Registration Changes and Other Updates
by Wendy Gorski, OCW Treasurer
Happy New Year! Before we look forward to the year 2016, let’s review the blessings of 2015.
First, we received our long-awaited nonprofit status. This allows for tax-deductible donations and the possibility to apply for grants.
Second, we implemented QuickBooks, and we are now able to report on each event’s income and corresponding expenses.
Third, we ended the year debt-free and with a net profit of $13,000.00.
As we move into the new year, you’ll see changes in the registration process. We’ve purchased Cvent, an online registration program that seamlessly integrates with our website. Cvent will allow for registering online or by smart phone. It will generate and email receipts, auto-email reminders, and provide reports accessible to our event coordinators, business manager, and treasurer. All of the information for each event is stored in one place and will be up-to-date.
Both Visa and MasterCard are accepted. Or you may choose to mail a check. For those who do not have access to a computer, you may complete an application and send a check.
Because of banking regulations, we are not permitted to take credit card information over the phone or by email or USPS mail. Since we do not want to break the law, or risk losing our ability to take credit cards, all credit card transactions must be handled online or in person at an event.
To be in compliance with the new banking regulations, we’ve also moved to a new merchant processor, with new swipe devices and better rates.
As we move along in the year 2016, we may implement a fee for registering by mail and/or paying by check since both of those require additional work like hand-entry into the online registration program and trips to deposit the checks. In an effort to make sure we have all the funds needed to pay the expenses of an event, we may phase in requiring full payment prior to the event. Cvent does allow for multiple payments.
An example is summer conference registration. As in the past, we require an initial $100.00 payment. An email would then be auto-generated in May requesting another payment. A registrant then pays another $200.00. The first part of July another email will be sent, requesting the balance owed to be received no later than two weeks prior to the event. This will phase out the option of paying the balance at the door.
We will no longer be able to hold a space for those who think they’re coming to an event unless we have payment. And to ensure we cover our expenses, we will be phasing in a deadline for cancellations.
All of these changes are to ensure that we are good stewards of the money entrusted to us as we serve our members and other friends well. In addition, each change in process is to secure the financial well-being of OCW and guarantee our success for many years to come.