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Membership FAQ

Q: Previous to this year we sent forms to a post office box in Annapolis. Can we still do that?
A: No. MAPAPA is discontinuing the lease on its mailbox in Annapolis. Do NOT send ANYTHING to the PO Box in Annapolis if you see that address on any old literature. We prefer that you make membership and event payments online, but you may send a check if necessary. Please do not mail a check payment without contacting membership@mapapa.org for the current mailing address. Please make sure that your check is payable to Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters and is accompanied by a print out of the screen where you have entered your membership. We must be able to identify which member should be credited for the payment, so please make sure that you include the screen printout with the member's name. Our membership coordinator will enter the data from the form and direct you to visit the website to login for the first time. (See the question on passwords and security) Once you visit the site and create a new password, adjust your membership profile for public display to suit your individual needs. We will only display your name, city and state as we do in our membership section of the Newsletter. We will also display your website address if you provide one.

Q: Why was this website created?
A: This membership processing website was created for several reasons. It allow us to have greater flexibility in serving membership needs. Automating the process provides us with a host of added benefits. We can offer payment for memberships by credit card, a live membership directory, email broadcasting to all members, paintout and other educational event announcements with the ability to register and pay for the event expense fees, easy publishing of members announcement, ongoing discussion forums that address members concerns and lots of other features that we will

Q: Does MAPAPA have 2 websites?

A: Yes it does.  The site you are looking at now is the mapapa shuttlepod site.  It was created to take care of membership renewals, keep track of members, register members for events like paintouts and workshops, distribute the newsletter and send out email broadcasts.  It has lots of up to date information.  The other website, mapapa.org is the website that is fairly static.  However, it does better at providing a showcase for our membership's paintings on the members list and host the virtual exhibition gallery for membership shows that don't require wall space to exhibit.  The shuttlepod website is our everyday workhorse for activities while mapapa.org serves to show off images and provide a general overview of the organization.

Q: Are you taking credit cards now for payments?
A: Yes, we have arranged with the website host as well as PayPal to process payments for memberships, renewals, and events that require payment using credit cards. This is a bold new step for our organization and hope you as members find it fulfills your needs. We are PayPal Verified. Click on the PayPal logo to go to PayPal's website and review our status with the online service. Please provide feedback on your experience with this as well as anything else in the discussion forum part of the website.

Q: How is MAPAPA able to take payment by credit card?
A: MAPAPA is far too small an organization from an administrative viewpoint to be able to afford the cost of having a relationship with the major credit card companies. The next best thing is to use a company like PayPal to be the middle agent for credit card payments. PayPal is used by many for online purchases with small vendors like those you find on on-line auction websites. The process for us is fairly simple. MAPAPA has set up an account with PayPal to act as our processor for credit card payments. Members can take advantage of this relationship to use major credit card to pay for memberships and educational events hosted by MAPAPA. Regular PayPal users can even login with their personal PayPal accounts and use the service to pay for membership. This was not possible until we set up an account with PayPal.

Q: What do I need to do to pay by credit card?
A: When a visitor to this website starts the membership process, they will fill in the membership application form much the way all our previous members filled in paper applications. At the end of the membership website process, the pending member will be given a choice of paying by credit card or manually paying by check. Simply, manual payment will require the member to write a check just as MAPAPA members have done in the past and send it to our current membership administrator, accompanied by a screen print with the member's name. When you check the credit card button and then submit your membership information to MAPAPA, you will immediately be directed to the PayPal website and be in the MAPAPA processing area. Note: You will see MAPAPA listed on the heading of the PayPal website and your own name within the body of the header. Look for the text on the lower left of the screen that directs you to pay by credit card. It will have a continue button and small logos of the major credit cards that PayPal accepts. Click continue and the next screen will contain all of the payment information that should be familiar to anyone who has used credit cards to pay for goods/services on websites. Remember PayPal is a secured website and your security is assured by PayPal.

Q: So now that you take credit cards for membership can I come to the annual meeting and other events and pay by credit card?
A: Unfortunately, only online transaction can be processed with PayPal and credit cards. Remember we are not a retail business and during the annual meeting or other field events do not have access to the internet to process payments.

Q: How has membership processing changed?
A: Basically the focus of membership has remained the same. We are just providing an easier way for all involved to take care of this vital task. In the past, membership data was kept by one person and that did not allow membership volunteers to share administrative tasks. With this online system, members can renew without having to send forms into the post office box in Annapolis, although we are still retaining that method of membership processing. With online renewal and tracking, our membership administrative support volunteers can reside in different parts of the Mid-Atlantic region and still work together online to service the needs of the members.

Q: How do I become a new member or renew my membership?
A: When a new or renewing member enters the website, they will be asked to login. However, new or even first time renewals will not have information to attempt to login. The system provides security for members and protects sensitive data. However, anyone visiting the website can click on the Membership menu on the left side of the website and that will take you to the new and renewal page for memberships.

