Administrator Email - 3/8/2021 - Announcing
We're excited to announce ClubExpress Version 62.
This release adds enhancements to Custom Web Pages, Pronoun support, many new features in the Event Calendar, and many smaller enhancements. We are also announcing a solution for clubs and associations that want or need their websites to be fully accessible to users who are differently-abled.
All of the features listed here have been deployed.
We have also enhanced our Administrator Forums so that we can now support multiple forums for different parts of the platform, and for different vertical markets. Over the next few days, you will see new forums appear. And if you're not yet using our Administrator Forums to talk with other club admins, just enable the Discussion Forums function on the Control Panel - Communications tab. You don't need to put it on the menu or even define forums for your own organization. Just enabling this module is enough for the admin forums to appear when you View available forums.
We will be holding a webinar on Wednesday, March 10th, starting at 12:00 Noon US Eastern time, 11:00 AM Central, 10:00 AM Mountain, and 9:00 AM Pacific, for those who want to learn more about these enhancements. If you can't make it, the webinar recording will be available on Friday on the ClubExpress YouTube channel
. There is no need to register for this webinar. Here are the connection details:
Meeting ID: 874 6144 1446
Also an important reminder: On Saturday, March 20th, starting around 12:05 AM, and lasting for up to 4 hours, all ClubExpress websites will be completely offline and unavailable while we perform a major upgrade of our hosting environment. Please be sure to let your members know.
In this issue:
The following enhancements were added to the event calendar:
- Event-specific questions can now be linked to basic member contact info, emergency contact info, and additional member data questions. When a member is registering for an event, this information will now be retrieved automatically and displayed for the member's review. It can be changed or left alone. With this enhancement, members will no longer have to re-enter information that the club already has! (3/8/21 note: this feature needs a little more testing and will be deployed in the next couple of days.)
- You can now limit the number of events within an event category that a member can sign up for, within a specified period of time (such as a month or a year.)
- Registrant types can now be defined by Interest group.
- Tertiary members can now be listed as event contacts.
- Event visibility can now be set based on interest groups (multi-select), committees (multi-select), and chapters, districts or regions (single-select).
- When defining a multi-activity event, you can now copy an activity within the event. You will see a popup dialog which allows you to change the name of the activity, so that you don't end up with two activities with the same name.
- If you have not enabled the Text Messaging feature, the check box to prompt for receiving text messages from the club regarding the event will no longer be shown.
- In the Event Calendar Manager, there is a new Waitlist column alongside the Registrants column, to see how many people are on the waitlist for an event.
We now allow clubs to display a Preferred Pronoun field as part of a member's basic contact information. This allows members to specify the pronoun by which they want to be referred to (such as "they/them").
A new setting on the People Options screen allows admins to enable this feature. When it's enabled, a new drop-down field appears on the member Contact Info pages, including the new member signup wizard. The default value is "No Preference" but many other options are available. (And if we missed one, please let us know and it's easy to add.) This field is also available for secondary and tertiary members.
The preferred pronoun is displayed on the Contact Info popup in the People Manager/Lookup screens and in other places where this popup is used. It's also shown in the Member Directory and Bio screens, and for Committee and Interest members. The preferred pronoun is also included in data exports and reports that show member data, and it's available as well in Ad Hoc Reports.
Making your website accessible to people who are differently-abled is increasingly important. These could include:
- Blind or visually-impaired users who need a screen reader;
- Motor-impaired users who are using only the keyboard to navigate;
- Users with epilepsy or color-blindness;
- Users with cognitive or learning disabilities.
The Internet has become a utility service that should be available to everyone with minimal adjustments. Some experts suggest that 20-25% of the general population has some kind of difficulty using typical websites.
Web accessibility is essentially a set of rules, behaviors, code standards, and design guidelines that were created by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and are called WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), version 2.1. The guidebook explaining these standards is more than 1000 pages long! And when your website is compatible with these standards, it is said to be WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliant. This has been adopted as the global standard and is a benchmark that's referenced in legislation such as the ADA Title 3, Section 508, and other national and international laws.
A serious and growing concern are demand letters and lawsuits alleging non-compliance with the ADA Title 3. In 2018, the US Department of Justice affirmed that websites are considered to be public accommodations that must comply with the ADA Title 3. For larger companies and organizations, this has become a serious problem and a potential liability.
To eliminate these issues, ClubExpress has partnered with an Accessibility firm that provides a fully-automated, AI-powered tool to make your website WCAG 2.1 Level AA compliant. This tool seamlessly attaches to your website, and is accessible by clicking a floating icon in the lower right corner. When clicked, users will see a popup screen similar to the following:
When blind users arrive at a site which is accessible using this tool, they receive an announcement to their screen readers that they can turn on accessibility adjustments by clicking Alt-1
on their keyboard.
It supports a number of pre-defined profiles for specific categories of users:
- Seizure Safe
- Visually Impaired
- Cognitive Disability
- ADHD Friendly
- Blind Users (Screen Reader)
- Keyboard Navigation
It also provides the following specific adjustments that users can select:
- Scale content
- Readable fonts
- Highlighting titles and links
- Magnifying text on the fly
- Adjusting font sizing, letter spacing, and line heights
- Adjusting text alignment
- Adjusting color, contrast, and saturation
- Muting sounds
- Hiding images
- Stopping animations
- Highlighting current hover target and focus
- Adjusting cursor size and color
- Dynamically adding alt text to images using AI
The accessibility tool is also switchable among more than a dozen languages.
