Joining CAN

Joining CAN


This page describes the processes associated with new members joining CAN.

Ways to join

Members can join by a few different methods, although now joining online via the CAN website and credit card (or sometimes direct credit) is by far the most common.

Online via the website

People can join CAN via the Join page on the CAN website.  If they do it this way, a new contact record is automatically created for them, from the information they enter while joining.  A membership is also created and associated with the new contact.  They can choose to pay on the spot via credit card, or 'Pay Later', in which case they can make payment by direct credit to the CAN bank account (or by cheque, though that is increasingly rare).  A contribution record is also created automatically by CiviCRM if they join up online.


Occasionally people will just send an email with their details, and make payment via direct credit.  In that case, you need to create a contact record for them, and a membership.


People can send in a membership form or just a letter with their details, and make payment via direct credit or cheque.  Again, in this case you need to create their contact and membership manually.

Creating a contact

If they haven't joined online, this first thing you need to do is create a contact for them.  Before that, check if they already have a contact record in the system (e.g. they might be a Friend of CAN, or have bought something from the CAN shop).  If they do, you can just fill in any extra details they've provided on the existing contact.

Individual members

To create a new contact, in CiviCRM choose 'New Individual' from the Contacts menu if it's a Waged, Unwaged or Family membership.  If it's a Family membership and they want multiple people listed on it, you can create additional individual contacts and create relationships ('Family member is') with the family contact person.

Supporting organisations

First create a contact for the organisation: choose 'New organisation' from the Contacts menu.  Then create an individual contact (as above) for the organisation contact person.  Put the organisation in as their 'Employer', and create 'Employee of' and 'Contact person for' relationships for them, referring to the organisation contact.

Add supporting organisations to the About Us -> Supporters page on the CAN website as well.

Checking contact details

If the person has joined online and created their own contact record, it's a good idea to check the content of it.  There should usually be only one address entered in the Address section.  Also check for duplicate phone numbers and delete any unnecessary ones.


This is not used any more since we stopped distributing the Chainlinks magazine in hard copy. If the member wanted to get the Chainlinks magazine by post (we generally gave it to them by default, with the option to opt out if they only wanted it electronically), under Miscellaneous on their contact record we set the Post Chainlinks field to 1.  (This is the number of copies they'd receive.)  If they didn't want it, or hadn't provided an address, we left it blank.


If the member is in zone for any of our local advocacy groups (judging by their address), then give them the appropriate tag for that group (under 'Local user groups' within the list of available tags).  If not, you can give them the 'Direct CAN' tag instead.


By default a new member will be added to three groups:

  • CAN Network- this is used occasionally for emails to financial members of CAN, e.g. AGM notices.
  • e-Chainlinks link- used for mailing out a link via which members can download a PDF file of the latest issue of Chainlinks
  • eCAN- for receiving the e.CAN email bulletin

Adding a membership

If the new member has joined up via the website, a membership record (and an associated contribution record) will have been created for them- so you don't need to add one.

But if they join via email or post, you need to create a new membership for them:

  • Go to their Membership tab and click the 'Add membership' button.
  • Select the appropriate membership type from the drop-down box at the top
  • Select the date their membership will begin (usually straight away) in the Member Since box
  • Usually you'll want to record a payment associated with the membership, so check the Record Membership Payment box and fill in the details (see below)
  • Check the Send Confirmation and Receipt box to have a receipt sent to them
  • Click the Save button at the bottom to create the membership.

Membership contributions

If the new member has joined up via the website and paid by credit card, a new contribution record will have been created and completed by CiviCRM- so you don't need to do anything.

If they joined via the website and selected the Pay Later option (to pay via direct credit or cheque/ cash), a contribution record will also have been created, but you need to complete it when the payment actually comes in.  You can click on the member's Contributions tab, then click the Edit link next to the contribution (it'll usually be marked 'Pending').

If they join by email or post, you'll be creating a new membership record for them (see above) and an associated contribution record, which needs to be completed.

To complete a contribution record for a membership:

  • Select the Contribution Type from the first drop-down box.  Usually this will be Member Dues, unless they have included a donation in their payment as well, in which case you can use Member Dues + Donation.
  • Fill in the Amount
  • Fill in the Received date
  • Choose the Paid By method: Credit Card, Cash, Cheque or EFT (direct credit)
  • If it's a Cheque, fill in the Check Number
  • If it's an EFT, fill in the Transaction ID.  For this we use the date (copy and paste from the Received box) followed by the payment details from the bank statement.
  • If it's a Credit Card payment, the Transaction ID should be already filled in by CiviCRM
  • Check the Send Receipt box.  If you're completing a Pay Later contribution, change the Contribution Status from Pending to Completed.
  • Click the Save button to create the contribution.

Sending a welcome email

When a new member joins up, you can send them an email to welcome them to CAN. Go to their contact record, click the 'Actions' button and choose 'Send an email'. There's a 'Welcome email' template you can use which will fill in the content- usually doesn't require anything changed.

For new members of self-administering groups (see below), we usually leave the welcoming process up to the local group.

Members of self-administering groups

Signup of members of self-adminstering local advocacy groups (e.g. Cycle Aware Wellington) is mostly the same as described above.  Make sure they have the tag for their local group- otherwise the local group membership person won't be able to see them.

The only things that have to be done differently are:

  • If the local group operates on a different membership year (e.g. calendar year), then the Membership End Date will have to be edited to reflect the group's policy.
  • If the contribution has been made to the local group directly (e.g. direct credit to their bank account), you need to change the Recipient field (under 'Paid To') in the contribution.  By default this is set to CAN- so change it to the appropriate local group.