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Administrator Email - 12/13/18 - Announcing Version 8.1

With this admin email, we're pleased to announce ClubExpress version 8.1. This release includes many individual enhancements to ClubExpress,  including tracking event attendance, a new forums editor for mobile devices, new editing features for photos and web graphics, a new photo search function, support for emergency contacts, and many more.
The updated Administrator Manual is almost ready and will be uploaded in the next couple of days. The online help system will be updated in the next week or so.

With this admin email, we are also announcing important changes in credit card processing. Please click the tab on the left to review these changes.
We will hold a webinar on Wednesday, December 19 to describe the new features in version 8.1. For more information and to RSVP, please click here. If you can't make it, this webinar will be recorded and an edited version will be available on the website within 48 hours.

Also check out some of our recent video tutorials and webinars. They can be found on our website, under the Cool Stuff --> Video Tutorials and Cool Stuff --> Webinars options. 
Can your club or association use a 55" monitor? We need more reviews on the major software review sites so we're going to hold a raffle! If ClubExpress is helping to strengthen and grow your organization and if we're exceeding your expectations, please consider posting a review on one of the major software review sites. Click here for more information. Every review entered by January 31st, 2019 will be entered in a raffle to win a 55" Ultra High-Def monitor for your club or association.

In this issue:

TRacking Event Attendance

There is a new option in the Event Calendar to "Mark Attendance". It's available if you're using a desktop or laptop computer but it has been especially optimized for people using a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet.

This feature is available to anyone with admin rights over an event. Full Administrators and Event Calendar Coordinators will see a new "Attendance" button on the main calendar screen. It leads to a new screen where they can search for a specific event. Those users as well as event coordinators will see a similar "Mark Attendance" button in the button bar for an individual event.

For a single-activity event, users will next see a screen showing registered attendees for the event. Clicking an attendee pops up a confirmation screen to mark them as having attended. There is also a "Find Member" button to search for a member. If they have not yet registered for the event, you can select a Registrant Type and register them. There is also a "Scan with Camera" button that works with a handheld scanner, smartphone, or tablet to scan a bar code (perhaps on a physical or virtual membership card.) The system will look up that member and process them the same way as if you had found them in the attendee list or searched for them.

For a multi-activity event, the system will first show a list of activities and once you select one, it will show a list of people registered for that activity. The automatic registration feature is not available in this situation.

Forum Messages on Mobile Devices

In the Discussion Forums module, creating new messages or replying to existing messages has not worked well on mobile devices such as a smartphone or tablet. The old editor required horizontal scrolling with too many options that were hard to select.

We have fixed this problem. When we detect a mobile device, we will use a different editor that does not require any scrolling. It will display a text window into which you can type your reply. No horizontal scrolling is required; if your message is longer, the window will expand vertically until there's no more room on your screen and then vertical scrolling will be supported. Two rows of icons at the top support the basic text formatting functions, including:

  • Bold, italic, underline, and strikeout
  • Font type, using any of the custom fonts added to your website
  • Font size
  • Numbered and bulleted lists
  • Indent and outdent
  • Text color and background color
  • Alignment
  • Create link
  • Add image (from your local camera or photo list)

There is also an Attach icon to add an attachment to a message, picking up a file from your local device.

If you are replying to a forum message, the original message will be placed at the top, indented and with a background shade. You can certainly edit or delete all or parts of this message.

Photos and Photo Albums

We have made the following enhancements to photos and photo albums:
  • In the Photos Manager grid and the Edit Photo Album screen, a new icon allows you to edit the photo with a simple graphics editor. Very large photos will be displayed with horizontal/vertical scroll bars. You can rotate the image and crop it. There are also Undo and Redo functions. You can save the edited image over the top of the existing image, or Save as New to create a new image and retain the original one. For high-res graphics, the system will automatically generate the "screen" size and "thumbnail" versions as well.
  • This feature also exists for Web Graphics.
  • In the Photo Albums Index, there are new search and filtering options. We also changed the user interface to better display the difference between filtering a list of albums and searching.
    • "Show All" displays all albums.
    • "Newest Albums" displays the 30 newest or most recently updated albums.
    • "Filter" displays a category dropdown (and subgroup selector if your club or association has subgroups). You can filter photo albums by category and/or subgroup.
    • "Search" displays a new panel with options to search on image title, photographer name, tags, and member name. When you search, the system will now generate a new temporary photo album containing just the photos that match your search criteria!

Member Data Enhancements

You can now collect Emergency Contact information for members. When this option is enabled (from the People Options screen), a new panel appears on the member's Contact Info screen to collect the emergency contact name, relationship, phone number, and email address. You can configure these fields to be required or optional. And they have also been added to a number of exports and to the member popup screen in the Member Manager.

There are also new options to charge for mid-year changes to a user's membership, including adding a secondary or tertiary member and adding a chapter.

The new member "Signing Agreement" page can now optionally be included in the Member Signup Wizard for admins.

We previously did not allow admins to update credit card information for members. We now allow it for clubs and associations that have Auto-Renewal-and-Payment enabled, so that an admin can update a member's credit card information if necessary.

In compliance with the new international privacy regulations (GDPR), the user interface for handling Removal Requests has been fully implemented. When a request is submitted, your designated Data Privacy Officer receives an email describing the request and including a link. Clicking the link goes to a new screen on the website where you can approve or decline the request. (Note that if you do nothing within 30 days, we treat that as an approval.)

