Membership system now available

I’ve spent the last month or two developing a membership system to allows clubs and societies to securely store member details. This post explains why I decided to write another membership system, rather than using one of those that already exists.

Why write a membership system?

I am currently the Chairman of Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, a charity which rescues people from mountainous regions and inhospitable terrain in North Wales. The Team needs to keep records relating to its members. We also have a support group called 333. Members of 333 pay an annual fee which helps fund our charitable work. They get a newsletter and we put on some events in return for their support.

Historically the Team has stored information in Excel spreadsheets. Whilst this has worked effectively it has a number of issues. Specifically it is difficult to share information appropriately, and it needs someone to keep the information up to date. On a number of occasions I had considered writing a dedicated membership system to resolve these issues, but things came to a head with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

I’ll write a future post about how the membership system meets some of the requirements of GDPR, for now let’s just say it is much better than using a less controlled spreadsheet.

System requirements

The Team I.T. Group looked at a lot of membership systems that already existed and found that they were ever very expensive, based on a subscription model, or didn’t have all the features we wanted. The main features we were looking for included:

  • Storing details of team members and 333 members.
  • Allowing 333 members to sign up and renew their membership online using Secure Trading.
  • Support different types of membership e.g. individual, senior, and family; each with their own annual fee.
  • Allow members to edit their own personal information.
  • Allow authorised people to view members’ information.
  • Mail merging should be possible using an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Intergate with MailChimp to allow members to subscribe to mailing lists.
  • Send members automatic reminders when their membership is due for renewal.

During a quiet period I decided to write my own membership system, which is now available and is being used by Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation.

Making the membership system available

After spending a lot of time writing the membership system I decided to make it available to the public for a small fee. It needed a few new features adding to it, and some documentation writing. This has now been completed and the system is available to purchase. Details about the system, including a comprehensive list of features and how to purchase it, can be found at Membership System.

Trying it out

If you would like to see how the membership system works from a member’s point of view you can try out my demonstration system.

Documentation is available in the form of an installation guide and administration guide.

The 333 membership system
The Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation support group membership system