Require Approval for New Memberships

Learn how to require your staff's approval for a new member to receive member benefits.

Pete Zimek, CAE avatar
Written by Pete Zimek, CAE
Updated this week

We have heard from many of our association partners that they're seeing a significant increase in the number of new members signing up for membership on their Novi website - without ever calling the association's office.

While this level of automation and self-service is welcomed with open arms by both staff and members alike, many organizations have business rules in place that require formal approval before a company or person can officially join the association.

AE Tip™: These settings grant additional control to admin users. They also can drastically increase staff workload. Please think carefully before enabling these options.

Sections in this article:


New Members Require Admin Approval

Member types can be set to require admin approval before the member is officially added to the roster.

Only member types marked to Allow Frontend Registrations or Allow Frontend Registration Only with Secret Link are eligible for this feature.

The setting can be found on the Member Type record > Settings tab > Signup Process section. Click the box to add a check and click the Save button to enable the feature.

If membership needs approval, admins can turn on a Pending email to be sent to members to let them know their membership is being reviewed.


Require Application Before Processing Dues

AE Tip™: The applicant feature should be reserved for organizations with strict join policies that require thorough vetting for membership.

If the majority of members in a member type are approved, the application process is not recommended for use in that member type.

This feature can only be enabled by the Novi team. Please contact us if you would like this changed for your organization.

Member types can be set to collect application information and not run dues or grant membership benefits if the Require Application Before Processing Dues setting is checked. The system will also require that the New Members Require Admin Approval setting be checked as well when the application feature is enabled.

  • Only member types marked to Allow Frontend Registrations or Allow Frontend Registration Only with Secret Link are eligible for this feature.

  • Application dates will be logged in a field called "Application Date" on the applicants' records.

The setting when enabled can be found on the Member Type record > Settings tab > Signup Process section. Click the box to add a check and click the Save button to enable the feature.


What Pending Members & Applicants See

New Members Require Admin Approval Setting

Pending members will see the following messaging in their Member Compass:

  • Membership Awaiting Approval

Require Application Before Processing Dues

Pending applicant members will see the following messaging in their Member Compass:

  • Your new membership checkout was successfully completed, and your membership is now awaiting approval. Thank you!

  • Membership Waiting Approval


Approving New Members

When a prospective member signs up, Novi creates a member record and a user account for the person who completed the form. Novi will not grant membership benefits to that company or person when approval is needed, and the record will not be counted in membership reports.

New signups are placed into a queue on the Recent Signups page.

On the Recent Signups page, admins can take actions depending which setting was implemented on the member type.

New Members Require Admin Approval

Admins approve, move to Prospect, or deactivate records. Once approved, the member will have access to all appropriate benefits and will begin to be counted on membership reports.

Example from Recent Signups:

Approval can also be marked directly on the Pending record.

Require Application Before Processing Dues

Admins "Create Membership" or "deactivate" member records. Once approved, a dues invoice will be generated, the member will have access to all appropriate benefits and they will begin to be counted in member reports.


Approval can be granted to applicants under the Details tab of the applicant's record by clicking "Convert Applicant to Member" button.


Notification to New Members

Once a member has been approved, the system will send a welcome email letting the member know that their membership has been approved. If the Pending member was an applicant, they will then be billed for dues.

  • Learn more about customizing (or disabling) the welcome and pending emails, which can be unique for each member type.

Unique welcome emails should be sent as a one-off email.


Members Added by an Admin on the Backend

For members added on the backend by an admin into a member type that requires approval, admins can choose to auto-approve the member or not, if the settings allow for it. 

If the member is not auto-approved by an admin, they will appear as a Pending member in Recent Signups. If the member type does not require approval (on the Settings tab), the Auto-Approve option will not be displayed.


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