What is CiviMember?

CiviMember aims to automate membership administration as much as possible. CiviMember allows you to:

  • track contacts through the membership cycle 
  • set self-service options for membership sign up and renewal
  • set automated renewal and thank-you messages 
  • grant additional web site privileges for specific members.

Memberships can be free or paid, and have simple or complex pricing structures. CiviContribute is required to handle membership fee payments.

All memberships show up on contact views and in the membership dashboard. They can be searched for through the Membership Search or Advanced Search and there is a built in report template.

Scenario: Driving membership forward

The Atlantic Region Public Transit Association (ARPTA) has a complex requirement with four membership categories:

  • Regular Members: Public transit systems. There are three tiered levels within this category, based on the size of the system. Membership is organization-based, and all employees receive access to member benefits, such as discounted rates at Association events.
  • Affiliate Members: Businesses providing goods and services to the transit industry, such as bus and rail car manufacturers, engineers and consultants, parts and component manufacturers, etc. Membership dues are a flat rate for all Affiliate Members. Membership is organization-based, and all employees receive access to member benefits, such as discounted rates at Association events.
  • Associate Members: Students, government representatives, public interest groups, research institutions, and other interested parties. Membership dues are a flat rate for all Associate Members. Membership is individual-based.
  • Honorary Members: Retired transit system executives and others who have made a notable contribution to the industry and Association. Membership is individual-based and free for life.

When the ARPTA membership administrator, Sue, initially configured the membership types she created various separate membership types and rules to account for each. This was all easily managed by CiviMember. Initially, they carried on with manually processing membership renewals and new sign-ups while the system bedded in. 

Last year ARPTA's membership committee began a focused outreach to non-member public transit systems (Regular Member category) and non-member businesses working in the public transit industry (Affiliate Member category). They wanted their members to renew online and pay through a credit card.

To accomplish this, they created a membership sign-up/renewal page and publicised this in a series of emails, blog posts and promotions on various social media platforms. The sign-up page is available to all website visitors, whereas the renewal page is visible only to contacts who are already members, after they log in to the members-only section. This streamlines their sign-up process, eliminates a lot of paperwork and gives Sue a clear view of new sign-ups, recent renewals and expired members that need to be chased. Through CiviContribute, she canproduce a monthly spreadsheet for the accounts department with all membership fees received, which they import into their accounting software. With the time she saves on paperwork she is able to engage more with members and is more involved in the annual conference.

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