Skip to content



Understand CiviMember and be able to manage membership types and memberships


Specific objectives:

  • Understand how to configure CiviMember
  • Understand how to create membership types
  • Understand how to create and manage memberships
  • Understand the membership registration and renewal process

Learning points

You should aim to cover the following points in this session

  • Membership building blocks

    • Membership types
    • Membership status
    • Price sets
    • Custom data
    • Membership management tools

    • Membership dashboard

    • Scheduled reminders
    • Online registration

    • Pre-populating information

Extra points that it would be good to go into, if there is time include:

  • The CiviDiscount extension

Assumed knowledge: That the learners have already been through the Contribute Session

Session Plan

This session should last 60 minutes. Without the exercises, you should be able to complete it in 30 minutes.

Outline the main things that you can do with CiviMember and when it is appropriate to use the module

  • Manage membership
  • Allow users to create new and renew existing memberships themselves online

Basic concepts (20 minutes)

Introduce the basic concept of membership and renewal dates. Be clear that a single contact can have multiple memberships.

Explain that CiviMember should only be used if one or more of the following applies;

  • You offer memberships with defined benefits and durations
  • Your membership is paid for
  • You want to allow online signup / renewal
  • You want to limit access to website content or features

Show the learners the CiviMember administration pages and discuss the administrative elements behind a membership type.

Describe how CiviMember interacts with the Contribute module and that the membership fee is handled as an associated but distinct contribution.

Explain what memebership statuses are and how they work (automatically move through membership statuses).

Discuss how over time, a single membership will have a history of contributions representing renewals.

Explain how to add Membership signup to a contribution page and that contribution pages can be completed by anonymous or logged in users.

Explain how to add custom data to a member record.

Show learners the scheduled reminders page.

What CiviMember looks like (5 minutes)

Show people a live member dashboard. From there you search and go to a list of members, and from there you can go to contacts. Show people a front CiviMember contribution page.

Creating a membership type and create a contribution page (15 minutes)

Learners should now have a basic grasp of membership and how it works. They can now complete part 1 of the exercises. If learners complete part 1, they can move to part 2 and 3.

Online registration (5 minutes)

Once most learners have completed part 1, we should do a test of someone's online contribution at the front of the class (a learner can do this or you can do it).

Renewal Process (15 minutes)

Look at scheduled reminders as a group and explain the process. Learners can now complete part 2 of the exercise and if they complete part 2 move onto part 3.

More useful tools for membership

Explain the following tools that can also be used for managing events

  • Price sets - covered in Part 3 of the exercise
  • Discounts
  • Importing member data - highlighting that the contact must already exist within the database
  • Recurring payments i.e. for monthly membership payments

If time permits, learners can choose to carry on with Part 3 of the exercises.