Administrator Email - 11/14/2019 - Announcing
This release adds the ability to communicate with members via text message, optional discounts for payment by check or cash, enhancements to the Collectibles module, multi-tier and internationalization features, and many smaller changes.
With this release, we also have added or enhanced more than 60 features for our Aging-in-Place Village customers.
We have scheduled a webinar for Wednesday, November 20 (at Noon Eastern, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, 9:00 AM Pacific), to describe these new features. For more information, click here
. If you can't make it, this webinar will be recorded and an edited version will be available on our website within 48 hours.
New Help System, Documentation, and Support Hours
We are also excited to announce our new online-help system and manuals. Many of you will have noticed the new (?) icon in the top-right corner of every user and admin page. Clicking this icon opens the new help system in a separate tab, making it easy to switch between help and the page you are working on. The help system is fully indexed and cross-referenced, with embedded images, links to related video tutorials and webinars, and See Also topics. It also has a powerful Search function.
The old manuals are also gone. The Administrator Manual had grown to almost 1000 pages and was very unwieldy. So each module and Control Panel function is now a separate manual that can be downloaded from the Support tab using an updated panel. The manuals include the same content as the online help system, making it easier for us to update them as the system evolves.
We are also happy to announce that we have expanded our support hours. You can now call us between 6:30 AM and 9:00 PM, US Central time, Monday to Friday, to speak to a customer success engineer.
Credit Card Processing Rate Change
We also need to let you know that the credit card processing fees for Visa and Discover will be raised on January 1st, 2020, due to increased charges from these card brands as well as from our merchant processor. For these two cards, the rate will increase from 2.59% to 2.99%. The rates for MasterCard (2.99%) and American Express (3.30%) do not change. Neither will the 20¢ per transaction fee.
In this issue:
We're delighted to announce a powerful new feature in ClubExpress, the ability to send text messages to a mobile phone. You can use this feature to remind members about an upcoming deadline or notify them of new content on the website or available for download, or an event that's now open for registration, or an event that has to be cancelled (perhaps due to bad weather).
This feature is available for both members and non-members but they must explicitly opt-in to receiving messages from your club or association. Even though almost no-one pays for text messages any more, Federal law does not allow us to pre- or bulk-enable this for everyone (so please don't ask us to do this!) Wherever a mobile phone number is collected, we have added a new check box where members and non-members can agree to receive text messages from your organization. We've also provided a simple way for you to tell members about this new option and allow them to jump to a special page to enable (or disable) this feature.
Text messaging is available on the Control Panel - Communications tab. When you select this option the first time, you must agree on behalf of your organization to enable this feature and to accept the charges that are incurred (see below.) Once that's done, there will be short delay while we assign a phone number to your account. If every message comes "from" the same phone number, it makes it easy for members to add this number to their contact list with your organization's name, so that future messages are always recognized. Once your account has been enabled, we will notify you.
Text messages use an interface that is very similar to blast emailings, with the same categories and distribution list options. The process of creating the actual messages however, is much simpler. A message can be single length (up to 139 characters) or double length (up to 285 characters). We will prefix each message with a club ShortName (which you can customize) to make it even easier for people to know who sent the message. You can also embed links in a message and we will shorten them to take the least amount of space. Messages can be sent immediately or on a specified future date and time (and the date and time are fully localized for international customers.)
When an application provider like ClubExpress sends large volumes of text messages, the network operators require that we work through a third party who has the necessary local and international agreements, as well as the interfaces necessary to talk to each operator and properly handle result codes and error codes. When sending text messages from an application such as ClubExpress to individual phone numbers, we are also required to use a toll-free number. There is no setup fee for this feature, but the toll-free number has a monthly rental cost of $2.00. We also have to charge for each message actually delivered, at the rate of 2¢ for a single-length message and 4¢ for a double length message in the US. Rates to mobile phones outside the US are higher and will be shown on your website. These fees are charged at the end of each month based on the actual volume.
Initially, we have enabled a general text messaging feature as well as the ability for a full admin or event module coordinator to message event registrants. In the future, we plan to extend this feature to other modules, including Volunteering and Service Requests for our Aging-in-Place Village customers. We will also allow event contacts to message event registrants.
Discounts for Check or Cash Payments
Many customers have asked us for the ability to charge more to people who pay by credit card or PayPal. For example, if you're a ski club charging $5000 for an upcoming trip, losing up to $150 for the credit card fees can be a significant problem.
It used to be illegal to do that, but a few years ago, Congress changed the rules to make it OK. Well, at least 10 states were unhappy about this and so they passed state laws blocking the practice! The bottom line is that you're not allowed to explicitly charge more for someone paying by credit card or PayPal. Even if you're not in one of these 10 states, you might have a member or guest who is, and it's not worth risking a lawsuit.
