Kavi® Members Help

Chapter 31. Membership Application Processes

Membership Acquisition Rules

Every organization has a set of business rules that govern who can acquire membership and how membership applications are processed. Kavi Membership encodes the organization's rules to automate as much of the membership acquisition process as possible, passing control to administrators and members at strategic points in the process, or allowing administrators to override automated processes as necessary.

Your organization may choose to offer memberships to companies only, to individuals only, or may offer both company and individual memberships. These processes are configured separately, so the rules that apply to the individual membership process may not apply to the company membership process. Your organization may have a flat membership structure, or have multiple levels of membership.

Some of the membership acquisition rules are encoded in membership application forms, which often include a include terms and conditions agreement, and billing or moderation steps. Other rules are configured in the membership type, and your organization may have any number of membership types, each with its own rules. Different rules may apply to applications for new versus renewed memberships.

  • Before reading this document, you should read the Concepts document Membership Workflow, which provides a grapical overview of the membership life cycle, with definitions of each of the membership states.

  • Membership renewal is a form of membership acquisition, so this document does touch on the subject, but there are a couple of other Concepts documents that provide the information needed to understand membership renewals. For more information on the ways that renewal can interact with membership expiration and archiving, see End-of-Membership Processes. If your organization has auto-renewed memberships, see Auto-Renewal

  • Company representative signup (and signup without membership, which is managed through built-to-suit versions of the company representative signup forms) is handled differently than membership application processes. For more information, see the Concepts document Company Representative Signup.

  • For the big picture, see the Concepts document Membership Configuration Overview.

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Steps in the Membership Application Process

Within the membership workflow, which governs the membership application process, are two configurable steps: moderation and billing. Membership applications may be subject to each of these steps or may pass through these steps automatically. The order in which these steps are imposed is also configurable.


A moderation step passes control of the application process to human moderators. It gives the Organization Admin the ability to hold a membership application in the 'Pending Moderation' state until the organization certifies that all the prerequisites for membership have been met. The organization may want to review all applications for completeness and accuracy before approval, may require signed copies of legal documents, may want board approval, etc.

Administrators can update the application in the moderation queue, add an activity note to record statements about why the application is going to be accepted or denied, then pass control back to Kavi Members automated processes by approving or denying the application.


If Kavi® Billing is installed, membership bills can be issued automatically as part of the membership application process. If Kavi® Commerce is also installed, new and renewing members may pay their membership bills online with a credit card to expedite the membership process. Once a membership bill is paid, the membership application automatically advances to the next state in the membership workflow and the applicant can view and print an online receipt.

The billing step can also be configured to pass memberships through to the next workflow state regardless of whether the membership bill has been paid or not. When this option is set, memberships can enter the Approved state and go current on their start date even if they have not been paid, so the member who hasn't paid their bill can enjoy uninterrupted access to membership benefits. In this case the organization can rely on Kavi Billing report tools to identify delinquent accountss.

Figure 31.1. Example membership approval process

Diagram showing one possible membership signup
	      process supported by Kavi Members.
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How to Determine the Status of a Membership Application

Once a membership applicant completes an application form, the applicant is sent to the Membership Status page, which displays information about the state of the membership application (e.g., 'Pending Moderation', 'Pending Bill Payment', 'Pending Start Date', 'Current'). The Membership Status page can be bookmarked or added to an applicant's favorites to make it easy to return to the page later to view real-time information on the state of the membership.

When an administrator adds a new member, they can send a scheduled email template with a link or copy the 'Public Membership Status Page' link on the 'Done' step and paste it into an email. The recipient can use this link to access the Membership Status page. Since this page is public, it can be viewed by prospective members who cannot yet log into the website, members whose memberships have lapsed and by administrators.

Figure 31.2. Membership Status Page

Screenshots of the Membership Status page
	      showing updates to a membership application.
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Where to Find Your Organization's Membership Processes

Membership applications provide information about eligibility rules and membership fees, and instructions on the next steps in the application process are displayed to applicants when the application is submitted to the organization.

Administrators who are looking for more information can research site configuration by following the instructions and links in How to Set Up Membership.

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Public Applications, Self-Renewals, Auto-Renewals and Administrator-Managed Memberships

There are four different avenues that can be used to apply for memberships: new memberships can be applied for through public application forms, logged-in members can renew their own memberships, memberships can be automatically renewed, or new or renewed memberships can be handled manually by an administrator.

Public Application Forms for New Memberships

Public application forms are available for new members only. Pages used to access these application forms include instructions and links for members who want to renew their memberships. If a member attempts to apply for a new membership rather than renewing, an error message is displayed informing the member that the membership must be renewed, and the member will not be able to submit the application.

Any membership type that is configured to be available to new members is displayed through these public membership application forms. These forms can be used by applicants that are not in the Kavi Members database, and by applicants who are in the Kavi Members database but do not yet have membership, providing they have a compatible purpose (e.g., 'Nonmember Company' or 'Individual Nonmember').

Member Self-Renewal

Logged-in Individual Members see 'Renew' links for memberships that are eligible to be renewed when they visit the Manage Memberships page. If this is a Company Membership Type, a logged-in Primary Contact or other company administrator can access this type through the renew link on the Manage Memberships page in the Company Area. If the organization offers multiple levels of membership, the member can select any of those that are available for renewal.

The public online signup forms also display instructions and links for those who need to renew. The link takes the individual member or company representative to a tool where they can either login or request that a renewal link be sent to them by email. Kavi Members matches the primary email address to an account, then sends the renewal link for that account.


Some membership types use auto-renewal, so that the membership renewal process is automatically initiated without requiring any immediate action on the part of the member or administrator. This only initiates the renewal process, so if the membership is billed or moderated it must still pass through these steps. The old membership type is configured to be renewed with a specific membership type, so if the organization offers more than one level of membership, the member who wants to renew at a different level needs to contact an administrator. For more information, see the Auto-Renewal Concepts document.

Administrator-Managed Memberships

Administrators can always add new or renewed memberships, as well as replace or delete memberships as needed. If the organization has any administrator-only membership types, these types are not displayed on public signup forms or the Manage Memberships pages that are available to members, but administrators will see links to add these memberships when managing users or companies through Admin Area tools.

When an administrator adds or renews a membership, the administrator can manage all aspects of the membership workflow, including any billing or moderation steps. This is explained in the page help for tools used to add, edit or renew individual or company memberships, such as Renew an Individual Membership or Renew a Company Membership.

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