You can invite new members to enroll by filling out a web-based application form, as opposed to a PDF or paper form, with an online payment option displayed as part of that workflow. Completed application forms are saved as private documents on your website and sent to the VP of Membership for approval.
This has the advantage of speeding up the process and, compared with paper forms, eliminating the errors associated with not being able to read someone’s handwriting.
The online application includes all the same terms and agreement to Toastmasters policies as the paper form, as well as legalese about how a simple digital “signature” (typing your name in a blank) is legally binding. That’s something the member agrees to when submitting a digital application.
This application and application approval process records the completion of the online forms by the member and the VP of Membership as the “signatures.” In the case of a handling a transfer from another club, the Toastmasters International membership department has asked for an additional verification step — the individual member must confirm the transfer application.
At Online Presenters Toastmasters, where this feature was first used, we handle that by forwarding the completed application to firstname.lastname@example.org with a CC to the individual member. We ask the member to reply-all with confirmation of the request.
The video below shows the user experience for the member completing the application and paying dues, as well as the reviewing and approving incoming applications, then creating member accounts on the website.
If you configure the integration with Stripe for online payments for dues renewals as well.
If no online payment has been received, the club officer reviewing the application will see a notice saying so at the top of the page. That notice is accompanied by a payment link you can copy-and-paste into your follow up email to the member. Or maybe you have received a payment by check or some other means, in which case you can ignore that alert and approve the application anyway.
Setting Up the Form
Look for the TM Application Form menu under Settings on the WordPress dashboard for setup of this feature.
When you first load that setup screen, you will have to fill in some blanks. If you haven’t previously signed up for an account on the stripe.com online payment service and obtained the required API keys for integration with the website, you’ll have to do that now if you want to take advantage of the online payment feature.
Once you’ve completed the setup, the screen will look like this, with details on your own dues as well as the TI dues prorated by month.
Note that at the bottom of the setup page there are links to view or edit the member application page. That page will contain a placeholder code for the form itself, but you can add your own content before or after it (for example to provide some additional info on your dues).