FFRF improves experience online for our members by Tim Nott

By Tim Nott

At FFRF, we are always looking for ways to improve our membership experience. In the August issue of Freethought Today, we unveiled the Unpleasant Companion website (unpleasantgod.ffrf.org), the first of a series of updates to FFRF’s digital offerings.

This time around, we’re lifting the curtain on a much bigger project that began back in the summer of 2016: our new and much-improved online membership system. The system has allowed FFRF to enhance our service to members and will also allow for the development of new features for members to enjoy.

The system went live on March 1, and we have spent the last few months getting all of our staff comfortable with the new features. Now we are ready to launch a self-serve option for making donations, renewing one’s membership, and updating information, such as change of address.

To access these features and more, our members will need to login with an account username and password.

We understand that keeping track of logins for all the services our members use can be overwhelming. To ease the pain, we have tried to make the system as user-friendly as possible — and we’re always open to feedback on how to make the system better! Plus, we are focused on making the login a valuable tool.

Here are some highlights:

• While FFRF has always had an option online to donate, join and renew, our new, reliable login feature makes those processes much faster and easier. No need to type in your contact information since it is already stored in the system.

• Members can also update personal information like a change of address, updates to communication preferences — including email subscriptions, and managing household members any time of day or night.

All of this also makes the organization more efficient, since less data entry means fewer typos. We pride ourselves on our extremely low administrative overhead.

In addition to what is already available, the login will be a member’s pass to all-new, members-only content and features. We are hard at work building FFRF’s digital future.

If you would like to help test our digital products and give feedback on products under development, send an email to [email protected] (WARNING: Virtual hard hat required!).

We anticipate there will be questions about the new login. As always, you can contact FFRF with membership concerns at [email protected] or call the main office line. But, here are some Q&As members might find helpful.

• Don’t I already have a login?

If you created your login on or after March 1, then yes. Logins created on the prior version of our member database did not transfer correctly as the method by which we keep your password encrypted has been upgraded.

• How do I create a new-fangled login?

Go to ffrf.org and click the “Member Login” button in the top-right portion of the screen (see image of website at the top of the article).

Click the “Forgot Password?” link to retrieve either a username or a password.

Follow the on-screen instructions to receive an email that will guide you through recovering your information.

• How do I retrieve my username and password?

Same as above. You will receive slightly different instructions based on what info you are missing.

• I’m logged in! What can I do?

There are several member information features available. One can:

• Donate, manage recurring donations, and review donation history.*

• Renew membership and update household member information.

• Update your profile information and communication preferences, including how you’d like to receive Freethought Today.

• Check on your event registration information. (That might have been helpful last month!)

• Get the email content that matters to you. (See photo below.)

* We are still transferring donation history from our previous membership database. If you notice something amiss in your history, send an email to [email protected].

Tim Nott is FFRF’s digital product manager.

Freedom From Religion Foundation