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This series of wiki articles serve as a user guide to the Memberships area of DARS. In them you will find process information and step instructions for the tasks and functions available.
You will require the Membership role in order to access and use the functionality described in this user guide. If you are unsure of your role and access rights to the DARS system, please contact the DARS Support Centre (see DARSWiki FurtherHelp for contact details).
In the Memberships area of DARS, you can manage membership programmes and access membership-related reports and tasks. There are three types of membership programmes: Annual, Recurring (or sustaining) and Lifetime.
When setting up a membership programme you will also determine how membership is obtained: by payment of dues, by contributions above a certain level, or a combination of both. Revenue for dues-based memberships is typically reported as membership revenue and posts to ledger accounts specifically for memberships, whereas revenue for contributions-based memberships is typically reported and posts as contributions or donations. You might also have a membership program that is a hybrid of these. Lower levels may be dues-based, while some higher levels, like giving societies, may be awarded based on cumulative contributions.
Note: Currently, recurring and lifetime membership programmes can be dues-based only, not contributions based.
Membership Programme Types
Annual programmes are for memberships of a specific length with an expiration date.
When you add an annual membership programme, you determine if there is only one set term or if multiple terms exist. For example, some annual programmes are valid for one year. Other programmes use multiple terms to keep members engaged for longer periods of time. For example, for a single-term programme a one-year annual membership might cost £60 and a two year membership £100. The member saves money and gets a good deal and your organization has twice as long to build a relationship and interact with the member.
Recurring (or sustaining) programmes are for memberships with no expiration date as long as a set amount is paid on a recurring basis.
Lifetime programmes are for memberships with no expiration date as long as a set amount is paid in full within a specific timeframe.
Some membership programmes in your organization may be managed and have revenue tracked in other systems, but you may still be interested in information about members in that programme. For example, a university's alumni association may be interested to see that one of its members is also a member of an athletic booster programme. In this situation, you can set up the athletic booster programme as a membership programme in which payments are made in another system. For these programmes, you set up and can track basic information about the membership, but not things like benefits or add-ons.
Before you begin, consider whether your membership programme is going to include any benefits or add-ons, as you can set these up in advance. Benefits include items given to the member when joining at a certain level, such as a key chain or calendar. Add-ons are items members can purchase in addition to the membership, without any impact to the membership level. For example, at any level, you might allow members to purchase an additional member or "plus one" for a guest. For more information, see Membership Benefits and Membership Add-ons.
Also consider whether you need to create a membership promotion, such as 20% off, to offer when someone purchases membership. For more information, see Membership Promotions.
Add Membership Programme
When you add a membership programme, you enter details in a series of tabs. As you select options and enter information about a programme, the tabs and fields change to reflect the information needed for the specific type of programme.
The steps below provide an overview of the process for adding a new membership programme, with links to further details and instructions where relevant.
- In the Memberships > Membership programs section, click Add. The Add a membership program screen opens.
- On the General tab:
- Enter the programe name, such as 'Alumni Association'.
- Enter a description including additional information and details about the programme.
- Select a category for the programme, such as 'Museum' or 'Alumni Association.' This can help you analyze membership programmes based on category.
- For programmes for memberships with revenue in another system, select that payments are made in another system.
- Select a site to associate with the programme.
- Select the kind of membership program you want to set up. The choice you make determines what displays in the rest of the tab:
- For annual membership programmes, select whether membership in the programme is based on dues, contributions, or both, and whether one or multiple terms. Terms can be based on a number of months or years.
- Recurring and lifetime programmes are dues-based only.
- For programmes with payments in another system, you will make these selections, but you won't actually set up the rules for membership dues or contributions. For more information, see Rules for Dues and Contributions.
- On the Levels, Terms and Levels or Payment Options/Levels tab, enter payment options (if applicable) and set up the levels for the programme. For more information, see Membership Levels
- On the Prices tab (for dues-based, recurring and lifetime programmes), enter the price for each payment option and/or level. On this tab, you can also manage add-ons and specify the number of members, membership cards and children allowed for each level. For more information, see Membership Prices or Price Ranges and Membership Add-ons.
