Membership Reports - Tips
- When working with member and membership reporting keep in mind that Members and Memberships are different. A member is a person. A membership is a subscription. A membership may have several members, if it’s a group membership (family membership or organizational membership). For example, if Mr. and Mrs. Joe Smith share a family membership, they are TWO members but ONE membership.
- When writing member and membership reports or viewing member or membership data, be sure to know which number you want: # of members or # of memberships.
- Also, when writing membership reports, think about how you want to see the data – do you want to see an alphabetical list of member names or do you want to see the data grouped/organized by membership?
- The easiest way to get a list of contacts who are current members is to use the criteria Contact Type Equals Members (this can be done in advanced search and in any type of report).
- The easiest way to get a list of people are expired members is to use the criteria Contact Type Equals Ex-Member.
- When working with memberships, it is ALWAYS better to renew an existing membership than creating a new membership for a contact. When contacts each have more than one separate membership it makes reporting harder due to having multiple statues (simultaneously having an expired and active membership, having multiple join dates, etc.). Below is an example of someone who has two memberships. This is going to create reporting difficulties.
- It can help to think of one membership that has been renewed several times as a continuous chain, where each membership period in that chain is a link in the chain. For example, if your memberships last for one year and Joe Smith joins on 2/14/2015, renews on 2/13/2016 and renews again on 2/13/2017, he has three links in his membership chain:
- Link #1= Feb. 2015 to Feb. 2016,
- Link #2 = Feb 2016 to Feb 2017
- Link #3 = Feb. 2017 – Feb. 2018
Below is a picture of the membership history of someone who has four links in their chain. These are all transactions applied to one/the same membership.
- The links in the membership chain/history of joins and renewals are referred to as “nodes.” To ensure that your report is just considering the current/most recent membership dates/status, add a criteria for Last Node (on the MemberView table) Equals True. Last Node Equals True tells the report to only look at the last link/node in the membership chain. This criteria can be added to advanced search as well as all types of reports.
- If your members have more than one membership, one active and one expired, then be careful when writing reports that show members who were new/joined. They will have two join/membership start dates. To exclude people who may have a past/expired membership, use the Member Since field on the MemberView table. This field records the very first time someone became a member. That way, if they have an expired membership and they join again, they will not be counted on your report as a new member. [Hint: the default Membership: New Members by Month - Mailing List Report already has this criteria added]
- If your members have more than one membership, one active and one expired, then be careful writing reports that show memberships that have expired or will be expiring (using Membership End Date) because it will pull the inactive/old membership even if they have a current membership. To exclude people who are currently active members even if they have an expired membership add a criteria for “Contact Type is not [or is not equal to] Member” to the report (to exclude those who are current members) and use the Max/Min filter option on the MemberView End Date field (this tells the report to only look at/consider the most recent membership end date). This can only be done in advanced reports; it cannot be done in an Advanced Search or Express View reports. [Hint: the default report Membership: Expiring Members by Month already has these filters in place/works this way]