Membership application form


Visitors to your WildApricot website can apply for membership in your organization using an online membership application form. Membership application forms are built with a gadget that is added to the layout of a page on your website. 

This article describes the contents of an online membership application form and what the process is like for users when they fill it out. 

For step-by-step instructions on how to include an application form on your website, please view Membership application gadget.

Note: You can also embed your WildApricot membership application form into another website using a widget after you have first added the membership application gadget onto your WildApricot website. For details, view Using widgets.

The membership application form - applicant view

When an applicant views the page of your website that contains the application, the first screen displays the membership levels you have configured in Admin view > Members > Levels

Only membership levels with the Public can apply setting enabled will be visible to applicants. This setting is configured in Admin view > Members > General > Level security options

After an applicant selects a membership level, the next screen prompts them to provide their email address and pass the reCAPTCHA. 

The next screen includes the relevant contact and membership fields you created in your database, in addition to the system's default fields. 

The settings you selected for each database field determine whether the field will appear on the application form and whether or not it is mandatory to complete.

After the applicant submits the application, the information they provide is used to create a new contact record, which is automatically added to your database. 

The contact will have a membership status of Pending - New, unless your organization does not require approval or payment for membership, in which case the member will be considered Active immediately.

The membership application form - feature details

The sections below describe the components that are included in a membership application form.

For detailed guidance on how to customize the appearance of the form on your website, see Membership application gadget.

Membership levels and descriptions

You can include as many membership levels as you want on your application form.

When you include a level on your application form, the information that is visible to the applicant depends on the settings you selected for that level in Admin view > Members > Levels

Membership fee, renewal period, payment restrictions, and any descriptive text you choose to add will be displayed for each option.

Sample application form:

To learn how to create and configure the settings for your organization's membership levels, see Membership levels.

Member information - database fields 

When applicants fill out an application form on your website, they provide their information through database fields. The application form's fields are drawn from the Membership fields and Contact fields you create within your database. 

You can also create custom membership fields and restrict them to specific membership levels on the application. 

If a selected membership level has a discount code associated with it, a Discount code field will appear on the form where the applicant can enter the code. 

Payment options on the form

Payment options that are displayed on membership application forms are configured for each membership level in Admin view > Members > Levels > General > Payment method.

To allow applicants to pay membership fees online as part of the application process, you must have online payments configured in your Payment settings.

For more information, see Online payments.

Finalizing the application

When an applicant is ready to check out, the user experience differs according to the payment options that were configured for the level in Admin view > Members > Levels > General > Payment method. In all cases, a new contact record is added to your database.

  • When only offline payment methods are available:
    The applicant has the option of canceling or confirming the application. If the applicant clicks the Confirm button, an invoice is emailed to them, and a membership application summary is displayed on the screen. 
  • When only online payment methods are available:
    A Pay online button appears. Clicking the Pay online button takes the applicant to the online payment checkout screen.
  • If both online and offline payment methods are available:
    • Two options are displayed as buttons: Pay online and Invoice me.
    • Clicking the Pay online button will take the applicant to the online payment checkout screen for your payment processor.
    • If the applicant clicks the Invoice me button, an invoice will be emailed to them, and a membership application summary will be displayed on the screen.
Note: If your payment processor is PayPal Payments Pro, the Pay online button is replaced with two buttons: Pay with credit card, and PayPal Express checkout.

Note: Depending on the settings you configured in Admin view > Members > Levels > New applications, an application may need administrator approval or payment may have to be received in full before the member gains Active status. To learn more, view New applications tab.


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