However, you are allowed to offer a discount for people who pay by cash or check (kind of the "opposite" of what's not allowed--weird!) and so that's what we've implemented. This new option is available on the Money Options page. Once you enable it, you will specify the discount rate between 1% and 4%, and up to 2 decimal places.
Once that's done, when members get to the payment page and choose to print an invoice to pay by check, or admins come to the page and select either Received Check or Received Cash, the discount amount will be shown on the screen, along with the adjusted total. And when users choose to print an invoice, any available discount will also be shown on the invoice.
This option is also available on the Bulk Payments screen, when you are processing multiple payments with a single check or cash.
Please note that this discount is not available for Donations, since it makes no sense for someone to, for example, donate $100, but then actually donate $97.60. Note also that the discount for payment by check or cash is applied after
any available coupons but before
any available credits.
We have made significant improvements to the Collectibles module.
- The screens to add a new collectible item or modify an existing one were completely redesigned. Instead of three separate screens, there is now one "wizard" where the basic information and photos are handled on a single screen, and the additional item-specific questions can be handled on the same screen or on subsequent screens depending on the settings.
- The search function on both the user and admin screens was also completely redesigned. Fields that are eligible for search are always listed and there are new search options depending on the question type (Equals, Not Equal To, In List, Contains, Greater Than, Less Than, Between, etc.) Admins can also configure the default visibility state of additional question searching.
- This module is now fully enabled for organizations with chapters. You can search for collectible items owned by users in a chapter, district, or region. When subgroup administrators access this module, they cannot redefine the basic properties of each item or modify the module Options. And when they search, they will only see collectible items for members or non-members in their subgroup.
- When a member is dropped and information is transferred to another account, collectible items can now be included in this transfer.
- In the Collectibles Manager, the member's name now links to their Profile screen. And in the user screen, clicking the member's name now displays a popup with their contact information (subject to the Member Directory visibility settings, of course.)
- The "Reference Number" field can now be disabled for those organizations that don't need it.
- There is a new export that will generate a CSV file of all collectible properties for all items in the database.
We have done more work on the Internationalization project, including the following:
- Sales Tax/VAT/GST support has been added to the following modules:
- Ad Hoc Forms
- Classified Ads
- Jobs Board
- Continuing Education
- Courseware and Testing
- Time Zone support has been added to the following modules:
- Ad Hoc Forms
- Classified Ads
- The Report Output screen now allows international users to change the page size from US Letter to International A4.
- There is a new set of mailing label reports specifically designed for standard labels on A4 size sheets. We also added A4 labels to the Non-Member Database reports grouping and to the Reports option for each event in the Event Calendar (labels and name tags.)
- On Payment receipts, we will now show when GST/VAT was paid, as required by tax laws in some countries.
- The Ride Log and Cue Sheets modules will now show "miles" for clubs in the US, but "km" for clubs in other countries.
New RunMyVillage Features
New Features Since the Earlier Announcement
- For Hub-and-Spoke Villages--where Metro Areas are defined--add an indication of which spoke each service request applies to.
- Add an option to popup a summary of this Service Request in a dialog, so that an admin can copy it to the Clipboard.
- Putting "Home" in the Starting Location field for a service request doesn't really help, especially with VSS where non-members are looking at open service requests. Change this to "Home - <member's address>"
- Add an iCal icon to Committed Requests, to allow volunteers to add this request to their personal calendars.
- For members who are also service providers, add a new option on the Profile screen to show a list of the services they are assigned to.
- Add an iCal icon to Committed Requests, to allow members to add this service request to their personal calendars.
- On the Service Providers screen, add a link to the Contact Log for that member or non-member.
- When a member is Dropped, optionally change all future service requests to Cancelled.
Previously Announced Features
Member Services Manager
Add/Edit Service Requests
- When the manager is first opened, the default dates are now blank.
- New Service Option to set a default Finish Days Out (for example, 10 days.) There is a new link on the Search Panel to set the Start Date to today, set the Finish Date to today+the number of days out, and check the Service Date option. This allows a village admin to quickly see all upcoming service requests for a defined number of days.
- Add the ability to copy a service request but without a new date.
Volunteer Self-Signup (VSS) Module
- When a member is selected, show their expiration date. If it's within the next 10 days, show it in red.
- When updating a service provider's status within a request, stop the screen from refreshing between each selection.
- Increase the number of characters in the Short Description to 500.
- In the list of available service providers for a request, exclude those already scheduled for that time period. This feature can be set on the Service Options page.
- Provide a CC: field where details about a service request can be copied to one or more others when confirmation emails are sent out. Provide a default value in the Service Options screen, but it can be changed for each request. Allow multiple email addresses separated by a semicolon with no spaces.
- When the Send Confirmation button is clicked and confirmation emails are sent out, the status field at the bottom of the screen can now be automatically changed to Confirmed. There is a new option on the Service Options screen to allow this.
