As a part of my last acts as Treasurer, part of the job had been to get rid of PayPal (or at least lessen it’s burden on us) as well as streamline the membership portion of the treasurer’s office. To that end I asked the Directors about getting a better membership software package, and WildApricot is it. WA is in use by a handful of other hackerspaces, and is a pretty good deal.
This system will be replacing both Seltzer (the membership part) and Eventbrite (an added bonus), and will add a donor-tracking system (something we’ve needed). It also automates the process of reminding cash members (ie those not using a credit-card through the website) that their dues are… due. As a part of this change, we are moving away from PayPal as our preferred payment processor; the new site is designed to use Stripe (our new payment processor) as the automated payment transaction system. Folks who use a credit card on the new site will be added to automatic transactions (and charged monthly on the first).
So keep a lookout for emails from ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’, and don’t throw it away. Those of you who have been looking to ditch PayPal, you can renew your membership through WildApricot (paying with a credit card on our Stripe account) and end your PayPal subscription, and things will flow through successfully. Those of you who wish to remain an in-person payor (by cash, check, or credit-card) can continue using Square, and those of you who wish to continue using PayPal can also keep doing that too (although it will be a pain in the neck, and we really don’t advise it).
And here’s why: if you want to use PayPal (or Square), this will now be considered a ‘manual’ payment. PayPal has changed their data-export functionality, so it is not straightforward to import everyone’s payments. Additionally, since as the charges are debited every month on the day of the subscription start, keeping track of who’s paid this month by the 15th is impossible because anyone can cancel their subscription after they received the doorcode, but before we collect their automatic payment. Because of this, we will not be distributing the door code to folks until their charges clear. This now puts PayPal customers at the same level that Square customers have always been at. Monthly reminder emails will be sent to all manual-payment members and memberships will be automatically suspended if payment is not received by the 15th of the month.
If you have any questions, and I’m sure there will be, Geoff will be talking about this at the general meeting on Sunday (6 November), and will be hosting office hours after the meeting to get everyone up to speed.