This tool uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to dynamically analyze a website page and apply the current settings to it. So once users make an adjustment, these settings are carried forward for as long as they are accessing the website.
Most importantly, this tool provides an Accessibility Statement which ensures that your website is legally compliant with the ADA and WCAG 2.1 Level AA. Once you sign up, your website is analyzed and the statement is emailed to you within 48 hours. After that, you need never fear being sued for a lack of compliance.
Accessibility compliance is probably less of a concern for smaller clubs and associations that people join through their personal lives. But larger clubs and associations, organizations with a higher percentage of older users, as well as trade and professional associations that promote their member services to the public, should seriously consider signing up to enable this powerful tool for their websites.
Our partner normally charges $490 per year for this service. But we have arranged a 10% discount for ClubExpress customers. The annual fee to enable this tool for your website is $439.
To see this powerful tool in action on the ClubExpress.com website, just click the blue icon in the lower right corner. And if you'd like to enable this tool for your own ClubExpress website, just email our Customer Success
- Custom Web Pages now have delete protection at the page level. When someone deletes a page, we no longer immediately remove it. Instead, we change its status to "Deleted" but it's still visible for 30 days before being actually deleted.
- The Member Bio Page in the Standard Member Directory (and many custom directories) has been updated with a new look and feel. Members now also have the ability to define a personal "header" image, similar to that offered by many social networks.
- You now have the ability to turn off the "Instruction Text" panel that appears at the top of most screens. This is done under Website Look and Feel, by clicking the "Text" option. You also have the ability to leave it visible but to change the font size, color, and other properties.
- We made a minor change to Member Directory visibility settings. Zip/Postal Code will now only display if either of the two highest visibility settings are selected ("Show all Info" or "Show all Info Except Email Address").
- There is a new user interface for adding people to an Interest Group, which allows you to add multiple people at once.
- Previously, if a transaction had a payment schedule, none of the schedule items were checked when the Pending Payment page was displayed. Now, any schedule entries for today or earlier will be checked automatically.
- For clubs and associations with chapters, districts, and regions within a single website and member database (what we call Multi-Tier Option 1), there is a new Export button on the Organization Data page. Clicking it will create an export file include all subgroups and their contact information. For organizations with multiple levels, the export may also include information about the hierarchy itself. For example, in a club with chapters and districts, the export will include a column to tell you whether the entry is a chapter or a district, and if the former, which district it belongs to.
- There is also an Organization Hierarchy report that shows similar information.
- For those clubs and associations using our powerful Ad Hoc Reporting solution, we have deployed a new version of the underlying reporting engine, with an updated user interface and a new Dashboard designer.
- In the Emailings function, for clubs and associations that use our Metro Area feature, there are new distribution lists for members and non-members in a specific metro area. Metro areas are just another way to organize people usually by geography. A metro area can be as large as a city or town, or as small as a neighborhood.
The following bugs were fixed since our last version announcement:
- When an admin tried to convert a non-member in a subgroup (chapter) to a member in the same subgroup, an error occurred.
- When non-members RSVP'd for an event, the contact info form was showing the Fax field instead of the Mobile Phone field.
- In the FAQ module, there was a problem editing the first entry in a category.
- The User Payment Report was not showing the correct description for a Cash or Check Discount.
- In the Membership Renewal Wizard, when selecting a member type that required approval, this information was being displayed, however the approval process only applies to new member signups, not renewals.
- The Member Status by Expiration Date report was truncating expiration dates in PDF format.
- If users were logged into a website at, for example, "domain_name.com", and then clicked a link to "www.domain_name.com", they were forced to log in again.
- There was a phone number validation issue with alternate email addresses.
- For additional member data questions and event questions, checkbox list and multiple text box questions did not save properly if all entries were removed; the previous entries were not fully deleted.
- There was a bug with an external URL being entered when creating an event, and then not being saved.
- There was also a bug with blocked event categories still appearing in custom calendars.
- If a secondary member tried to renew a membership, they would get a message saying that they did not need to renew, which is not correct. Now, they will get a message that their primary member must do the renewal.
- In the Business Directory module, there was a problem displaying business types from every club or association when the "Use System Categories" option was enabled.
- When specifying subgroup member fees, there were problems with some amounts in pennies. For example, $16.24 was being saved as $16.23.
- When replying to a forum message but directing the reply to a different forum, the system was getting confused when it couldn't match the message, thread, and forum.
- The Volunteering Sign-In Sheet Report was not displaying the slots in date/time order.
- If an admin withdraws an Ad Hoc Form that had associated fees, the related transaction was deleted, whether or not it had related payments. This has been changed so that the transaction is deleted only if it has not yet been paid.
- For events with scheduled payments, there was a problem where users could not select a scheduled payment amount if the event had been paid in full but then they added an activity or a new registrant.
- Postal codes were not appearing in the member directory Biz.Cards for international members.
- Adding quotes in a forum thread Subject line was causing display problems.
- Discount coupons can now have decimals, up to 2 digits.
- In the Classified Ads module, someone set up as a module coordinator was not able to access the Setup options for the module.
Again, all of these problems have been fixed.