In March Jonathan Farrell attended the Road Runners of America Conference to give an early preview of our next gen Membership System. Jonathan is the brilliant lead developer for this project, a former running club president, has developed systems for clubs in the past, and is a heck of a good guy.
We first released RunSignup for Running (and Triathlon and other Endurance oriented) Clubs in May, 2013. We have a long history with our clubs product as demonstrated by the dozens of blogs on the topic of clubs. In fact, Bob first met Jonathan when he was a club member at the Rockland Road Runners Club in 2011. RunSignup has helped hundreds of clubs over the years, and for the past 5 years we have been promising a new membership system. The project was set to kick off in 2020, but we all know what distracted us from clubs at that time.
We started work on a new Membership system late in 2022. In March of 2023, Jonathan gave an early preview of what was to come. This new offering is getting closer to fruition, and we want to provide some updates on the status of the project. This blog combines some deep dive technology architecture alongside the tangible features that real people use and understand. The technology deep dive is important to understanding the power of the overall platform we are building at RunSignup, and how we can help organizations who have events and may also have membership offerings.
Key Features and Improvements
- Flexible Memberships: duration, levels, pricing, and more
- Event Integration with RunSignup and TicketSignup
- Cross sell memberships during event signup
- Discount event signups with different membership levels
- AutoRenewal with saved credit cards
- Lightweight “no password” option like TicketSignup
- Websites (Free, Modern, Full Powered, Custom Branded, BYO Domain), including Member Only Access
- Email (Free, Modern, Full Powered, Custom Branded), including newsletters, automated emails and notifications
- Integrated Donations (and Donation Discounts)
- Powerful Reporting
- Online Store
- Apple Pay and Apple Wallet
- Import and Migration and Integration Tools with custom member numbers for easier migration
We hope to have early users into the system by the end of 2023 and general public availability in early 2024. As you will see in this (long) blog post, we are making significant progress and leveraging our new generation of common components. We will, of course, listen to customer feedback and continue to improve the system over time.
Core Membership Database
Back in 2011 we designed a basic database structure that really understood the various types of ways that clubs offered memberships. We have done some minor updates with the new system, but three basic concepts are the foundation of the old and new system, which allows for very easy migration:
- Individual and Family Memberships
- Multiple Membership Levels to enable different prices and benefits
- Different Durations of Memberships (Days, Months, Years, Rolling, Yearly, etc.)
- Age Based Memberships so it is easy to support Youth Members in a COPPA compliant way
- Ties to Events – Discounts or admission based on Membership, as well as the ability to cross sell registrants to upgrade to Membership when signing up for an event
This commonality will allow us to provide migration tools from the old system to the new system for our existing customers. For new customers, it means we have experience – and flexibility – to handle many types of membership needs.
The first place where the database is common, but the user experience has improved is Membership Levels. Here is the new UX for creating a Membership level:
Several very flexible options are available with memberships and membership levels:
Family / Multi-Member Memberships – this is seen in the above example, where the family is limited to 4 memberships. This is tied into reports. For example, this Family Membership can be edited easily by the director(s) of the member organization:
From this Membership page, directors can add, edit and delete member information.
Pricing based on Duration:
Have Multiple Membership Levels, with different pricing and benefits (like discounts on tickets and race registration):
You can charge a flat fee like above for a yearly membership and have the year start when they join. Or you can have a single day per year (like January 1) when everyone renews and either charge the full fee up front, or Pro-rate it (charge half if they join on July 1).
“Generic Entity” Components
One of the very powerful concepts we have introduced over the past couple of years is using Generic Entity components. This means developing our new software like Email V2 and Websites V2 in a way that make them plug and play across all of our products like Tickets, Races, and soon Membership. This allows features like Websites, Email, and Reporting to bring huge functionality with them for relatively little work. And when we make an improvement, that improvement is available everywhere at once.
You can get a feel for what a new Membership Website will look like with Bob’s test (although you can NOT become a member yet) – https://runsignup.com/bobbyb123.
We have nice card components to enable you to create links to your events. And in the future, we will incorporate the full automated Event List capability found in Organization Websites.
We also have data components built into the website, so you can do things like show # of Members, # of Memberships and a member list (which will have more display options and privacy options in the future:
We also have components like a “Contact Us” that does not show your email, but enables questions to be routed to the right person. We also have a Location and Map component:
The Website Builder comes with a full set of theme options from banner image to color scheme to short URL’s (BYO Domain will come in the future):
We have all new reporting (long time users have been wanting this!). There are two basic reports today – Memberships and Members:
The Manage link on the left makes it simple to manage, edit and delete members and memberships:
The reports themselves can be customized to select columns you want:
And there are Export Options to download as a CSV or Excel either all or the selected data. Also there is a print function.
We have brought over the new question capabilities as well. These include a variety of options for formatting as well as image and description capabilities. In the future we will add a filter for questions to be asked only to certain Membership levels.
We are also using our new Coupon capability. Create or upload unlimited coupons, with various discounts that can be applied to different items like memberships and store items. It also uses our new Coupon Pool capability that can share coupons with tickets and in the future with races. These screen shots show what is available now:
This is not all implemented yet, but it is important to understand we will be providing our normal full set of services, such as Sales Tax and Chargeback handling.
Lots More to Come
All of the above items that we drilled into and showed screen shots of are actually working today on our production servers, although it is only available to RunSignup employees. We still have a lot to do, but hopefully this gives you a feel for where we are going and the level of capability we will be offering out of the box (and for free as usual!).