClicks account under Database > Member Types > Edit Notifications next to each Member Type.
Each of the notifications can be set up in days (up to 31) or in months (up to 31).
You can create up to 4 Renewal Notifications to go out before the expiration date in the member's profile. When the first Renewal Notification goes out, a dues invoice is auto-generated using the dues amount inside the Member Type, which starts the member's Renewal Period.
Here's an example of a renewal reminder - the link at the bottom of the message that says "Click here to pay this invoice" is automatically generated.
Here's an example of the auto-generated invoice. The member can click Pay Invoice to pay their invoice with a credit card, or Download Invoice to print the invoice off and mail it in with a check.
Grace Period Notifications:
You can create up to 4 Grace Period Notifications to go out before the Grace Period ends (if you don’t have a Grace Period, you’ll skip these and members will go straight from Active to Lapsed). The Grace Period notifications will also include the link to "Click here to pay this invoice."
You can create up to 4 Lapsed Notifications to go out after the Grace Period Ends/Membership Lapses. The Lapsed notifications will also include the link to "Click here to pay this invoice."
- The timing of these notifications is solely based on the expiration date in each member's profile. If at any point the member pays their dues invoice, their expiration date will be updated and they will stop receiving renewal notifications.
- If this is your first time using MemberClicks' automated renewal process, you will need to ask your Implementation Manager or a Help Team member to turn your Membership Automation on for you. Once Membership Automation is turned ON, that night around midnight, the system will comb through and send the notification that is closest to the member's expiration date to send out.
- It is important to move any Lapsed members back to Active before turning Membership Automation ON. Members that have already Lapsed (those with expiration dates in the past) will not receive notifications and won’t be able to renew.
This document includes a best practice example of each type of notification (Renewal, Grace Period, and Lapsed). We also created a video to show you how to simplify your dues renewal process through automation - check it out here!
2. Renewal Form
Once a member receives their first Renewal Notification and auto-generated invoice, they are considered in their Renewal Period. At that point, the member can take any form with a Membership Section (ex. a Membership Renewal form or an Event Registration form with a membership section) and will see the ability to Renew.
By using a Renewal Form, members have the opportunity to update the Attributes in their profile, and can also choose a different Member Type to renew as if you allow them to. “Renewal Paths” can be designated within each Member Type so that members can upgrade or downgrade their membership by using the Renewal Form if applicable.
For example: if you wanted a “Student Member” to have the opportunity to upgrade their membership to “Professional Member” at renewal time, you could define this within the Student Member Type settings (Database > Member Types > Edit Settings next to Introductory Member > Define Renewal Paths). The amount due on the form will automatically reflect the appropriate amount for the new Member Type.
If you’d like to collect some fields/Attributes for new members and others for renewing members, we recommend creating two separate forms - one Application and one Renewal.
3. Front-end renewal within profile
Once a member receives their first Renewal Notification and auto-generated invoice, they are considered in their Renewal Period. At that point, upon signing in and viewing the My Profile page, members in their Renewal Period will see a Renew button within their profile, which is the final self-service option a member can use to renew.
In the short video below, watch as a member in their Renewal Period navigates to the My Profile page, and uses the Renew button to renew their membership.
Renewing on a member's behalf from the Admin side:
ASA’s (and other Administrators if approved by the ASA’s) can manually process a renewal on the admin side on behalf of a member. To manually place a member in their renewal period, navigate to the member's profile and click on the Actions dropdown in the top righthand corner.
The options you have with renewing a profile on the back-end are:
Create an Open Invoice: This option will create an Open invoice "silently" - without sending an email to the member being renewed. This would be useful if you have a one off case where you want to give a member the ability to renew early.
Create and Email an Open Invoice: This option will create an Open invoice and send a notification to the member being renewed. The notification will be sent using the verbiage from the New Invoice Email configured in the Invoice Template assigned in Member Type settings. This option is great for a member who has requested a renewal invoice.
Create and Pay Invoice Now: This option will create the invoice and take the Admin right to the Open invoice so that a payment may be applied.This would be helpful if a member renewed in person at an event, and you didn't want to confuse them by sending a confirmation email.
This article goes over Processing a Renewal on the Admin Side with lots of screenshots and additional details.
Other Renewal Process Notes:
Renewal Payment Settings can be found with the settings for each member type (Database > Member Types > Edit Settings next to each member type). These 3 settings – Invoice Template, Payment Processor, and Revenue Account – allow you to keep your finances in order and should be completed before members begin renewing within MemberClicks.
Membership & Expiration Settings can be found within the same section. This area will have already been set up by your Implementation Manager for current member types, but the Grace Period can still be updated as needed.
Renewal Settings can be found within the same section as well. This is where you can determine the Renewal Path from earlier in this article.
Ready to Test Your Knowledge?
We created this video so that you can test your knowledge about the automated renewal process.