Membership Changes

Changes in Structure and System

Our membership structure and system have been undergoing substantial changes in 2023.  The previous variation of membership fees between Branches has been removed.  The “Associate” and “Branch” descriptors will give way to a single one of “Society”.  A key aim of the changes is to automate many of the tasks involved in the running of the membership system, thereby speeding up responses to membership applications and reducing the workload on our team of volunteers.

Associate Membership Renewals

Regrettably the changeover to the new membership system has not gone smoothly in a key area.  We sincerely apologise for the confusion and inconvenience caused to our Associate members when trying to renew their memberships in December.

Emails to some members contained errors about their new membership numbers.  The Web Development Team has made responses to many of the enquiries that were received as a result of the confusing detail in the emails and subsequent renewal reminders.  Some of the more recent queries that need technical resolution may take longer for their responses.

The facility to process the offline renewals received in the post is not yet available to the Membership Team.  This has created a backlog of items for attention.  It is expected that the team training, interrupted by the holiday season, should be completed by mid-January.

The online renewals are now handled through a new payment platform – Stripe – instead of PayPal.  We are sorry that advance notice of this change was not given to members.  The payment card brands accepted by the platform are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.

Please be assured that Associate membership entitlements will continue for two months after the expiry date in line with our practice in previous years.  We aim to resolve all the reported difficulties within that timescale.

Your patience and understanding during this time of tremendous change will be greatly appreciated by the whole volunteer team working on this project.

Thank you for your continuing support of the Society.

 

Renewals by Associate Members

Following the publication of the autumn edition of the North Irish Roots journal the invitation to Associates for renewal of membership for the following year is normally sent out. This year, as a result of the move to our new system and part of the transition arrangements, an email was sent to each Associate member telling them of their new membership number in the Mxxxx series and the way to renew their membership. The renewal has to be done by using the link included in the recent email.  There is no Associate renewal facility on the Membership website.

Renewals by Branch Members

Online Renewal by Branch members is paused at present.
In the near future an email will be sent to each Branch member giving their new Mxxxx series membership number. This number is needed for the online processing of the renewal application.

Offline Renewal via the Branch Treasurer using the paper process can be accepted. Please get further information and the form at your Branch meeting.

Some notes about the new Membership System and Website

  • The Membership website is separate from the existing NIFHS website.
  • The new membership system amalgamates the previous Associate and Branch structures.
  • The standard membership year, from 1st September to 31st August, is adopted.
  • There is a transition period from 1st January to 31st August 2024 for re-aligning the previously different membership years.
  • A Membership account is used for subscription purposes through which details about postal address, email address and any Branch linkage are kept up to date by the member.  It will provide, at a later date, the access to resources for members.
  • Each Member will be allocated a new membership number in the “Mxxxx” series (x = digit).
  • The new membership number is used as the username for the membership account. The password for the account is chosen by the member.
  • A Member, who so wishes, can choose which Branch to be linked with.
  • Renewal of membership is done through the membership account.
  • An email reminder about renewal will be sent in mid-August each year.

More details will be included in upcoming Newsletters.

Transition Arrangement for Associate Members

Starting in 2024 the Membership Year for all members of the Society is from 1st September to 31st August.

The Associate Membership Year up to 2023 has been from 1st January to 31st December.  In future it will be from 1st September to 31st August.
For Associate Members whose renewal is due on 1st January 2024 the subscription will cover the eight months from 1st January to 31st August 2024.

Renewal has to be done by using the link included in the recent email dated 11th December sent to Associate members.

The annual renewal cycle for all members will come into effect for the year 1st September 2024 to 31st August 2025.

Payment Platform

The new membership system uses Stripe for handling subscription payments.  The payment card brands accepted by the platform are Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.  The use of this online payment method allows the prompt subsequent automated membership processing.

Change Password

The new membership system uses “membership accounts”.  A member with a “M” number can reset their account password if it has been lost or forgotten.

Use the “Lost Password” link at the bottom of the Log In page.

Sorry – it’s not easily found.

Frequently Asked Questions

The new membership system brings the facilities for online applications and payments, along with means for members to keep their own details up to date.  As with any new system there may be many questions that need answers.  Some of these at set out in the “FAQ” page.  More items will be added when feedback from members and others identifies topics that need clarification.