Organizations looking to offer a financial break to their members may pause memberships for either a specific or indefinite amount of time. This article is for organizations who have a fixed renewal date. Organizations with rolling renewals should read this other article.
Provide One Year of Free Membership
With this option, you’ll utilize the bulk update feature to advance members’ renewal dates.
Create a backup
When making bulk changes to accounts, it is best to have a backup of your information. It is very easy to end up with the information on your spreadsheet a row or two off when you manipulate it. Having a backup will make it easy to reset the information when this happens.
- Go to your Members folder
- Click Export
- Click “click here to select all”
- Under Options select “Include contact under account”
- Click Download
- Save file as your backup
Export the sheet you will manipulate
- Go to your Members folder
- Click Export
- Select Name, Renewal Date and Account ID
- Click to download the report
Update and import spreadsheet
- (Optional) Cancel automatic recurring billing for members (see section at end of article)
- In the Renewal Date column advance the renewal date by one year from the date that is currently displayed. For best results, the date column should be formatted as MMM DD YYYY (e.g. Apr 01 2021)
- Delete all columns except Account ID and Renewal Date
- Save as a CSV
- Go to MembershipWorks > Members
- Click Import and import your CSV spreadsheet
- Copy the results from the “Import Completed” dialog box; if you find any errors reported here for some of the lines you will need to take action on those records manually
IMPORTANT: If you have members on automatic recurring billing, you can update their renewal dates only if you are using Stripe or Authorize.net (with CIM enabled); for most cases Paypal Pro does not allow alteration of the renewal date. In the latter case you have the option of cancelling the automatic recurring billing for the members (which will remove the card on file) to alter the renewal date, please see the section at the end of this article.
Pausing Less Than 1 Year
If you choose a renewal date that is less than 1 year from the current date, the renewal payment will be pro-rated when members renew online because they will be charged for a partial year. If this is your desired outcome, you could follow the same steps as in Option #1 and set the renewal date accordingly. However for members on automatic recurring billing you will need to cancel their automatic billing (and remove their card on file) for billing to work properly (please see section at end of this article).
However, if you want members to still pay for a full membership year without prorating, then effectively you are simply providing a larger grace period for renewal. In that case you can adjust the renewal period and grace period as follows:
Change the Renewal Period in Billing Management
- Go to Labels & Membership and click on your first membership level that has a fixed renewal date
- Click on the Billing Management tab
- Adjust the Renewal period to allow members to renew later; keep in mind the renewal period is given as a percentage of a year, so for example 25% is 3 months
- Click Save Settings & Next
- Select the Renewal Notices tab
- Adjust your past due renewal notices accordingly if you want to reduce/eliminate past due renewal notices during this grace period
- Repeat these steps for your other membership levels.
Change Grace Period in Membership Settings
- Go to Organization Settings > Integration > Membership Settings
- Adjust the number of days accordingly so the members’ directory listings and access to member only content is retained during the grace period
Cancelling Automatic Recurring Billing
You will need to cancel automatic recurring billing for members in order to adjust their renewal dates if a) you are using Paypal Pro, or b) you want to adjust their renewal dates by less than 1 year. You may also want to cancel automatic recurring billing for members in order to avoid any complaints of unexpected charges from your members. In order to cancel automatic recurring billing, in step #2 of creating your import spreadsheet:
- Add a column and title it Delete Auto Recurring. In the rows below add the letter “Y” in each member row
Note that this is irreversible, once automatic recurring billing is cancelled the card on file for these members will be deleted from your payment gateway.
Please contact us if you have questions or need specific instructions for your organization.