In the Member Manager, the "Phone" search function now includes the Cell Phone field.

Other Enhancements

Whenever a bank account is added or changed, we now generate a notification email to both the club President and Treasurer (with a separate copy to us here at ClubExpress.) This enhancement protects your club against a malicious redirection of funds to a non-club bank account.

For clubs and associations with subgroups (chapters, etc.), you can now control whether a subgroup committee's members must come from the subgroup or whether anyone can be on the committee.

In the Content Editor, there is a new Birthdays/Anniversaries widget. When you select it, you can define whether to show birthdays, anniversaries, or both, how many days to look forward, and the width and max height of the widget. You can also optionally include secondary and tertiary members. Birthdays are displayed with a "cake" icon and anniversaries are displayed with a "heart" icon.

Due to new privacy regulations, the interface to post content (updated pages, events, news items, blog posts, etc.) on Facebook or Twitter has changed. You now have more control over where the post appears and its format.

In the Emailings function, there is a new option to save an emailing you've been building as a Template. You can also control the alignment of a File Attachment icon (left, center, or right.)

In the Business Directory module, you can now control which distances appear in the drop-down list for radius searches (for example, find a plumber within a 5 mile radius.)

Reminder emails sent from the Events and Volunteering modules (and for Aging-in-Place Villages, the Member Services module) can now be edited. For Events and Volunteering, there is a new option under the Configure button. 

In the Event Calendar, the "Add to my Calendar" function was updated to support the newest iCal format, making it compatible with the calendar on your mobile device and also with Google Calendar.

Important Changes to Credit Card Processing

(Note: the following only applies to clubs and associations in the US that are using the built-in ClubExpress merchant account. If you have your own merchant account or if you are located outside the US, you can ignore this section.)

Please carefully review this section then login to your website and complete the new page described below.

Over the past year, the US Treasury Department in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank, has introduced strong new regulations for dealing with credit card fraud, money laundering, and support for terrorism.

For most merchants, these regulations are handled automatically by their merchant processor. But ClubExpress is a Payment Facilitator, a special kind of merchant that handles payments on behalf of our customers, the clubs and associations that run on our platform and use the built-in merchant account. As such, some of the responsibility for following these new regulations falls on us.

These regulations now require us to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies your club or association as well as a responsible leader such as your president or treasurer. For your organization, we need to record and provide a Tax ID (EIN) as well as an estimate of annual credit card sales. For the responsible leader, we need to collect a Date of Birth and Social Security Number (SSN), as well as the basic contact information that we already have. The Tax ID and SSN will be encrypted in our database. This information will be provided to our merchant processor, who will use it to run the federally-mandated background checks.

For clubs and associations using our merchant account, a new form has been activated on the Control Panel --> Money tab --> Setup section --> Merchant Account Application. Please go to this form and update it with any missing information.

We ask you to complete this form by January 15, 2019 in order to meet deadlines imposed by our merchant processor. If this is not done, your ability to process credit cards through your website may be jeopardized.

IRS regulations require that every organization must have an EIN even if you are exempt from taxation. The 1-page SS-4 form be filed online (preferred), by mail, or fax, at no cost. (Note that this is different from obtaining non-profit status, which is a more complex process with a cost.) The following links to the IRS website may be helpful:

Guidelines for EIN and information for non-profits, charities, social clubs, etc.
Information about the SS-4 form
Online application for an EIN

Note that if you don't have an EIN, your organization will be treated as a Sole Proprietorship and annual reporting will be handled using an SSN.

Bug Fixes

Since our last email, we have fixed all the significant bugs with the new Event Calendar admin interface. A very small number of obscure and minor issues still exist; they will be fixed early in January.

The following other bugs were fixed in the past 3 months:
  • Data exports were not consistently showing numbers and dates as numbers and dates when they are imported into Excel or a similar program.
  • In the Documents Library module when using Google Chrome, the popup menu in the folder tree was not correctly positioned.
  • In Photos, there was a problem displaying photo names that included an apostrophe. Also, member photo albums that were flagged as Hidden were being displayed in the member's Bio screen.
  • If Trial members canceled out of the Pending Payment page, the system was logging them out.
  • The Mailing List export was pulling the correct categories for clubs and associations with subgroups but not where there were no subgroups.
  • Exports always showed dates in US format. Now the system will export dates in the local country format.
  • When Emailings were viewed on the website, the date shown was not the date when the emailing was originally sent.
  • On the Control Panel, if you changed the name of a module, a club admin would see the new module name but a coordinator would only see the original name.
  • On the module configuration popup, if you entered menu text that was already in use elsewhere on the site, the system was not displaying a standard error message.
  • The News widget was displaying articles with a future "Active" date.
  • In the Blogs module, it was possible to delete the Post time and save, generating a system error.
  • In the Surveys module, clicking a link on a page or in an email to a survey based on member type, committee, or subgroup, before you had logged in, was not redirecting you to the Login page.
  • The Bad Email Addresses edit screen was not properly handling email addresses with an embedded apostrophe or a trailing space.
  • When clicking a link in a renewal notice email to jump to the website, login, and start the renewal wizard, the popup warning message that it's time to renew was still being shown when you are already going to the renewal wizard.
  • The photo upload pages were allowing you to specify dates in the future for when a photograph was taken.
Again, all of these problems have been fixed.

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