The renewal season for the 2017-2018 membership year at PSC Shooting Club, Inc. has just closed. The process worked very well for 98% of our Members (literally 98%) and the majority of folks having problems were using last year’s renewal procedures. Fewer than a dozen folks had legitimate problems logging into the website to renew and those were quickly resolved.
Why Do We Not have a Single-Button Renewal?
A few Members have asked why it is necessary to fill out a renewal form with their address, phone number, email address, etc, rather than simply clicking a single button to renew as was done prior to the 2016-2017 renewal season. That is a legitimate question so here is the short answer: Members often do not update this critical information. Until the new renewal form was used last year, between 10% and 15% of Club Members moved but did not update their address in the Club database. This meant that 330 to 500 Member badges were mailed to the wrong address. All but a few were returned to the Club because there either was no forwarding address left, or it had expired. Couple this problem with an out-of-date phone number and/or email address and getting badges to these Members was delayed until they complained.
This was not an acceptable situation. It unnecessarily caused a significant increase in the renewal workload and it left Members without a valid Badge. The solution was to require the submission of a renewal form that captured this critical information. Doing so greatly reduced the number of Badges mailed to incorrect addresses. It also helped to ensure that Members received important emails dealing with Club matters. Filling out the form takes less than a minute even for hunt-and-peck typists, so it is hardly a burden.
Why Can We Not Renew by Check?
Another question we receive on a very rare basis is “why can’t I just mail in a check?” There are two reasons mail/check renewals are not available. First, it will result in the address and contact information problem discussed in the preceding paragraphs. More importantly, PSC has grown far too large to process renewals by hand. 3,700 Members would mean the Club Treasurer would have to list 3,700 checks on a deposit slip, endorse them and deposit them into the Club’s bank account. The Membership Director would have to individually enter the renewal information in the Club database for 3,700 Members. The Club’s growth has made it possible to expand our facilities providing far more opportunities for our Members. It also made “manual” renewal procedures unworkable.
Will the Renewal Procedures Change Again Next Year?
Renewal season went very well this year, so it is unlikely that any changes will be made next year. Last year, a Member’s logon credentials included the use of their name as it appears on their Badge. That turned out to be a problem for a few hundred Club Members whose names included an apostrophe or hyphen. The import software didn’t know what to do with those characters, so it either put in extra spaces or ignored the Member completely. That is why the username changed this year. A tutorial video will be created again for next year’s renewal and email instructions will be sent. Please watch the video and, if necessary, read the instructions. The recommendation to watch the video first is made because it covers everything Members need to renew.
I hope this explains how and why the current renewal procedures were developed. It would be nice to make a one-button renewal available, but experience proves it simply does not work.