Creating an Online Join Form

Scroll to the bottom of this page to view an in-depth training video on creating a new join form.

To access the Form Builder, where you can edit and update the text, fields, and settings for your form, go to Communication > Join Form Builder. Your User role must have access to the 'Web Template Manager' security element to access this page.

A list of existing Join Forms will appear (or there will be no Join Forms listed, if you haven't created one yet). To create the new form, click the New button in the upper right corner.

A default form will load into the Form Builder screen, with the page title "Membership Application." Click in this field to change the form's title if desired.


Form Settings

There are several settings available that apply to the form overall, as opposed to any one specific form element. You can edit these settings by clicking the "Form Settings" button at the top of the Form Builder.

  • Payment Options: this allows you to select whether to require a credit card payment on your form. If you have any Membership Level/Purchase Item pricing in your form, you need to select at least one of these two options
  • Membership: select whether your form is Organization or Individual based membership, and indicate a Member Activity Type to be used for a Member Activity to be automatically added to the new member profile on submission.
  • Email Settings: indicate one or more email addresses to send confirmation emails when the form is submitted, and customize the confirmation email message that is sent to the new member. NOTE: In order for confirmation and notification emails to be sent, there MUST be an email address field on the form for the member profile, and it must be filled out by the applicant. (Best practice: set this field as required so that it cannot be left blank.) An email address field for the main contact will not meet this requirement.
  • Click here for more details and best practices on each Form Settings option.

Add/Edit New Form Elements

Your Join Forms are made up of unique "elements" - these include basic headings and text that are completely customizable, as well as database fields that collect information from the new member to populate into their new profile.

  • Click New Form Element. This button is at the bottom of the form, or you can hover over any existing element to add the new item below that element.
  • Choose a Heading, Block of Text, or Field as the element type.
  • Add a Heading: a label for you to divide your form visually into sections, using a larger size font (the <h3> tag in your style sheet).
    • The Sub Header Text will appear directly beneath your header text, in a slightly smaller font than the header (using the <h4> tag in your style sheet).
  • Add a Block of Text: a section of basic text for you to enter instructions, important information, or other additional wording on your form. This will appear inline with the other fields in the form, in your basic body font on your website.
  • Add a Field: this will display the list of all possible fields that you can add to your form for the new member to fill out. All of these options are tied to an actual database field in your system, so that the value will populate to the correct field when the user submits their form.
    • Member Contact Field: profile data fields for the profile that will be flagged as the “member” upon submission, including all contact info, number of employees, etc. Each field in this list adds a field to your form, with the ability to make it required and change the label text, for example the "Work Phone" field of a profile:
      • NOTE: the only exceptions to which profile these fields are added to are the Username and Password fields. If included on the form, a system user will be created with the username and password set on the Individual Member if the form is set to create the individual as the member, OR on the Main Contact if a Main Contact is created (see Main Contact Field section below) and the form is set to create the organization as the member, OR on the organization only if the form is set to create the organization as the member and no Main Contact Fields are present. 
    • Profile Addresses: allows you to collect Mailing and/or Billing Addresses, if different than the default address from Member Contact Fields.
    • Social Media: a selection of all social networks for a profile, where you can indicate which ones you'd like to collect on for the new member on the form
    • Affiliation Codes: choose between a single Affiliation Code for a member to select as a checkbox (you can add many of these), or an Affiliation Type dropdown that allows the member to choose one from a group of Affiliation codes. Click here to learn more...
    • Listing Information: gives the new member the option to enter a category, subcategory, and any other listing information that you indicate should appear on the form (description, keywords, etc.). You can also allow multiple categories, and choose to limit and/or charge for additional listings with this element. Click here to learn more...
    • Custom Fields: a dropdown of the Profile Custom Fields in your database, for you to collect a value for on the form. When the new member fills in the value and submits the form, that value will be saved in the Custom Info tab of the new profile.
    • Main Contact Field: profile data fields for the profile that will be flagged as the main contact related to the member
    • Additional Related Contact: profile data fields for the additional profile(s) that will be related to the member. All fields selected here will be available on the public form for the new member to enter one or more additional related contact people.
    • Additional Related Organization: allow the primary member profile to add additional related organization profiles tied to the membership. Note that these organizations will not be added as members themselves, but will be related as primary related profiles to the member that is created. If you want the user to be able to choose the Relation Type (such as "Subsidiary" or "Branch" that you may have in your settings), you can select the Relation Type field to be visible on the form so that relation type is used automatically. If you do not allow them to set the Relation Type, the default will be the standard "Employee." 
    • Membership Level: select which Membership Levels will be available for the new member to choose from on the form. This will inform the price of the new membership as well as the settings/billings to be created when the form is submitted. Allowing the member to self-select a Membership Level with corresponding pricing is the most efficient way to allow members to join online, and is a recommended best practice. Click here to learn more about setting up pricing with Membership Levels.
    • Additional Purchase Item: select a Revenue Item to make available to choose/purchase on the form. If you don't use Membership Levels or if you use different Revenue Items for your new member invoices than are used in Membership Levels, you can use this element to add the Dues/Membership pricing items to your form. Click here to learn more about setting up pricing.
    • Upload File: allow the new member to upload an image or document, which will be saved to their profile as a Web Content record. You can add as many upload elements as you need, and indicate the correct Content Type for each one. Click here to learn more.
  • Based on your selection above, choose the specific field or value that you would like the user to be able to enter on the form. Each item will populate with a default Label that you can edit to customize the way the field appears on the public version of the form. You can also add Placeholder Text to text entry fields (fills in sample text in the public form), or add Help Text which displays when the users clicks a ? icon next to the field on the public form.
  • For most fields, you can also indicate whether or not they are required on the public form for a member to select. Note that if you have any pricing items of any kind, the form will require one of them to be a "Dues" Revenue item automatically, so you only need to make your Purchase Items required if you want them pre-selected on the form.
  • Click Save at the bottom of the form to save your form and "publish" your changes. You can then see the public version of the form by clicking "View Join Form" in the upper right corner of the page. 


When you or a new member submits the application, a new member profile and all related profiles will automatically be created in your system. All of the field values entered into the form will be mapped and saved to the corresponding field in the profile. The profile will have the "Member" checkbox checked and all billings, listings, etc. created through the process will be active.

An invoice will be generated for all Membership Level line items and/or Additional Purchase Item line items selected on the form, and if a credit card payment was submitted, the payment will be applied on the invoice. If "Bill Me" was selected as a payment option, the invoice will be created and open with no corresponding payments.

If you have a Membership Level selection on your form, the Profile Status, Billings, Listing Levels, Affiliation Codes, and Benefits will be automatically added to the new member.

For testing purposes, you will need to manually delete the above profiles/invoices after submission to remove them from your database.


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