If you’ve been following the news from AAUW, you know that there’s a new program in the works — the Membership Pilot Program. The goal here is to offload some work from branch treasurers by allowing members to pay dues (national/state/local) online at www.aauw.org. You are probably a member of other organizations where this is the norm, and it’s not surprising that AAUW is moving in this direction.
This program has been in the works for several months, and the plan is to have it in place by May 1. However, it is a PILOT program, and branch participation is voluntary. Since North Carolina has “opted in” (i.e. given the Association the information they need to send state dues to AAUW NC), branches in North Carolina may choose to participate.
I am a treasurer in two branches and will work with those branch presidents (who make the final “opt in” decision) to get those branches to be part of the program. Should your branch also participate? Here’s my advice:
- Is your branch treasurer (or a co-treasurer) comfortable using the online Member Services Database to report and track payments?
- NO? stop here. Do NOT opt in to the MPP (yet), but schedule some time to train someone on your finance team in the use of the MSD.
- YES? Continue
- Would some of your members appreciate being able to pay their AAUW dues (national, state, and branch) online with a credit card?
- YES? The opt in will provide this functionality. Do consider the MPP.
- NO? Continue.
- Does the treasurer want the ability to pay state and national dues electronically?
- YES? With the MPP, the treasurer can report renewals and make a payment with a (branch) credit/debit card. Do consider the MPP.
- NO? If you opt in, you will still be able to forward dues to AAUW with a check (and, indeed, forward dues to AAUW and AAUW NC with just one check).
So, if you answer “Yes” to question 1 and “Yes” to either question 2 or 3, take the time to look at the MPP more carefully. There is a detailed briefing on this (see #17 at http://aauw.org/member_center/briefings) and watch for mailings to branch presidents about this.
Notes to branch treasurers:
- If you opt in, some of the processes that you are using now for reporting dues will change slightly, but for the most part this will expand your options and streamline your work.
- If you opt in, there will be a delay (as much as a month) before branch member dues are deposited in the branch account. Hopefully you maintain a large enough minimum balance that this won’t be a problem, but it may be a consideration for some of you.
- If you don’t opt in because you aren’t yet comfortable with the MSD, please let Mary Fran or me know (see contacts) and we can find a way to get you (or another member of the branch who might want to pick up this piece of the treasurer’s job) the necessary training.
- If you do opt in, know that I, as a branch treasurer and as someone who’s been on the national committee that’s been asked to review the application, will be with you every step of the way. If you have a problem, let me know, and we’ll get it straightened out!