WSPTA Membership Database - memberplanet
Washington State PTA provides each local PTA and council access to an online membership database through a platform called memberplanet. Each PTA is required to report its membership roster and elected board members in memberplanet. It also serves as our hub for dues invoicing and payments.
memberplanet offers a bevy of additional free features, including communication tools, a basic website builder, and the option to set up online member registration.
This page will be updated frequently to share database resources and guides. We encourage all PTAs to visit the memberplanet success site for help navigating the platform.
Do you have a question not answered here? Please don’t hesitate to email us.
Access these videos here and use the password WSPTA-LocalLeaders2020, or use the direct links below.
- How to Set up Online Membership Registration
- How to Manually Report Your PTA Members
- How to Verify Your Membership Numbers
- How Members are Counted & How to Create a Distribution List
- How to Invite Last Year’s Members to Join Online
- How to Report Your Local PTA Officers
- How to Use the Website Editor
- How to Navigate the Group Billing Menu (Invoices, Paying Dues, Etc.)
- How to Set Up Invoice Autopay
NEW – Checklist for Relaunch: July/August 2021 – The definitive checklist for new PTA leaders who will need to ensure all the essential settings and information in memberplanet are accurate for 2021-2022.
The memberplanet Guide for Local PTA Treasurers – The memberplanet database contains lots of resources relevant to a PTA’s financial operations. This guide will help new and returning treasurers acclimate to the system and learn where to find the most important reports.
The memberplanet Guide For Councils – This short guide will help familiarize you with the basics of the memberplanet database. The goal is to help you monitor and communicate with PTAs in your region, as well as to illustrate some differences between how local PTAs use memberplanet and how councils use memberplanet.
WSPTA memberplanet Success Site: Curated by memberplanet, this site contains uniquely tailored information designed to help PTA leaders navigate the database and learn about the many features available, including the website builder and newsletter management.
memberplanet Admin Role Management: Learn how to manage your PTA’s database admins, including how to create additional roles with different access privileges.
Membership Cards Through memberplanet: Learn how to manage your PTA’s membership cards, which can be sent to your paid members via email.
Membership Setup Checklists: Learn how to configure your PTA’s membership settings. There are separate checklists available for setting up online membership registration versus manually entering the names of your members.
Frequently Asked Questions
Just email us at the WSPTA Support Inbox and we can get you sorted out. Please let us know your name, the name/number of your PTA, and your officer role.
Admin logins to the database are unique to the user, rather than to the PTA. That means each admin has their own distinct username (usually a personal email address) and password. We suggest PTAs do not use a shared admin account between multiple officers.
At the end of each school year, the transfer of login privileges should be part of the transition process between outgoing and incoming officers. If this step is missed and a new slate of officers is on the outside looking in, just email the WSPTA Support Inbox to request access.
You can learn more about managing admin roles here.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The decision about who should hold admin privileges is up to each individual PTA. That said, WSPTA recommends that each PTA grant full-access status to its president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary.
Some PTAs may choose to grant access to others, including officers in charge of Membership, Communications, or other responsibilities. At a minimum, two officers should be full-access admins.
WSPTA Support is automatically set up as an admin for each PTA. Please do not attempt to remove WSPTA Support’s admin role.
You can learn more about managing admin roles here.
You can find a step-by-step guide to reporting officers here.
You can watch a step-by-step video tutorial here.
Each PTA is required by the Standards of Affiliation to submit to WSPTA a roster of current elected officers and key unelected officers. As of July 2020, this is handled within the Committees menu in memberplanet.
A full checklist for this process can be found here.
A step-by-step video tutorial can be found here.
Memberplanet allows each PTA to set up its own unique online sign-up form. This process requires the PTA to establish its specific membership parameters within the database and to customize a registration packet. The PTA must also designate a bank account into which collected membership payments will be deposited on a weekly basis.
For more information about designating and verifying a bank account, click here.
Your database admin(s) will need to record “scholarship” members manually. These memberships cannot be acquired/conferred through the online join packet because submitting the final form requires a purchase. There are ways to use memberplanet to facilitate this process, which we’ll list below.
For context, when we say “scholarship” or “subsidized” memberships, we’re referring to situations in which a PTA chooses to pay a member’s dues on their behalf. There are many factors that go into this process, so for an in-depth post on subsidizing dues from general funds, please click here.
