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Announcing ClubExpress Version 7.5

We're delighted to announce ClubExpress version 7.5. Over the past 4 months, we've deployed a number of enhancements to your ClubExpress website and databases, including a new Business Directory module and improvements to the Event Calendar, Blogs, Interests, News/Articles, and Discussion Forums, along with many smaller changes and bug fixes. These are all documented in this announcement.

We have scheduled a webinar on Wednesday, December 13 (noon Eastern, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, 9:00 AM Pacific) to describe these features. More Info

The Administrator Manuals have been updated and are ready to download. The online help system will be updated over the next couple of days.

I also want to introduce Esterlynn Quamson, who has joined the Support team. Esterlynn is a recent graduate from Roosevelt university with a concentration in Information Technology and business. Prior to joining ClubExpress, Esterlynn worked as a technical support specialist for AT&T with over 5 years of excellent customer service skills. She enjoys working with customers, providing support and training when needed. She loves enjoying time with friends and family, traveling, experiencing different cultures and seeing the world. 

Is ClubExpress working well for your organization? Are we exceeding your expectations? If so, please consider posting a review of ClubExpress on one of the major software review sites. Click here for more information.

In this issue:

Business Directory Module

ClubExpress has always had a Member Directory module, suitable for placing on the members' side of your website. But for chambers of commerce and trade associations that want to put a directory on the public side of their websites, this solution doesn't work well.

So we're delighted to introduce the Business Directory module, designed specifically for chambers of commerce and trade associations. 

This module allows members to enter the information they want to show to the public, completely independent of their member information. They can hide or show a contact name, address, phone numbers, email address, and website. A logo or photo of the business can be uploaded, as well as a detailed description of the products and services offered, discounts for members, and other information. Businesses with multiple locations can use secondary members to show different information for each location.

The directory includes a standard set of business categories and sub-types within each category (for example, Attorneys and then Family Law, Contracts, Estates and Wills, Personal Injury, etc.) Chambers and associations can add to the built-in categories and sub-types, or hide them completely and build their own list.

On the public side of the module, visitors to the website can search for keywords, categories and sub-types, and proximity. (For example, I need an Attorney who specializes in Contracts and who is within 5 miles of zip code 60173.) Matching members are shown on a map and in a list below the map, with the ability to drill down and view more detailed information for each member.

The module also has a number of configuration settings, such as the ability to limit which member types are included. So it can even be used by a club that people join through their personal lives, if they also have "Sponsor" member types.

The Internationalization Project

Recently, we announced a major project to internationalize ClubExpress for clubs and associations outside the US. We're pleased to announce that the first part of this project has been deployed: currency symbols can now be customized by each organization.

The system now supports a currency symbol with up to 4 characters and it will be used everywhere where an amount is displayed. For example, a club in Canada can use "CAN$" or "$CAN" or even "CAD" for their currency symbol, to make clear to members and non-member event registrants and donors that payments will be made in the local currency.

We're working on the second part of this project, which is the ability to display dates in the local format rather than always in the US format (mm/dd/yyyy). Other countries use dd/mm/yyyy or yyyy.mm.dd and this change will ensure that the correct format is picked up from the user's localization settings. It should be deployed in the next 7-10 days.

Other changes will follow, including better time zone support and support for local taxes such as VAT. Expect to see these changes in the next few weeks.

Other Module Changes

Event Calendar

  • There is a new registration option: Admins / Event Contacts Only. This option allows admins, module coordinators and event contacts to register people for an event but members and the public cannot register themselves.
     
  • Text entered into the More Info - Additional Information field will now retain line/paragraph breaks.
     
  • QuickEvents now have the option to show the Registrant List.
     
  • If a Cancellation Date/Time are defined, these will now be shown on the main Event View screen, so that people know up to when cancellations will be accepted.
     
  • The event registration confirmation email now shows the location Map link as a clickable icon.
     
  • For events where attendance is being recorded, you now have the option to "unrecord" attendees who were previously checked in error.
     
  • If an event is configured to not allow duplicate registrations, you now have the ability to register a member if they had already registered using the "not attending" option but later change their minds.
     
  • On the Event Calendar Manager, the Event Exports have been significantly expanded, showing many more data elements associated with an event.
     
  • We previously added the ability to sign up for multiple items in a multi-activity event. Now we have added new options to control the default, min, and max quantities allowed.
     

Discussion Forums

  • On the Message Approval page, clicking the member's name displays his or her contact information in a popup window. On the same page, click the email icon to see what email address the member is using in this forum. It can then be clicked to send an email to this address.
     

News / Articles

  • The main user interface for this module has been extensively redesigned with a more modern look and feel. Categories are now used to organize news items. There is a default News category and there are now sort options at the module level and within each category.
     
  • The News/Articles admin page now shows the category and visibility for each item.
     
  • There is a new Visibility option for each item.
     