- New option to add a destination to the list of Standard Destinations.
- Optional Special Instructions based on the Service Requested. (For example, a note on Airport Trips that members are responsible for tolls.) Will be appended to the Special Instructions field of the service request, after any instructions pulled from the member's Additional Member Data question.
- New option to change the Contact Log record status (could be different from "Medium".) A new default value can also be set under Service Options.
- There is a new option on the Options page to allow volunteers to call members. When the date and time are flexible, show the member's phone and cell phone numbers so that the volunteer and members can together decide on the best date and time.
- There is a new option on the Options page to allow volunteers to change the date/time of a service request that they have agreed to perform for a member. Village admin approval is not required. The system will send a corrected confirmation email to the member and themselves.
- The "Email Open Requests" email can now be customized.
- Also, when clicking the "Email Open Requests" button, there are new options to filter who will receive the email: by metro area and by service type. Both drop-downs allow multiple selections.
- The buttons at the top of the screen for members have been renamed to "Vacation Calendar" and "My Weekly Schedule" to be more intuitive.
- The three tabs have been reordered so that Committed Requests appears first, then Open Requests, then Past Requests. Committed requests is initially displayed.
- Allow villages to designate a coordinator who will receive an email whenever someone signs themselves up for a service request.
- The VSS Search Panel is no longer a popup hidden off to the side. Click the Search button to make it visible; click the button again to hide it. The drop down lists on this panel now also allow multiple selections.
- All reports have been reviewed and updated so that the unformatted CSV output is correct.
- New Additional Contacts Report.
- New Volunteer Name Tags Report using a standard Avery format.
- New report showing the number of hours spent per member and by service category, within a specified date range. For example, in 2018, Jane Doe had 25 hours of "Transportation" services and 10 hours for "Friendly Visiting" for a total of 35 hours.
- New report simply listing the services provided by the village, grouped by category, and with indications of visibility and VSS availability.
- New report showing Volunteer time by Service Category, Service Type, and Provider Type. Includes a date range filter.
- New report showing the quantity of service requests by Member Type, within a specified date range.
- New report showing members who have NOT had a service request within a specific date range.
- New report showing completed service requests without a duration filled in, so that the village can get this information from the service provider.
- New mailing label reports for fully vetted providers of each provider type: contractor, member volunteer, and non-member volunteer.
- New report showing service requests by member, but excluding Cancelled and Not-Needed providers.
- The Service Provider report now includes the provider status: Active/Inactive.
- The Expired Vettings report now looks out for 3 months instead of 1, and excludes inactive providers.
- On the Volunteer Providers Time Spent... reports, the duration is now shown in Hours:Minutes format instead of just Minutes.
- The Office Time report now has a Duration column.
- When emailing service providers that provide a particular service, add an option to include only fully-vetted ones.
- Update the Subject lines for all system emails to use a standard and short prefix for emails of each type, to ensure that text is not being cut off. For example, "SR Conf" for a service request confirmation email.
- Add a separate confirmation email template for Office Time requests.
- Add a new Service Option to allow the confirmation email that gets sent to the requesting member to be sent to all members in a household membership, such as a spouse/partner, or even an adult child included as a tertiary member on the membership.
- The member "Emergency Contact" fields are now available as ~~tags~~ in all service request-related emails.
- The requesting member's Email Address and Cell Phone are now available as tags in all service request-related emails.
- On the My Service Requests screen, when members click the Request a Service button, instead of a long list of services, show the Service Category drop-down list first, then once a category is selected, filter the Services list by that category.
- Add an option to limit the services available to members by Member Type. Provide a new checkbox at the Service Category level. When checked, a new icon appears in the Maintain column for that category, to limit which member types are allowed to request this service category. When members request a service, only categories and individual services that are open to them will be shown. The same filter is applied on the Add/Edit Service Request screen.
- On the Open Provider Requests screen, the columns have been reordered to put the more important fields on the left:
- Request For
- Service Date
- Service Provider
- Requested By
- Request Date
- The "Find a Contractor" module now supports a panel of village-specific text.
- Add the ability to sort the Service Provider list by Company Name (since admins may not know the name of the contact person.)
And in other parts of the ClubExpress platform:
- In the Event Calendar, we added the following features:
- Members who are registered for an event can now cancel that registration (if cancellations are allowed) from the Event View page.
- When multiple coordinators are defined for an event, you now have a text box where you can list areas of responsibility.
- You can now specify a date and time when registrations for an event can begin.
- In the Emailings system, the Subject for a new emailing is no longer "Draft Email...". Now, the Subject field is blank and you must enter a subject.
- Many of you will have noticed the new "Favorites" option at the top of the screen. It's visible for full administrators and coordinators, and allows you to add options from the Control Panel to the drop-down menu, so that you don't have to navigate through the Control Panel for the options you use most often.
