How to manage your membership easily

How does your society manage its members and their details?

Maybe the Secretary keeps a list in a book, or a spreadsheet or Word document?

Great. But, of course, you have to manage that list according to your Privacy Policy and GDPR.

So that list has to be kept secure, accurate and up to date. How do you manage that? And other people in the society  - maybe the Treasurer, the Social Secretary or the Publicity Manager - will need access to that list. Every copy you hand out doubles the risk of failing to meet your regulatory obligations.

It’s tricky.

That’s why AmDram Web Design has developed an in-house app for managing a society’s members through their website. It’s easy to use, gives you all the information you need and is built specifically for amdram societies to meet their GDPR requirements. And it’s FREE with all new websites we build!

Now your membership information can be held securely in one place - your website - where members can log in and update their own details but only authorised members can log in and view everyone’s. And you get automated reminders to help keep your information up to date.

Click here to see the features.

So how would a society use it?

First, you need to set up those members who will be authorised to view, edit and delete the information. This will usually depend on the official roles these members hold. Your Secretary, for example, will probably have principle responsibility so will need full control over the information, whereas your Treasurer may only need to view the lists without being able to add, edit or delete members’ details.

You can do this through the Officers List which allows you to set the access for each role and select the member in this role. And when a member steps down from their role and another person takes over, you update the list and the access for both those people changes automatically.

Next you will need to set up all your current members with their name and contact details together with a username and password so they can access the website. Inevitably this is a big job, but it needs to be done whatever system you use! It's worth stating that if you have a private Members' Area on your website, your members' names and basic details will aready be set up.

Then you set up your Membership Types. So, acting member, non-acting member, patron, life member, Youth Group, etc., together with the respective price and whether it expires at the end of the season or never (for Life Members).

Now you are ready to take subscriptions from your members. For each member you select a membership type, and record the date of purchase and method of payment (cash, cheque or online)*.

For future years, you need only create a new subscription for each member. The app is pre-set with your season’s expiry date so automatically knows whether a subscription is current or not.

You’re all set! Now the relevant officers, when they log in, can see various reports. The Current Members report shows, obviously, all members who have a current subscription for the season/year. You can search the report for an individual member, filter by membership type, edit a member’s details, add a new member or delete a member (depending on your access). You can even print a PDF copy (if you must!) or export to a CSV file.

Similarly, the Unsubscribed Members report lists members who don’t have a current subscription. This includes people whose membership has lapsed, new members whose applications are in progress, and non-members who have been granted special access to the website or have an Honorary position (not Life Members). The app will automatically email lapsed members to remind them to renew their subscription. After a specified time, another email will be sent advising that their access to the website Members Area will be blocked. And a third email will subsequently be sent advising that, in line with your Privacy Policy and GDPR, all their details will be deleted. Meanwhile, the app will also email specified officers to block, and later delete, these members, both of which actions can be made from the report. (The timescales for all these emails are set by you when the system is first installed.)

There is also a Treasurers report which lists all subscription details and the amounts paid, which can be filtered by membership type and/or year/season and shows the total amount paid. So now your Treasurer can easily check how much has been received each year and, if necessary, for each membership type.

An if you have a Youth Group, their reports can be kept separate from the adult membership reports, so that only specific people can see them.

And there’s more!

Members can record their birthdate which is listed on a report to officers, allowing the society to celebrate members’ birthdays if they so wish.

An Application form can be added to the website so that prospective members can apply. The application is automatically emailed to the relevant officer(s) and the prospective member’s details are added to the app, but they cannot access the website Members' Area until they have paid their subscription. When the subscription is paid they will receive an email confirmation. 

Finally, the Officers List mentioned earlier can be displayed anywhere on the website as a simple list of names and roles, with or without their contact details.

I built this app to manage the membership of my own society, to make the process as easy as possible. If you’ve been thinking of upgrading your website, contact us now and get this great app FREE with your new website!

Click here to see the features.

(*Note that the app does not process payments - that would make it expensive!)

(The app has been built using Fabrik, the brilliant Joomla app builder. With grateful thanks to the excellent users’ forum for guidance and to the fabulous group of dedicated volunteers who have successfully developed and tested the Joomla 4 version.)