Administrator Email - 5/4/2020 - Announcing
Version 9.3 is complete, with some powerful new features to help clubs and associations of all sizes and types.
This release adds Waitlist in the Event Calendar, support for Credit Card Refunds, Gift Memberships, First Login, and Tell a Friend. The News/Articles module has been redesigned with some new features; we also redesigned the Multiple Misc. Charges/Credits feature. And many other enhancements.
A couple of these features are in final testing, but they should be deployed by Wednesday. The Help system has been updated.
And just a reminder 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. We're all working from home but everything else is the same!
Version 9.3 Webinar
We will hold a webinar this coming Wednesday, May 6th, to demonstrate the new features in version 9.3.
Time: Noon Eastern, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, 9:00 AM Pacific.
Here are the connection details:
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 894 9228 6501
There is no need to RSVP but attendance is limited to the first 200 people. If you can't make it, this webinar will be recorded and an edited version will be available on the website within 48 hours.
Also check out some of our recent video tutorials and webinars. They can be found on our website, under the Cool Stuff --> Video Tutorials and Cool Stuff --> Webinars options.
In this issue:
Event Calendar Enhancements
You can now enable a Waitlist for single-activity and multi-activity events. When the Waitlist is enabled and an event fills up, a new option will appear on the Event View screen: Add me to the Waitlist. If you're already on the Waitlist, the option changes to "Remove me from the Waitlist".
When a Waitlist is active, you will see a new icon in the Event Admin Tools. Clicking this icon displays a list of people on the Waitlist. If space becomes available, you have the option of notifying individual people (not necessarily in the order that they signed up), or of notifying everyone and it's "First-Come-First-Served". If someone is able to register, they are removed from the Waitlist. Those who could not register stay on the Waitlist in case more space opens up.
In the ClubExpress model, people do not register for the event and pay, only to be added to the Waitlist and their registration converted to an actual registration if space fills up. There are multiple reasons for this, including the requirement to issue refunds to anyone who does not convert, as well as the complexities of handling multi-activity events where only some activities might clear.
For clubs and associations using our Multi-Tier features with independent organizations, each with their own website and database, plus an upper-level organization with a separate website and virtual database comprising the members of all linked, lower-level groups, you can now configure upper-level events to appear on every linked, lower-level calendar. And vice-versa: an admin at the lower level can configure an event to appear on the upper-level calendar, visible to all linked organizations.
In version 9.2--announced in February--we changed how partial payments for an event are defined. Since then, we have enhanced this feature to optionally show an initial down payment.
In addition, admins can now edit the amount being paid against the schedule. The amount must be less than or equal to the scheduled amount. If less, an additional scheduled amount is created for the difference and on the same date as the original. Users cannot modify a scheduled amount to be paid.
Credit Card Refunds
In the past, ClubExpress has not supported credit card refunds using the built-in merchant account because of the possibility of fraud (issuing refunds and then finding that we cannot collect the funds from your bank account.) So organizations were forced to cut refund checks. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many clubs and associations have been forced to cancel events for which people had already registered and paid. So we have implemented the ability to issue credit card refunds through the system. This option can be used for any kind of charge, not just an event registration.
When you need to do so now, you will fill in a form that can be found on the Open Credits screen, telling us in advance how much needs to be refunded. For example, if you cancel an event costing $40 and need to refund 30 credit card payments, you will specify $1200. We will then run an ACH to debit your primary bank account for this amount. 2 business days later, once the funds have arrived in our bank account, we will approve the refund request and you'll then be able to issue the refunds.
Please note that, at present, you can only refund the full amount. It is not currently possible to refund a lesser amount, such as a portion of the original registration fee designated as "non-refundable". It is also not possible to pull the refund amount from different bank accounts; it must come the primary bank account.
Many of you may have noticed a new module on Control Panel - People tab called Gift Memberships. This module allows someone to buy a gift membership for another person. You can define recommended gift amounts, perhaps matching the different member types offered by your organization. Gifts can optionally be anonymous. You will specify the name, email address and phone number for the recipient, as well as a gift amount and personal message to be sent. The system will generate a personalized email to the recipient, including the gift amount and a coupon code to be used when paying for the membership.
The system will track all gifts and whether they have been used. Note that the gift giver is not added to your club's database, in order not to deter people from purchasing gifts.
You can now define a subset of screens from the Member Signup/Renewal Wizard that will be shown to members when they log in for the first time. This feature allows you to force members to review and update their information in the database, including answers to additional member data questions, especially after we did an initial bulk load. It can also be used to require members to “sign” the Joining Agreement before they use the site. Finally, when admins create new members and this feature is enabled, these new members will then be able to review their information upon logging in for the first time. First Login settings are defined on the admin screen for the Member Signup Wizard.
