FAQ: My Membership Fees are a Donation or A Sliding Scale
- If you call someone a member for giving a donation, then you will want to record this as two separate transactions. Set up your membership level(s) as free/having no cost. When adding a new member, record their "membership fee" as a donation and then also add a (free) membership for them. This will allow you to track the membership "fees" as donations and keep the money cleaner/separated. Plus, it will make tracking the tax deductability easier and you will be able to use the donation acknowledgement letters function to thank your donors but also use the membership module to track renewal reminders and join dates.
- If you allow members to pay a price range (for example the "Supporter" level is for anyone who pays between $25 and $50):
- The system does not allow sliding scale fees for membership - each membership pricing level (per membership category) must be one fixed price.
- Generally, price ranges are unfair/inequitable and are not a recommended best practice. Members will wonder why some people receive the same benefits as them for a lesser cost/price.
- Usually, when a price range is accepted for membership fees it is because the organization considers the amount paid above the minimum/base amount an optional additional donation. In such case, you should split the transaction into two as per #1 above - set the membership rate at the minimum acceptable amount and any amount paid over that, enter it into your system as a donation. That will keep the accounting cleaner and allow you to acknowledge the donation part using the donations and donation acknowledgements module.
- For those cases were the additional amount is not considered a donation, then you will have to set a price for your membership level and then enter a price override for every membership that pays more or less than the fixed price.