- On the Price Ranges tab for contributions-based programmes, enter the minimum and maximum amounts for each level. The lowest level might be any gift under £50, while other levels may be between £50 and £99, £100 and £249, and so on. Contributions-based programmes and levels do not use add-ons. For more information, see Membership Prices or Price Ranges.
- On the Benefits tab, select which format to use for membership cards for the programme, along with the name format to use for members. In addition, you can indicate whether any portion of the membership amount is tax deductible. If the membership programme has any benefits, you can assign those to levels on this tab. The benefits will be awarded when memberships are added. For more information, see Membership Benefits.
- For a dues-based programme, the Dues tab appears. For a contributions-based programme, the Contributions tab appears. And if it has both, both tabs appear.
- On the Dues tab, you set rules for any membership dues received, including tax deductibility and payment options. In addition, you can specify which promotions, if any, can be used when memberships are purchased. For more information, see Rules for Dues and Contributions.
- On the Contributions tab, you set rules for any membership contributions received, including the types of giving activity that count toward a membership and what happens if someone gives more than the amount specified for a level. You also specify when the contributions-based membership expires. For more information, see Rules for Dues and Contributions.
- On the Renewals tab for a dues-based programme, specify whether the membership term varies based on the start date of the membership or based on a fixed date such as a calendar year. You also specify when dues-based levels expire. For information, see Manage Renewal Information for Membership Programmes.
- On the Renewals tab for dues- and contributions-based programmes, set up the renewal window and determine how members' statuses change based on where they are in the window. For information, see Manage Renewal Information for Membership Programmes.
- On the Review tab, select each level on the left and review information about the level on the right.
- If you need to make any changes to the information, you can click back through the tabs. Otherwise, click Save. The membership programme page opens.
Note: For programmes for Memberships with Revenue in Another System, pricing information is for information only as you will not enter revenue for the programme memberships in DARS.
Manage Membership Programmes
When you set up a membership programme, you indicate whether it is an annual, recurring or lifetime programme, or if payments are tracked in another system. You also indicate whether it is dues-based and/or contributions-based. Once saved, you cannot edit these settings for the programme. However, you can edit other information about the programme, such as its name and description. For information about the different types of programmes, as well as how to set them up, see Memberships.
Important: The two widgets described below, will not be available until the data warehouse is online (proposed for 2015).
In addition to basic information about the programme, you will see two widgets on the General tab: Membership Activity and Membership Revenue. Membership Activity compares joins and renewals over two time periods, such as this month compared to this month last year. Membership Revenue compares the revenue of membership levels over two time periods. A maximum of five levels are displayed. If there are more than five levels, the five levels with the most revenue are displayed. Add-on revenue is included. These widgets are based on data from the data warehouse. Information about when the data was last updated is displayed below the widgets.
See more at Manage Membership Programmes.
Membership tasks are accessed from the membership programme page. You can also delete or mark a programm as in-active/active from the membership programs grid on the Memberships page.
See more at Membership Tasks.
When you add a membership for a constituent, a Memberships tab appears on their constituent record. On that tab you can view the membership information including how long the constituent has maintained a membership, who the primary member is, and the last renewal date.
See more at Constituent Memberships.
From Memberships and Revenue, you can add membership dues transactions received from constituents (such as to join or renew memberships or purchase memberships as gifts for others). When you add a payment for membership dues, you enter information about the membership, its members, and any additional information such as benefits or add-ons. Additionally, if a payment applies to more than only the membership, such as a payment that includes a donation to your organization, you can enter information about how to apply the payment. You can enter a single payment or multiple payments at a time.
See more at Membership Dues.
Print Membership Cards
In Memberships, click Print membership cards under Tasks. On the Print Membership Cards page the Print membership cards processes grid lists the card processes in DARS and displays the Name, Description, and Card format of each process. This information is entered when you add the print membership card process to DARS. After you run the Print membership card process, you can Clear results to run the process for the cards again.
Depending on your security rights and system role, you perform functions to manage processes in the database.
See more at Print Membership Cards.
Membership reports help you evaluate membership activity for your organization. You can print or export reports in several different formats, such as .xls or .pdf.
See more at Membership Reports.