Once you have created new memberships and added them to Contact records, you'll want to be able to apply payments so you know when members are paid up, and to ensure that recurring memberships don't expire. There are a few ways to do this, which we'll take a look at in this article:
Applying Payments to One-time Memberships
Membership payments, like all money entered in Virtuous, will be entered as gifts. A one-time membership may be paid in full in a single gift, or over the course of multiple gifts. When membership has been added to a record, but not paid, you will see this reflected on the Membership tab of the Contact record.
Critically, a Gift cannot be linked to a one-time membership during gift entry. Once a Gift has been imported, it is possible to edit a Gift and link it with a membership as a payment. So, to apply a payment to a membership, you'll first need to import your payment, which will typically happen as part of gift entry.
Note: You must have Gift "Write" permission in order to edit Gifts. If you do not have this permission, contact your internal Virtuous administrator.
Then, from the Giving tab on a Contact record, find the Gift you'd like to edit and then click on the edit icon to the right of that Gift.
Then, when editing a Gift, scroll to the bottom of the edit form and you'll be able to search for a membership to associate with your Gift.
Click to save, and then your Gift will be applied as a membership payment. When you view the membership, you'll see the payment details there too.
You can repeat this process as needed in cases where the cost of a membership is being paid across multiple Gifts, as you can link more than one Gift to a single one-time membership.
Applying Payments to Recurring Memberships
Recurring memberships behave differently from on-time memberships, primarily because an active recurring membership must be linked to an active recurring gift. Once a recurring membership has been added to a Contact record, clicking to view the membership will display the associated recurring gift information:
Similarly, viewing the recurring gift will show that it is linked to a membership:
This means that linking a gift to a recurring membership can be done during gift entry because linking a Gift to a recurring gift will automatically apply that Gift as a payment toward the associated membership. When manually entering Gifts, you can select the correct recurring gift payment, specify the applied amount, and then save the Gift.
Once you import your gift, you'll see it applied as a membership payment.
If a membership payment is not made or is made but later than the allowed grace period for the associated membership, then the membership will automatically expire. If a payment is received later than the grace period allows, you will need to add a new membership for the Contact.
What if I Want to Offer a Free Membership?
There may be times when you want to add a membership to a Contact record without charging a fee, for stewardship or other purposes. In these cases, you'll want to select a one-time membership, as one-time memberships do not require payment in order to remain active. Recurring memberships will expire automatically if left unpaid.