- On the Profile - Chapters/Additional Members screen, primary members can now reset the password for their secondary members.
- In the Business Directory module, we improved the zip/postal code search function to better handle countries outside the US.
- For multi-tier organizations (those with chapters/districts/regions), the Subgroup selector now appears in the Quick Member Lookup screen. This screen now also includes a Category filter.
- On a member's Profile History screens (Transactions, Payments/Credits, Volunteering, Reservations, and Event Registrations, the display now defaults to the last 12 months, with a drop-down to select other ranges. All history is still retained and can always be displayed.
- The Display Sequencer standard dialog can now sort alphabetically in ascending or descending order.
- In the Ad Hoc Forms module, there is a new option to include attachment links in confirmation emails. We have also modified links to require a login, to be secure, and to only be valid for 5 minutes once they have been clicked.
- In the Ad Hoc Reports module, the system now knows what time zone the user is in. The built-in functions for "Now" and "Today" will display the current date and time for the user's time zone, rather than ours. This also affects the Scheduler function; reports will be generated and emailed based on the user's time zone.
- In multi-tier organizations with multiple websites where people join at the bottom level, members of the sub-clubs have always been able to log in to the top-level club with the same user name and password. We have added a feature where members can click a special link in the bottom-club and get logged in to the top-level club automatically. The Link Builder in our content editor now supports this new option for appropriate clubs only: Parent Organization Site. When users click the link, the top-level club website will open. If users were logged in, then they will be logged in automatically on the new site. If they were not logged in, they will go to the top-level club's home page.
The following bugs were fixed since our last version announcement:
- Village-specific functionality
- The screen no longer jumps back to the top of the page when service provider status is changed.
- We corrected a problem where the requesting member info and/or destination info was blanked out after performing certain actions on the page (e.g., changing the service category, service, contact status)
- Special instructions were not displaying correctly when special characters were entered.
- The standard destination's website address (URL) was not displaying correctly.
- In plain text emails, the break lines were being removed when previewing an email or template. Also for plain text emails, there was a problem with the Copy function not copying the email content.
- In the Surveys module, copying a survey that was inactive and setting it to Active was not saving. Users had to edit it again to make it active. Also, a survey configured for one vote only per member was allowing administrators or module coordinators to vote multiple times.
- In the Advanced Content Editor, the Birthdays/Anniversaries widget was sorting based on Month/Day; it now sorts based on Date.
- In the Member Profile - Contact Info screen, the system was allowing invalid values to be entered in the latitude and longitude fields.
- Also in the Member Profile - Event History screen, events were not being shown in the correct date order from most recent at the top to oldest at the bottom.
- In the Event Calendar, when editing quantities for event items, if the quantity was lowered, the total was not being correctly updated.
- In the Ad Hoc Forms module, the system was always notifying a contact person when a completed form was submitted, even if that option had not been checked.
- In the Ad Hoc Reports module, scheduled reports that were being emailed to users as PDF files could not be opened by Yahoo Mail or AOL.
- In the Interests module, category and interest names can be up to 50 chars. long but were being cut off at 40 chars.
- With the new Favorites feature, when an admin was defining favorites for a coordinator, they were seeing options on the left side of the dialog that the coordinator did not have access to.
- In the News/Articles module, entries with a Future Date Active were being saved with an Expired status.
- For clubs and associations with subgroups (chapters), sub-group fees larger than $1000 were being truncated in the display.
- In People Options, you can specify whether birthday, gender, and email address are required or optional for primary members, and you can also say that birthday and gender are not to be collected at all for secondary and tertiary members. These settings work fine if you use the popup editors for secondary and tertiary members (from the Additional Members link on the Profile.) However, they were not being respected on the main contact pages (contact info on the Profile).
- On the Pending Payment page, there was a problem when a user had a credit or coupon that covered the entire amount due. The Payment page was trying to validate a credit card and would not submit the payment. This problem occurred for members and non-members (but not admins) when the club or association had only enabled credit cards. It also occurred when users first selected credit card as the payment type but then entered the coupon code.
- In the Committees module, when a committee was set so that only admins can see committee members, module coordinators could go to the members page but it was not showing the committee members.
- In the Non-Member Database, there was a problem searching for non-members in chapter, district, or region.
- On the Profile -- Contact Info screen, the Work Title and Work Company fields were cutting off at 50 characters, even through the underlying database fields allowed 100 characters.
- The Volunteering module appears to create extra slots when an assignment is made. We also fixed an issue where secondary members could not add their primary member to a volunteering assignment.
- If an expired member clicked on an opt-out link in an email, they were unable to access the Privacy page to opt-out of emails sent by the club or association.
Again, all of these problems have been fixed.