Here are some tips for using memberplanet to collect money for subsidized memberships:
- Consider upgrading your memberplanet account: This will allow you to collect donations in addition to receiving membership payments. While the free version of memberplanet lets any PTA collect membership payments online, the upgraded version is required to accept additional payments beyond member registration. While it may not be feasible for every PTA, memberplanet’s paid version does allow for additional fundraising flexibility, including raising money for subsidized memberships.
- Build a donation option into your member levels: memberplanet allows PTAs to define the membership tiers and prices available to online purchasers. One option is to create a special member level that is more expensive than a standard membership, with the explanation given that the special level includes a built-in donation. For example, if your PTA sells a Standard Membership for $10, you could create a second member level called Standard Membership Plus Donation for $20, and then note in the description that members who choose that level get the same $10 membership while also donating $10 to the PTA. Your PTA treasurer could use memberplanet’s payment reports to sort through donations at the end of each month.
- Handle everything off-platform: If you don’t want to commit the finances required for option 1 and/or you need more flexibility than allowed by option 2, it might be best to find a non-memberplanet method for collecting these donations.
One thing we advise against is the idea of “overselling” online memberships to provide scholarships, which is to say allowing PTA members to purchase a second membership to be donated later to a recipient member. There are a few reasons for this: the purchaser’s receipt would not reflect their donation, the PTA would risk selling more scholarship memberships than there are recipients (and still have to pay the dues), and a PTA would not be able to carry over excess donated memberships to next year.
Given the ongoing and lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we expect there to be heightened interest in the concept of subsidized memberships. Please see the blog post above and/or reach out to your region director with additional questions about best practices.
This is a great question!
memberplanet uses some terminology different from what we use in PTA, specifically the word “member.” The easiest way to approach this is if you treat each instance of “member” as synonymous with “record” or “profile.” If the database says you have 50 total members, it means that there are 50 individual records in your database. This does not necessarily mean that your PTA is reporting 50 paid memberships.
“Membership” is the term that we use to account for your current paid members. Your PTA’s quantity of memberships should match your overall headcount of paid voting members.
To illustrate, here’s a screenshot from a PTA’s Membership Dashboard within memberplanet:
There are currently 78 total member records in this PTA’s database (21 plus 57). The distinction between “active” and “inactive” is a quirk of how the database categorizes information; don’t get too hung up on those. Here’s a quick explainer on Active vs. Inactive:
“Active” member records are individuals who:
- Were added to the database this year, or;
- Were previously “inactive” but have since been assigned a current year’s membership.
“Inactive” records, on the other hand, are the carried-over names from last year. At the end of the school year, all “inactive” records are archived and removed from your database.
In the example above, there are 21 records that are “active” for the current year. Among them, there are 20 total memberships being reported. This implies that there is probably one record in the database that is new but has not been designated with a membership. (If a PTA wanted to identify this one record, they could do so using the Member Database page.)
The number of memberships (i.e. current paid members) being reported by this PTA is 20.
There are two ways to do this.
Option #1 is quick and painless, but the resulting report will only have limited information about each member (email address and membership status).
Option #2 takes a little longer, but the resulting report will have more data for each member (contact info, membership history, etc.).
- Click Membership on the left dashboard
- Click Membership Levels Report
- Click Members
- Find the dropdown menu labeled Filter by and select All Members on Levels
- Click Export
- Click Members on the left dashboard to open the Member Database.
- Click the filter icon (to the right of the magnifying glass) and select All Paid Members.
- Export this list by clicking Download Excel in the top right.
Note: Depending on how much data you are exporting, the processing of the spreadsheet could take some time. A pop-up menu will ask for an email address so that the system can send a notification when the download is ready.
- To access the download, return to the Member Database screen, then click History and select Download History.
- Press the download icon next to your generated report to download an Excel. Every list you ever export will be stored here for future reference, which is very nifty.
The heart of this question is the chain of custody of funds collected through memberplanet’s online membership registration format. A detailed explanation can be found below, but the key points are these:
- WSPTA doesn’t touch the funds collected by individual PTAs through memberplanet. Instead, that money is transferred into the PTA’s bank account via ACH transfer either weekly or monthly, depending on what the PTA has chosen.
- If your PTA has collected funds through memberplanet but has not yet received them via direct deposit, the most likely explanation is that you have not yet designated a bank account to receive those funds.
- Members who purchase their memberships online will still appear on the PTA’s monthly invoice.