When members log in for the first time using their temporary credentials, and after updating their username and password, they will see the enabled First Login wizard pages and will have to step through them in order to complete their login. A message is displayed explaining that the club requires them to update their information on their first login. If a user jumps out of the first login wizard, then the wizard will be shown again to them on their next login, and every time thereafter until they complete it.
Tell a Friend
There is a new option on the member Profile drop-down panel, allowing members to Tell a Friend about your website. This function will prompt for your friend's first name and email address, as well as a personal message. The friend will receive a simple email including a link to your website.
And in other parts of the ClubExpress platform:
- The News/Articles Module has been enhanced in the following ways:
- The admin user interface has been updated to reflect a model that we plan to roll out across the whole platform. There are new graphic buttons at the top and the search panel can be hidden to minimize scrolling or displayed.
- There is now an option to show or hide the author's name on the main page.
- On the manager page, there are now options to sort by Active or Remove Date, or headline, and in ascending or descending order.
- The date range option now uses the Active date instead of the Create Date.
- The club's time zone will now be respected correctly when searching and displaying news items.
- We have made significant updates to forum email messages and digests, cleaning up the user interface and improving the appearance on mobile devices. We also significantly improved how the platform handles emailed message replies that automatically included the message that's being replied to.
- The Courseware and Testing module has been renamed the "E-Learning" module. We lowered the one-time fee to enable this module to $200. We also added the ability to archive a video.
- The Additional Member Data Questions export can now be filtered by Membership Status.
- When you are configuring a module, or custom web page, or photo album (using the Control Panel "wrench" icon) you can now define a QuickLink on the Configure popup dialog.
- The Multiple Misc. Charges/Credits function (on the CP - Money tab) has been completely redesigned. It now supports credits as well as charges. There is also a new interface to filter the list of members and add them to the list of people to be charged or to receive a credit. When you click Save, the system will create a charge or credit for each listed person in the amount and with the description specified.
The following bugs were fixed since our last version announcement:
- In the Volunteering Module, the session expiration should be 30 minutes after it starts. But there was a problem with the session end date being calculated based on the session start time in the Central time zone, and then being compared with the club's current time zone to see if the session was still current.
- In the Event Calendar, post-event panel, event coordinators were able to select from all custom pages and all photo pages, even though they may have only had access to certain pages. Now, only those pages that a coordinator has access to will appear in the dropdowns on the post-event panel.
- The Upcoming Events widget was not respecting local time zones.
- When a new member signs up, their join date is (obviously) the current date. When a prospective member is approved, we were not changing the join date to the approval date.
- When defining an Emailing Distribution List, once you had selected a member from the database, some members were disappearing from the display when you selected another member.
- The Pending Payment page was allowing the specified card type to be different from the card type in the number entered (for example, a card number beginning with “4” is always a Visa.)
- When uploading animated GIFs into an Emailing image, the animation was being stripped out.
- When merging two non-members together, a sub-group assignment was being lost.
- Admins used to be able to vote multiple times for a survey or an election. This has been changed, and now just like members, admins can only vote once. Except when the survey is still in test mode.
- Reminder emails were being sent on cancelled events.
- When a Volunteering slot was cancelled, emails were, under certain circumstances, also being sent to people who were not registered for that slot.
- In the News/Articles module, there was a problem where new news items were not automatically being displayed at the top of the sequence.
- Also in the News/Articles module, when a new category was added, it was not always immediately available to be used for widgets and articles. When an existing category was modified, the old name was still used, and when deleted, it still appeared in some dropdown lists. Also, we were not properly reloading the article list on the main page or in recent news widgets when changes were made.
- In photo uploads, we are supposed to save the original photo unchanged so that members can download it. However, we were actually changing the original. It was being saved in the same original size, but at a lower quality. Also, Editing an image always starts with the original. If you save changes to an image, the original was being changed. Now, we change only the screen and thumbnail size images. So, if you edit the same image again, you are starting with the original. If you save an edited image as a new image, the new image ‘original’ version will be the newly edited image, and the new screen and thumb will match. The original “original” will not be changed.
- In a multi-tier Option 2 situation, when someone registered for an event on one website and paid using an available credit issued on the other website, there was a problem with reporting the payment history.
- Also in multi-tier Option 2, for a committee at the top level that includes members from both the top-level and lower level clubs, the online screen was correctly showing the committee membership but the report was only showing top level members.
- When an admin linked an expired solo member to an active primary member, the system was changing the expiration date but the new secondary member still had an Expired membership status.
Again, all of these problems have been fixed.