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Membership Auto-Renewals

Learn how to setup auto-renewals for members and explore the workflow that Novi will follow to create the invoices.

Pete Zimek, CAE avatar
Written by Pete Zimek, CAE
Updated over a week ago

Auto-renewing your organization's memberships is a great way to keep your overall membership numbers up each year, as well as make the process easier for your members. You're doing great things - why wouldn't they want to renew?!

In this article:

Auto-Renewal Overview

When auto-renewals occur, two things happen:

  • An invoice is generated.

  • Novi automatically updates the member's expiration date to reflect the renewal. This bumps the member's expiration date to the next year.

Then, an admin will go to the Accounting > Transactions section, review the invoices, and email them out in a batch action.

Later, if someone doesn't pay by the due date, our Non-Renew & Credit process will allow you to easily drop this member(s).

Video: Novi's Auto-Renewal Overview

Read more below to learn about these processes...

Enabling Auto-Renewal

Auto-Renewal settings are determined for each Member Type on the Renewal tab.

By default, the Member Type's auto-renewal settings are disabled, which is the Member or admin initiated only setting (see screenshot below).

Default Renewal Setting:

To turn on auto-renewals, go to the Renewal tab of the member type and select one of these options in the Renewal Type section:

1. Yes, unless member opts out

  • Frontend customers will only be shown the option to opt-in to auto-pay if they pay with a credit card.

  • Their membership will auto-renew even if they choose not to auto-pay.

  • Admins can toggle auto-renew on a customer-by-customer basis (on the Details tab of the member's record).

2. No, unless member opts in

  • Frontend customers will only be shown the option to opt-in to auto-pay if they pay with a credit card.

  • If the member elects to auto-pay, their membership will auto-renew. If not, their membership will not auto-renew.

  • Admins can toggle auto-renew on a customer-by-customer basis (on the Details tab of the member's record).

3. Yes, with auto-pay required

  • Frontend members will be required to opt-in to auto-pay with a credit card.

  • This option is only available on individual-based member types and is typically used for member types with low dues amounts.

  • Both the member and admins can opt the member out of auto-pay at any time. When opted-out mid-term, the member will not renew at the end of their membership.

Items of Note:

  • A dues invoice will be created for all members who auto-renew, even if the member has elected to auto-pay. If the auto-pay charge is successful, it will automatically be posted to the corresponding invoice.

  • When auto-pay is required:

    • If an admin creates a new membership from the backend or opts an existing member back into auto-renew, when the member goes to pay their open dues invoice in the Member Compass, it will require them to opt into auto-pay for future membership renewals.

    • If the member opts out of auto-pay while in a member type that requires it, then they will expire at the end of their term and will not auto-renew or generate an invoice.

Auto-Renewal Settings

These settings work for both anniversary renewals that happen throughout the year as well as calendar renewals that occur on a specific date each year (e.g. December 31st).

  • After enabling Auto-Renewal, determine when renewals should happen relative to the expiration dates of the members. If the member type has dues, this is when invoices will be created.

  • The default setting for when to charge auto-pay credit cards is 5 days after the Smart Renewal email notice is sent to the member.

  • Then set the Transaction Date & Due Date for the renewal invoices, relative to the expiration dates of the members. Learn more about transaction dates and payment terms on dues invoices.

AE Tip™: If renewals should run on a certain day, determine the number of days until the expiration date. A quick Google search can be a lot faster than counting dates on a calendar. Just make sure you're counting full days and rounding up.

Unassigned Seats

This setting is only available for member types with a Member Type Category of Companies with Individual Seat Dues. When this setting is turned on the system will automatically renew all seats, even if one or more seats are empty/unassigned.

If this setting is off/unchecked, empty seats will be removed from the member's record, which will reduce their total seat count, and they will not be charged for the unassigned seat(s) on their renewal invoice. At that point, if they want to add the seat back to their membership they can do so from their Member Compass (if they have management access to the company), or an admin can do it for them on the backend.

Using Renewal Limits with Auto-Renew

Renewal limits can be set on member types with auto-renew enabled. When doing so, there are a few things to consider:

  • How many times can an organization/individual renew as this member type after joining? (Example: a 3-year term would renew 2 times)

  • What member type should they become after hitting the renewal limit?