  • A new Search function allows users to search through visible articles using text in the title, description, and author, as well as by category and by tag. Results are shown on a new page with links to jump to each article.
     
  • A new News Feed widget allows you to place a list of current and recent news items on the home page or a custom page, using the content editor. You can specify how many days back should be shown and the specific category or categories to be included.
     

FAQ / Tech Library

  • The FAQ / Tech Library was also extensively redesigned to match other system modules. Individual questions can now be tagged with the same tags used elsewhere in the system. A powerful search function was added, including the ability to search anywhere in the title, body, or tags of a question/answer.
     

Blogs

  • A blog can now have multiple authors and the actual author is linked to each blog post. So, for example, if you have a "From the Prez" blog, and the President naturally changes every couple of years, each post will be linked to the correct author.
     

E-Commerce Storefront

  • A new export in the Storefront lists Filled Orders within a specified date range.
     
  • You now have the ability to sort orders by Order Date, Payment Date or Last Name in ascending or descending order.
     

Jobs Board

  • The Job Description field has been lengthened to 4000 chars.
     

Other enhancements

  • When placing a photo on the website using the "screen-size", there is new option to allow members to download the hi-res version of the photo.
     
  • In the Non-Member Database - Cleanup Tools, a new option allows you to remove entries where the email address is blank.
     
  • The Page Tools Widget that floats on the right side of your website can now be replaced by a slide-out panel on the right edge, or even hidden completely.
     
  • The Pending Payment page has been extensively redesigned to be more usable. The Print Invoice options were consolidated to a single button at the bottom. Printing of the page itself has also been improved. Invoices for a primary member now include open transactions for secondary and tertiary members. The invoices are now more responsive to the available payment methods (credit card, check, PayPal, etc.)
     
  • The Payment Confirmation email now lists the specific transaction(s) covered by the payment.
     
  • For clubs and associations with subgroups (chapters, districts, regions), ClubExpress can now record all subgroup adds and removals, by members themselves (such as member signup or renewal, profile editing, etc.), by admins (status changes, approving prospective members, etc.), or by system processes (expirations, recording of payments, etc.) The system will then notify subgroup admins of these changes. A new option on the People Options page allows you to configure this feature.
     
  • The system will also notify interest group coordinators of all member interactions with an interest group (join, leave, expire/drop, etc.)
     
  • For clubs and associations moving to ClubExpress from another platform, the system now supports 301 Redirects of important pages in the old system to the matching page in the new system. You can find this option on the Domain Names / QuickLinks / Redirects page.
     
  • For clubs and associations using QuickBooks, the QB Item Name field has been added to a number of places where charges might be generated but where this field was missing.
     

Reminder about Fee Change 1/1/18

Back in September, we announced that the ClubExpress monthly hosting fees would change effective with the January, 2018 billing (which will be run on December 29th, 2017.) We wanted to remind admins that this change is rapidly approaching. Here is the notice we sent out then.

(If your organization’s Treasurer is not a full admin, please forward this information to him or her.)

We are making this change so that we can continue to provide you with the award-winning performance, reliability, security, product improvements, support, and resources you have come to expect from ClubExpress. Our costs increase steadily, including salaries, communications, office space, hosting infrastructure, and services we contract from third parties. Unfortunately, we can no longer absorb these increases and must pass them on.

We have never raised our monthly membership hosting fees in more than 13 years of being in business. We last adjusted these fees in August, 2014 when they were actually lowered. Since then, we’ve added the following features to ClubExpress:
  • Updated all public and member screens to be responsive to mobile devices
  • Added a mobile app, including Chat and Meets functions
  • Added 6 new modules, incl. the Resource Scheduler, Collectibles, Jobs Board, Classified Ads, Continuing Education/Certification, and Ad Hoc Forms
  • Made dozens of improvements to the Event Calendar, including adding QuickEvents
  • Significantly redesigned and enhanced many other modules, including the Document Library, Donations, Surveys, Blogs, Member Interests, Committees, the E-Commerce Storefront, and Check-In Desk
  • Redesigned the content editor, including adding many new widgets
  • Added support for foreign language characters, symbols, and emojis throughout the system
  • Redesigned our Social Networking support, including the ability to push updates to Facebook and Twitter
  • Redesigned many admin screens to make them easier to use
  • Switched all system emails to HTML format and gave you the ability to edit them
  • Made significant improvements to the Blast Emailings function to improve compatibility with email viewers and mobile devices
  • Added dozens of new reports and data exports throughout the system
  • Revamped the Additional Member Data questions feature to add many new question types
  • Added many new features for clubs and associations with chapters, districts, and regions
  • Significantly improved security, including support for the latest standards
  • Improved search engine optimization
  • Added integration with PayPal
Our development team is hard at work on the next round of enhancements (and)...we have no intention of slacking off from our pace of enhancements and new features!

