Family Memberships and Some Website History

Through the years, our membership database has evolved. At least since I’ve been a member (2005), it lived in a Microsoft Access database that was beautifully custom designed by David Suryan. Betty Suryan was the membership secretary for many years and David had created all kinds of custom reports for Betty to use to create mailing lists for a mailed newsletter, print membership cards, give statistics on the membership count, and countless other handy automated reports.

In 2010, the club’s website got a new look/feel with the ability for members to sign up online. Our membership numbers showed a big increase with the ease of registering for membership. Rather than a printed page of rides or an ongoing text stream, there was a calendar to view the rides and click on the description for more details. But the database of members lacked some of the features of the Access database, so the two systems were kept going side by side for years.

In 2017, the website converted from a Drupal system to a WordPress system. The new site was responsive, meaning that you could view it on your phone or other small device and the font and pictures would adjust accordingly – no more trying to enlarge the ride calendar to see a ride. The upcoming rides were shown on the home page. The membership database was in the back end on a system known as CiviCRM. That system proved to be more than we needed and difficult to use.

Just recently (in April), we have gone to a completely WordPress system, including membership and events. This change coincided with the Board’s approval of a new membership payment structure and a charge for family memberships. With this new change, it was our hope to finally do away with the old Access database.

Since family members were free in the past, many family members did not have accounts on the website. For the 2017 version, we had created a way for members to add their family member(s) by clicking a button and listing them with a unique email. Those with family members who had been added to the website by April of this year were then manually entered as having a family membership (no extra charge until their renewal date). This left about 65 family members who only existed in the old database. I have been contacting each of these members to determine if they still want their family member(s) added and offering to do that for them as long as I have an email for that member. This correspondence has met with some confusion, so I thought that an article might help.

If your family members are not able to log on to the website, it’s possible they don’t have a user account and have not been added as a family member. Please contact me, [email protected], and I will gladly set this up for you. By the way, new or renewing membership cost:  for individual, $35/one year or $60/two years; and for family (up to five in a household), $50/one year or $90/two years.

Cindy Bernert-Coppola, Membership Secretary