If your association has decided to change the dues rules for the upcoming membership year (e.g. to increase the dues amount), this article will explain how to update your dues rule(s) and also when the update should be made, based on other related settings (such as multi-year initial term and proration).
When to Update Dues Rules
Our recommendation is to plan in advance what updates you'll need to make when the time is right. Based on the settings and scenarios described below, determine a specific date to edit your dues rules.
What you'll want to prevent is keeping dues rules in Draft mode (i.e. inactive or deactivated) until the next membership year starts, which could be several weeks or months away. This is because having a dues rule in draft mode prevents new members from joining your association and prevents renewals from running. More info about draft dues rules.
To see if any of your member types have dues rules in Draft mode, go to the Dues Rules tab on a member type and check the Status column. There will also be a warning message (see screenshot below).
*Tip: Do not keep dues rules in Draft mode for an extended period of time.
NOTE: If you want to test the new dues rules prior to when they should be active for members, you can login to your staging site (from when you were onboarding into Novi) and set them up there. If you need help accessing your staging site, please reach out to us via Intercom.
If Auto-Renew is turned ON
If your member type's settings are set to Auto-Renew, you'll want to update your dues rules before the system automatically creates the renewal invoices.
To figure out this deadline, go to the Settings tab of the member type and scroll down to the Auto Renewal section. Look at the number in the "Create Invoices ____ day(s) before expiration date" setting.
- Example: If a member expires on 12/31 and invoices are going to be created 60 days before expiration, you'll need to update the dues rule(s) before 11/1. In this scenario you'll want to edit the dues rules on 10/31 (and not earlier) because they will take effect immediately.
- If you've already missed the deadline and the renewal invoices have been created, check out this article to learn more about how to recalculate dues invoices. Please note that this process does take time and can be avoided by updating the dues settings prior to renewals running if possible.
For Calendar Renewal Cycles...
If Proration is turned ON
For calendar year organizations (those that renew on a certain date like 12/31), individual dues rules can be set to prorate in the first or second membership term within the dues rules.
Admins determine when proration begins (based on the number of days, months, or years prior to the expiration date) and the proration calculation (based on date or percentage). Anniversary date dues will not have prorations since all terms will be the same length.
- Example #1: If prorated dues begin on June 1 (for a 12/31 expiration), and you do not have the multi-year initial term setting turned on (see below), choose the date that new members joining the association should start paying the new dues rate (e.g. 12/1) and edit the dues rules the day before (e.g. 11/30). If someone joins on 12/1 or after, the new dues rate will apply but they will only be charged for the first year's prorated amount at the time of signup. Their expiration date will be in the current year. If auto-renewal is turned on, they will be billed for the second year at full price when the renewal invoices are created.
- Example #2: If prorated dues begin on June 1 (for a 12/31 expiration), and you do have the multi-year initial term setting turned on, choose the date that new members joining the association should start paying the new dues rate (e.g. 12/1) and edit the dues rules the day before (e.g. 11/30). The new dues rate will apply to the first and second year, but the actual amount charged for each year depends on your proration setting (first or second membership term). Their expiration date will be in the next year.
NOTE: When you're deciding which date to edit your dues rules based on your proration settings, be sure to also check your auto-renewal settings (as described in the section above) and make sure you're choosing the best date based on all of your settings.
If Multi-Year Initial Term is turned ON
For calendar year organizations, admins can set up a multi-year initial term after a certain date and charge dues for both years or the second year only.
- Example: For a multi-year initial term that's set to 9/30 (see screenshot above) it will apply to new signups starting on 10/1. In this case, you'll want to edit your dues rule(s) on 9/30. This way members signing up on 10/1 and after will pay the new dues rate when they join and have an expiration date in the following year.
The amount new members are charged depends on the setting for "both years" or "second year only."
- When "both years" is selected, proration will apply. To check your proration settings, go to the applicable dues rule(s).
- If set to "second year only" the member will only be charged for the upcoming dues year and the remainder of the current year will be free.
How to Update Dues Rules
When the time comes to edit your dues rules, follow these steps:
- Go to Members > Member Types
- Select the member type.
- Go to the Dues Rules tab and click the Edit link for the dues rule you want to update.
- Toggle the status from Active to Draft - this will prevent any new members from joining while you're making edits and reviewing your changes - and Save.
- Now that the dues rule is in draft mode, click the Edit link again to reopen the modal.
- Update the dues rule as needed, which may include the condition(s), the amount, proration settings, etc. More info on setting up dues rules.
- Once all of the updates have been made and reviewed, toggle the dues rule(s) back to Active and Save. The update(s) will take effect immediately.
NOTE: If you are changing the "Item" that a dues rule is linked to, do not delete the old item in QuickBooks Online or you will lose the ability to report on those past items in QuickBooks Online. More info on connecting dues rules to QuickBooks items.
Don't forget to review the Message Displayed on Invoice field of each member type. If the message includes any dates or timely information, you'll want to get this updated before the auto-renewals run.
If renewals run and you find an error, you can update the settings and then recalculate the open dues invoices in that member type.