Let’s take this step-by-step:
- Each PTA designates a bank account into which collected funds will be transferred. PTAs can elect to receive those funds on a weekly or monthly basis. We recommend PTAs go with weekly transfers. If the PTA has not yet designated/verified its bank account, the collected funds will sit in limbo waiting to be transferred.
- When a member purchases a membership through the online join process, memberplanet collects that money into a lump sum. That entire lump sum is deposited into your designated bank account each week or month (depending on what was chosen) on a Wednesday. WSPTA never has custody of those funds.
- Every month, usually on the 5th, the memberplanet creates a snapshot of your total membership numbers. This snapshot is compared to the previous month’s. Any new memberships are included on that month’s invoice. Any removed memberships are credited for dues already billed. PTAs may make payments through the online portal. These payments go straight to WSPTA.
You can click the REPORTS button on the memberplanet main page to open the All Payments Report, which shows each transaction that has been made through your database system. Select Transfers from the dropdown menu to see all transfers made by memberplanet into your PTA’s bank account.
To summarize, the chain of custody for the funds is:
- Member purchases membership, funds go to memberplanet
- Memberplanet transfers all collected funds into PTA’s bank account
- WSPTA (and the local council, if applicable) bills the PTA based on that month’s membership snapshot
- The PTA pays dues fees via memberplanet’s payment portal
- Memberplanet transfers those payments to WSPTA.
The answer depends on a few factors. For context’s sake, when we use the terms “family” or “bundled” memberships, we are referring to a membership tier that allows multiple individuals in a household to join at a reduced rate. The key thing to remember when reporting these members in the database is that we’re looking for a headcount, not a number of memberships sold.
Is your PTA set up with memberplanet’s online membership registration?
Are you reporting your members manually?
If you’re collecting payments offline and are just reporting your memberships manually, then don’t worry too much about different membership levels. All that’s necessary is to report an accurate headcount of paid members.
There’s an important distinction there: paid members versus memberships sold. Your PTA should be reporting the former, rather than the latter.
For example, let’s say ABC PTA has 25 total paid members. Fifteen of those members are individuals who purchased a single PTA membership at $15. The other ten members are each part of a couple (i.e. five groups of two) and became members by purchasing a Family Membership at $25.
Again, the total headcount is 25, but the total number of “memberships sold” is 20 (15 Single and 5 Family).
Your PTA should report all 25 paid members. A couple should be reported as individuals, not as one single membership shared between two people.
The short answer is that memberplanet is not equipped to operate this way. You will need to purchase these memberships in separate transactions, or you can get clever with the member levels you offer. We’ll cover that at the bottom here.
As mentioned, PTAs are able to create multiple member levels on offer to registrants. For example, a PTA may choose to offer a Single Membership for $15, a Student Membership for $10, and a Staff Membership for $8.
Due to the way the online join form is integrated with the database roster, you cannot mix and match separate member tiers in the same transaction. For example, you would not be able to choose 2 single memberships and one student membership. It does not operate like a digital shopping cart, where you can add multiple items. The system allows purchases from one member level at a time.
There are two options to circumvent this restriction.
First, you can encourage members to purchase from separate member levels in separate transactions. This would require the creation of a new memberplanet profile under a different email address.
Second, and the option we would recommend, is to tailor your member levels so as to combine multiple membership options into one item. For example, you could offer the following membership levels:
Individual Membership – $15
Student Membership – $10
Combination Individual and Student Membership – $25
Combination 2 Individuals and Student Membership – $40
Combination 2 Individuals and 2 Students Membership – $55
And so on…
This way, your members may choose the one option that works best for them.
The answer is almost always “1.”
The quantity field, shown below, is located on the Assign Memberships page. It is used when manually reporting members to tell the system how many memberships per person you want to assign. It is not the total number of memberships you want to report.
An easy way to understand this is to remember that the number in the quantity field will be multiplied by the total number of boxes you check on the member list.
For example, if you input “1” and then check the boxes next to Abraham Lincoln and Babe Ruth, the total number of memberships to be recorded will be 2 (1 x 2).
If you input “2” and then check the boxes next to Abe and Babe, the total number of memberships to be recorded will be 4 (2 x 2).
If you input “2” and then only check the box next to Abe, leaving Babe blank, the total number of memberships to be recorded will be 2 (2 x 1).
As the goal is to simply record an accurate headcount, inputting “1” in the quantity box is the best way to achieve it.