This is the second article in our continuing series of "what headquarters can do for you." We receive a number of questions about the process and timing at which we process and fulfill membership applications. With the help of one of our staff members, Ashley Wood, we have written a brief description on the two major ways of submitting your membership.
Processing through checks sent to headquarters: When someone wants to join by sending a check in the mail to headquarters, it first has to go to our bank to be deposited. When the check is received by the bank, the check is credited to AITP and sent to headquarters the following day for processing. Each day, we receive a collection of these cashed checks (known as a batch) from the bank with the corresponding member applications attached to them. These applications are manually entered from the paper application into our membership database. At this time, these new and renewing memberships have their payments applied marking their accounts paid and making them active. Following the activation, each member will receive an email stating that their application has been processed and they will receive their login information the Monday following their activation.
At the close of the month, headquarters pulls a list of all members who have joined or renewed during that month. This list is used to print off membership cards and certificates for the requisite members. These cards and certificates are sent out within 7 business days following the close of the month, so depending on when in a given month a member joins, it will take 2-5 weeks for them to receive their membership card.
Processing through online application: Any member can join or renew online by filling out the application, his or her information is sent to the AITP inbox and his credit card is automatically charged online using our secure Verisign account. The day following the credit card transaction, we receive a report of all transactions that were made in that given day. From this report we import all transactions from Verisign into our membership database. After they are inputted into our database, each new member will receive an email with their login information on the Monday following their activation. Processing new and renewing memberships online is significantly faster than sending an application through the mail. With online processing we are responding as close to real-time as possible, versus manual processing which requires the bank to deposit and report back all checks that are submitted.
Similar to the manual applications, headquarters will pull a list of all new and renewing members during that given month and begin to process membership cards and certificates.
As always, if you have questions regarding this or any other Headquarters process, please email Headquarters at firstname.lastname@example.org to have your opinions heard.