Novi Basics: Terminology

Learn some of the basic terminology associated with using the Novi AMS Platform with this glossary of terms.

Jenn Norman, CAE avatar
Written by Jenn Norman, CAE
Updated over a week ago

Whether you are a Novi Novice or Novi Pro, it never hurts to brush up on the basics. Below is some of the terminology used throughout the Novi software.


Technical Terminology


  • Also referred to as your forward-facing website, this is the side of your website usually used in the context of what your users see and interact with. 


  • This is the core functioning area of the Novi software that your users on the frontend would not see. The backend is where you, as an association admin, will primarily manage features of your website that includes (but is not limited to): 

    • Association Settings

    • Members

    • Accounting

    • Static Content

    • Events

    • Ecommerce

    • Blog

    • Fields

    • Reporting

Content Editor

  • One of the most popular (and fun!) features in Novi AMS is the control admins have over their website's content and how easy it is to make changes to formatting. Novi utilizes a frontend editor, meaning admins can make real-time updates to their websites from the frontend and see exactly how the change will display before hitting the "Save" button.

Novi Functionality Terminology

Association Settings

  • Association Settings is a management area where an organization's contact information can be updated, some brand elements changed, enable or disable select features, and set the defaults for the members' experience and interactions with your website.


  • Novi Groups allows admins to easily categorize and segment their databases. Groups can be created based on conditional logic and custom fields or based on specific records such as board members. Groups are powerful and can sync to MailChimp or Constant Contact, can be used to create custom website content, lock down event tickets, etc.

  • Learn More - Create a Group in Novi

Leadership Roles

  • A way to display groups of individuals or companies/organization in a particular order, and display additional titles if needed.


  • Directories are an invaluable benefit and have the potential to be a non-dues revenue stream! Directories are powered by Novi Groups, and directories provide options such as the ability to:

    • Create as many directories as needed. Most directory settings apply to each uniquely, and will not affect other directories as you continue to create listings.

    • Include members or non-members.

    • Trust that directories have the most up-to-date information as they are automatically updated as Novi Groups update.

    • Customize each directory for target audiences.

    • Monetize listings.

Recent Signups

  • The Recent Signups List is a great tool for admins to see and review details about who has joined their association; it's important to engage with Recent Signups to ensure new individuals and/or companies/organizations are legitimate.

  • Learn More - Recent Signups List

Task Center

  • The Task Center allows Novi admins to manage tasks from inside of Novi for the entire team, including an area that lists assigned tasks with due dates and additional information.

  • Learn More - Using the Task Center

Novi Files & Secure Files

  • There are two sections in Novi where admins can store and manage the association's website files:

    • Novi Files - All files uploaded here are generally public files and can be images or documents.

    • Secure Files - Files uploaded here can be public or private, and downloads are tracked in a list on the backend.

  • Learn More - Uploading Files to Novi AMS

Ecommerce Products & Orders

  • Ecommerce Products in Novi can be anything sold outside of membership dues and event tickets. Products can be physical, such as a promotional item or classroom rental, or non-physical, such as a sponsorship or legislative contribution.

  • Ecommerce Orders are created when purchases of products are made.

Ecommerce Subscriptions

  • Subscriptions allow Novi admins to sell subscriptions that include subscription options like End Dates and Auto-Renewals. Subscriptions are generally not used for membership dues.

  • Learn More - Ecommerce Subscriptions

Promo Codes

Member Fields

  • Novi has a standard set of fields that can be shown, hidden, and/or required on company/organization and individual records. Included Member Fields are items like email, phone, address, etc. and admins can turn off or edit any of these fields according to the information an association wants to collect.

Custom Fields

  • If an association has additional data that doesn't fit into Member Fields, Custom Fields can be customized to your organization. These fields are super powerful and are utilized for event registration forms, Groups, products, custom reports, and more.

List Views

  • The backend of Novi provides numerous list options that can be customized for quick reporting and exporting, and list views are available in areas including Members, Ecommerce Orders, Events, and many more.

Novi Membership Terminology


  • The term “Parent” is typically used to describe the company/organization that an individual works for or is associated with and assigned under that company/organization.

    • However, when used in relation to a company/organization being a child of another company/organization, the Parent would be the top-level that oversees another company/organization (or multiple). 


  • When a person is assigned a Parent (which could be a company, organization, or even another person), the individual is a Child of their Parent.

    • When the child is a company/organization connected to a Parent, it is called a "sub-company."

Member Types

  • This is the categorization of members into specific types of members; in Novi, a record can have a member type while having a non-Current membership status.

Designated and Effective Member Types

Dues Paying Member

  • For an association, a "Dues Paying Member" is the company/organization or individual listed in an association's bylaws as eligible for membership and who is ultimately responsible for paying dues. 

    • For trade associations, this will always be a company/organization.  

    • For professional societies, this will always be an individual.

    • For hybrid associations, this may be either a company/organization or an individual, depending on the member type assigned. 


  • This is the individual(s) or company(ies)/organization(s) that inherit member benefits from the Dues Paying Member. 

Dependent Member

  • Dependent members are a membership type that requires another type of membership in the dues paying member's family tree. 

  • This is typically used within trade organizations when one company's membership is dependent on another company/organization. 

Member Status

  • Membership Status shows the relative standing of records in your database. The following statuses apply in Novi:

    • Current – Member in good standing.

    • Pending – Record awaiting admin approval for membership.

    • Inheriting - Company/Individual inheriting their benefits from a Dues Paying Member (also known as beneficiaries).

    • Prospect – A company or individual that an association should be actively trying to gain as a member. A prospect must be tied to a member type.

    • Expired – A record who was previously a member with membership dates in the past.

    • Non-member – A company or individual that has no membership dates nor any assigned member type.

    • Grace Period – Used only when associations do not auto-renew, a record with the grace period status remain members in good standing until a pre-determined time decided by the association. Rarely used.

User Account

  • A User Account is created when an individual sets up their account with, at minimum, their email, password and name. This gives them access to their Member Compass.

  • Learn More - Creating User Accounts

Member Compass

  • An individual’s guide to their activity within the association (a 1-click access to a member's personal membership history). It includes:

    • A dashboard overview

    • List of transactional accounting history

    • Events registered for (upcoming and in the past)

    • Products purchased

    • Profile details (editable by user)

    • If management access has been granted: Company/organization’s profile info and details, and ability to edit
      If management access has been granted: Company’s staff and ability to edit staff

Management Access

  • A individual can be granted management access in Novi, which allows them access from their Member Compass to update the company/organization they are connected to, review/add/update/remove staff, review and pay transactions, and grant management access to other staff members. The three levels of management access include:


  • Auto-renewals is a renewal process that's easier for for staff and members alike. 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.


  • Auto-pay is the process that allows members to store credit cards to be automatically charged as a payment toward the dues invoice generated during auto-renewal. This automates the payment for the member and saves time by not having to worry about collecting open A/R. Individuals can also be placed into a member type that requires auto-pay.

Non-Renew and Credit

  • In Novi AMS, the way to process drops for unpaid members is with Non-Renew & Credit. Remember that when a membership auto-renews, two things happen: an invoice is created and the member's expiration is moved forward to the next year.

    Non-Renew & Credit comes in when a member hasn't paid their invoice and you essentially want to un-do that renewal.

  • Learn More - Non-Renew and Credit

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