Starting in 2018, the new monthly hosting fees will be as follows:
  • The new minimum monthly fee is $24 (up from $20). This covers the first 60 primary members.
  • The rate for 61 to 100 active primary members is unchanged at $0.40 per member
  • From 101 to 250 active primary members, the rate is unchanged at $0.36
  • From 251 to 500 active primary members, the rate increases from $0.30 to $0.32
  • From 501 to 1000 active primary members, the rate increases from $0.24 to $0.28
  • From 1001 to 1500 active primary members, the rate increases from $0.20 to $0.24
  • From 1501 to 2000 active primary members, the rate increases from $0.18 to $0.20
  • From 2001 to 2500 active primary members, the rate increases from $0.16 to $0.18
  • From 2501 to 3000 active primary members, the rate increases from $0.14 to $0.16
  • From 3001 to 5000 active primary members, the rate increases from $0.12 to $0.14
  • From 5001 to 8000 active primary members, the rate increases from $0.10 to $0.12
  • Above 8000 active primary members, the rate stays the same at $0.10
  • The rate for active secondary members will continue to be ½ the rate for primary members
  • For organizations eligible for special discounts, these rates will be proportionately adjusted.
Again, this change will take effect on December 29th, 2017 for January, 2018 hosting fees.

Webinar

On Wednesday, December 13, we will hold a webinar to demonstrate many of the new features in ClubExpress version 7.5. This webinar will start at: 
  • 12:00 noon Eastern time
  • 11:00 AM Central
  • 10:00 AM Mountain
  • 9:00 AM Pacific
Note that this webinar is limited to the first 200 attendees. If you can't make it or if we fill up, a recording will be available within a couple of days. Just click the Resources menu above.

Please forward this invitation to those in your organization who might not be full administrators.
Please RSVP with your name and club name to rsvp@clubexpress.com

Recordings of recent webinars and tutorials are available on the ClubExpress.com Resources page

We use Zoom.us to host each webinar. Zoom requires a simple download for your PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android device. Click this link a few minutes before the event: https://zoom.us/j/8474572582

Or Telephone: 1-408-638-0968 or 1-646-558-8656 (call charges may apply)
Meeting ID: 847 457 2582
International numbers available here.

Bug Fixes

All the following bugs have been fixed.
  • In the Event Calendar
     
    • Line and paragraph breaks in the Additional Info and Location Description fields were not being maintained.
    • In the Activities/Items screen for a multi-activity event, the Delete icon is no longer displayed if there are one or more registrants for that activity or item.
    • The Event List Export was not working correctly with a date range.
    • The Upcoming Events widget could not be configured to show just today's events.

  • For clubs and associations using the mobile app, adding a member to, or deleting a member from, an Admin-Defined Channel, was generating an error. There were also a couple of problems when an admin added a member to a mobile channel or tried to delete a member from said channel.
     
  • When an additional member data question was configured to be visible to admins only, it was not appearing on the Member Directory Bio page for admins.
     
  • In the Check-In Desk function, the Active member filter was not working.
     
  • In the Interests module, the count of members in an interest group included non-members who had previously been members.
     
  • In the Volunteering Module, when a volunteering opportunity was copied, the Location button to select a saved location was not being displayed. Also in this module, there was an issue where the duration of hours worked was not calculated correctly.
     
  • The "Active Members - Unique Addresses for Mailing Labels" export was not always picking up the primary member.
     
  • In the Blogs module, and after recent enhancements described above, there was a bug accessing page 2 of the blog postings.
     
  • In the Ad Hoc Forms module, the confirmation email when a form was completed was mischaracterizing Headers as missing a response.
     
  • On the Subgroup Add/Edit screen, if you saved without specifying a state, the screen was redisplayed with all previously-entered values removed. Also on this page, phone and fax number formats were not being validated properly. Finally, the system no longer creates a new financial account if one was not selected. Now, a selection from the financial account list must be made each time.
     
  • The recently-added Non-Member Database Cleanup Tools were not cleaning up the Bad Email List.
     
  • When sending an email to Interest members, links to pages on the website were not working correctly.
     
  • In the Documents Library module, on the Search page, the folder picker was empty for non-members and members without admin rights.
     
  • In Discussion Forums, the system was recently modified to allow up to 10 attachments per message (raised from 5.) But if you tried to edit a message with more than 5 attachments, you received an error. Also in forums, users performing a search sometimes had to click the Search button twice to have the system recognize their criteria and apply them.
     
  • The invoice report formatted for #9 window envelopes was updating all of its variable information.
     
  • On the Member Bio screen, a member's interests were not being displayed correctly.
     
  • The Ad Hoc Forms module had the following problems:
     
    • It was possible to activate a form without defining any questions.
    • It was possible to activate a form with attachments without defining any attachments.
    • It was possible to change the attachments setting to "No" after attachments had been defined.
    • When a form was copied, attachment definitions were not immediately visible.
    • If an Ad Hoc Form required payment, the confirmation emails were not presenting accurate information.

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