The parts of Beacon described below are generally only available to the Site Administrator, although the necessary Privileges may be assigned to other Roles.
Refer to 8.9 for considerations when changing fees and membership years.
a) Membership Classes
Membership classes are the means of determining the fee to be paid for membership.
Select Membership classes from the Home Page:
Click on a Membership Class to edit the Class Record and Membership Fees, as described below.
Creating a new Membership Class
Click Add New Membership Class from the list of classes or an existing Class Record:
Current indicates that the class may be used for new memberships.
The Explanation will appear when a new member joins online (if you have that facility enabled). Therefore, the explanation should be clear and concise.
IMPORTANT: All membership fees are per person, even for a Joint membership.
For each class you should consider whether to tick one or more of the following options which will determine how Beacon processes memberships:
- 1 of 2 people at same address (meeting the HMRC requirements of Family membership, see 7.8)
- Full member of another u3a (i.e. an Associate)
- Show to members joining online
If your u3a’s fees are rolling or same fees all year according to the Membership Fees option selected under System settings (see 8.3), a single Fee per person field is included in the main Class Record, as above and you can press the Save Record button to create the new Class Record.
If your fees can vary by month of joining, see below.
Note: if your u3a uses Beacon to produce Membership Cards (see 4.7) there can be a difficulty with the bar code and the membership class overlapping, particularly if the membership number was 4 digits and the class name is long. This can be alleviated by using a shorter class name.
Assigning Varying Membership Fees
If your fees can vary by month of joining, a panel is shown below the main Class Record with one field for each month of the year (starting with the configured membership start month) plus another for Renewals. You must complete all fields before pressing the Save Fees button to commit.
If you enter the fees from left to right and Auto-propagate is ticked, then the fee you enter will be copied automatically to succeeding months. In this way you will only need to alter the fee in the month(s) when it changes.
Editing Membership Class Records
After making any changes to a Class Record, press the Save Record button.
To remove a Class Record, press the Delete button.
Note: some Classes (e.g. Individual) are locked against deletion.
You will not be able to delete a Class if there are members assigned to it. Consider making it non-current instead.
b) Member Statuses
Membership Statuses will have been set up when your Site was created and you may not need to change them, however you can add or change these if required.
Select Member statuses from the Home Page.
Current and Lapsed are mandatory statuses and cannot be changed.
Resigned and Deceased are recommended to ensure that communications no longer go to these people during the period when their membership records must be retained to meet HMRC requirements.
- To add a new status, enter the status name in the Add new status box and press the Save
- To change a status name, click edit next to the status name. Alter the name and press the adjacent Save button to commit the change.
- To remove a status, click delete next to the status name.
c) Polls & Custom Fields
Polls are a way of grouping members by some particular characteristic that may be used when filtering lists of members. Members may be assigned to one or more polls by ticking the poll boxes in the Member Record [A] or by selecting Add to poll in the Members list.
Up to 4 Custom Fields can be included on the Member Record [B].
If possible, it is recommended that you think about setting up your Polls before your site is migrated onto Beacon so that the Polls and Poll Assignments can be bulk loaded for you. Your Beacon Supporter can advise about how to do this.
See 8.8 for more information about polls.
Custom fields are non-functional and can be set-up by the Migration Team during migration. You will have been advised to consider their use before migration, but you can still request that they can be set up post-migration by opening a Support Ticket.
Typical uses for Custom Fields include:
- One u3a uses 2 custom fields, one for Leaving Date and the other for the reason.
- Another u3a uses two custom fields, one to indicate the delivery round for hand posting of the newsletter and the second to indicate the people who deliver the Newsletters to those rounds.
Polls information replaced by link to 8.8.
Link to 8.9 added (considerations when changing fees and membership years).
Note about issues with membership cards when using a long membership class name added.