Member Type > Renewal tab > Renewal Settings section:

Important Item of Note for the "Limit Renewals To" setting:

  • When the number of renewals is limited, the system needs to know which member type to push the member to when they reach the limit, so be sure to select only one member type from the Limit Renewals To list for auto-renewals to continue.

    • Example: In the screenshot above, the member will renew one time (which means they'll be in this member type for 2 years) and then the following year they will automatically renew into the "General Member" member type.

  • If multiple member types are selected in this section the system cannot auto-renew the member because it does not know which member type to move them into. Therefore, once the renewal limit is reached, the member or an admin will need to initiate the renewal from the member's record. When initiating this renewal from the backend, the first step is to change their member type, save, and then you can run the renewal.

See Renewal Info for a Specific Member

To see the exact date that a member will renew, navigate to the Details tab on the member's record. The date displayed is calculated based on the particular member's expiration date and the setting on that member's Member Type.

If the member has elected to auto-pay, there will be an additional message indicating which user's default credit card will be charged. For individual members, this will be the credit card associated with their record, but for a company membership it could be any one of their staff members.

When do auto-renewals run?

When does auto-pay run?

What happens if the staff member who opted into auto-pay for a company leaves the family?

  • If the person who opted into auto-pay on behalf of a company is removed from the company's family tree, auto-pay will be turned off for that company's membership. (They will still auto-renew at the appropriate time, but auto-pay will be off.)

  • Also, a notification email will be sent to each person in the family that has management access for that company, letting them know auto-pay has been disabled.

  • The next time a renewal dues invoice is paid on the frontend by another person in the family, that person will have the option to opt-in to auto-pay again.

Notice Sent to Your Team Via Email

When the system automatically renews members, association staff will be notified via the Daily Digest email. If you need to update the Daily Digest recipient email address or add additional recipients, this can be changed in Association Settings.

Review & Edit Email Messages

If you need to edit the email message that is sent with the dues invoices, please check out the article below for more info:

Review & Send/Email Transactions

By default, Novi does not automatically send out the dues invoices that the system creates when renewals occur. This is done intentionally to give your team an opportunity to review your dues transactions before sending them out. You'll want to review your dues invoices that were created in the Accounting > Transactions section, then email them out.

For Anniversary-based renewals: If you're confident that your dues rules are set up correctly, and the Member Type is set to auto-renew, then you can check a box on the Renewal tab of the member type to automatically email renewal notices/invoices as soon as they are created.

*This setting is not recommended for Calendar-based renewals.

Recalculating Unpaid Dues Invoices (only if needed)

IMPORTANT: Please double- and triple-check that your dues settings and the message displayed on invoices are set up correctly prior to renewals being generated. 

If renewals are generated, and you notice that dues settings or amounts are incorrect, or a specific member's custom field data driving their dues is incorrect, you will need to recalculate the invoice(s) affected. 

Plan Ahead for Drops

Based on the information below, as well as your internal business practices and association bylaws, plan ahead for what steps you'll need to complete when auto-renewed members need to be dropped.

What should we do when it's time for drops?

There are two important things to note prior to learning about drops:

  1. Payment or non-payment of a dues invoice is not automatically synonymous with membership status.

  2. There should not be any manual manipulation of expiration dates in relation to dropping auto-renewed members.

Drops in Novi are done by completing Non-Renew and Credits of these members. This process will simultaneously create a credit memo to offset the unpaid dues invoice and will move the member's expiration date back to the previous year. 

When your staff is ready to drop non-paying, auto-renewed members, there are a few steps you'll need to take. When you choose to do these drops is up to you. Typically it is a certain number of days after the dues invoice due date has passed, determined by your association.

This will mark them as expired in the database, meaning they have no member benefits, will not appear in the member directory, and any sub-customers inheriting benefits from the member will no longer have membership benefits either.

NOTE: If you do not complete your drops, please be aware that your non-paying members will continue to have member benefits since their expiration date was automatically moved to the following year, and their dues invoice will remain open.

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