Q: Now that I renewed or became a member how do I log into the secure member's part of the website?
A: Follow the instructions in passwords and security. The information you provided when registering as a member plays an important part in being able to login to to the MAPAPA membership website. It is most important that you know the email address you used when entering in information about yourself on the membership registration page. The email address is your key to successfully logging into the website.

Q: What do I need to know about Passwords and Security?
A: Software built into the website will now allow MAPAPA members to have secured information that only they or other members can see. You control the amount of access. When you start using the website because you are a new or renewing member, all you have to do is follow a few easy steps. As a new or newly renewing member, click on the "Forgot Password" area next to the login button on the left side of the introductory page. It will ask you to enter your email address. NOTE: It must be the one you entered into the membership website registration form. Use of any other email addresses will not provide you with a successful result. Once that is done an email message will be sent to the address you provided. Follow the instructions on the message from the MAPAPA email and set the password to one of your own choice

Q: What if I forget my password?
A: Review the instructions in the previous question. All you need to do is click "Forgot Password" in the introductory page and provide your email address. It must be the email address you used when you entered your membership registration information. After completing this step you will be sent an email to the address you provided. Follow the instructions and click on the link to the website that takes you to a password reset page. Enter and verify your new password. Click the "home" link and use your email and new password to login to the MAPAPA membership website.

Q: What do I have to do with my Membership Directory information?
A: Either when joining or renewing, please set the items that you would like to be visible to all in your section of the membership directory. You can share a small or large amount of information with other members. The information is in the members only section so you will not be sharing it with those outside of the membership. It is a secured part of the website. We do ask that you provide the directory with at least the same information as we print in our annual membership page of the MAPAPA Newsletter, that is, your name, city, and state. Also, personalize your introductory text a bit or at least delete the dafault message we will place in the directory. It will indicate to us that you visited the directory section of the website and took care of this task. If a member sends renewal by mail, the information will be transferred to the website manually. We will include the name, city and state information along with a website address if you provide one. This is a great way for members to share access to their personal websites. We will also respect the privacy of members who do not wish to be in the directory. We only ask that you name alone be listed so that our administrative support volunteers can keep track of your whereabouts on the system.

Q: I don't have internet access. How does this website assist me?
A: Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate those who do not have internet access. All of the features of the website features including email broadcasts, event announcements and the discussion forums will not be available. Members without computer access can use public library computer to log into the main MAPAPA website as well as this one.

Q: My email address/snail mail address/website/etc.has changed. What do I do now?
A. You can change the information in your profile yourself. Logon to www.mapapa.shuttlepod.org using your current email address and password. Once you logon, click where you see View Profile (upper right corner). You'll see your profile. Click on the Edit button and you should be able to change whatever needs changing. Hit Save to save the changes and you'll be set.

Q: Why does my membership say member since 2008? I've been a member for longer than that.
A. 2008 is when we switched to using the Wild Apricot software to manage our member database. Before, we managed or tried to) the member info using a combination of Excel spreadsheets and paper files that had to be kept in sync manually. Now we have everything in one database. This is also what allows us to accept online payments.
When the new database was implemented, the old records were imported into it and thus they were 'born' in 2008.

Q: I sent in a check to renew my membership weeks ago, but it still shows my membership as lapsed/overdue. What gives?
A: Check processing takes much longer for us since we process them manually. Once the Membership Coordinator receives the check, it must be manually recorded in the online system, and then forwarded to the Treasurer for deposit. This is one of the reasons why we encourage online payment, even though it ends up costing us through Paypal fees.

Q: I tried to renew my membership, but I can't log in. What up with that?
A. Try the "Forgot password" link and use your email address that is on file (check for a recent MAPAPA email you received, and use that email account) Otherwise, you will need to contact the membership chairman to restore your profile so that you can renew your membership. Once restored, you will be able to log in and renew your membership.

Q: How do I renew my membership online?
A: First, log in using your email address and password. Once you're logged in, click on the 'View profile' link in the upper right hand corner. You'll get a screen that has your profile info. If you want to renew online (preferred method), scroll down a bit to see the big yellow button that says "Renew until January 2012." It will take you through the Paypal process to renew. If you want to renew by check, follow the instructions in the big yellow box on your profile.

Q: I logged on to renew my membership online, but when I viewed my profile, it says that my membership renewal is Pending. There is no Big Yellow Button to renew. What happened?
A: You can cancel the pending renewal and start over. Click on the Cancel button that you'll see in the box. You'll be asked if you're sure you want to do this. Hit Yes. It will simply cancel the pending transaction, not your membership. You'll then see your profile again and you'll also see the Big Yellow Button that says 'Renew until January .....' You can then start over.

Q: I want to join but was not comfortable using an unsecure Web page to enter some personal information and password. Is your payment page secure?
A: First off, in the years that we have been using this web-based software to manage our database, we've never had an incident where someone's personal information was compromised. So far, so good.
Here is a link to our vendor's website that talks about their security measures: http://www.wildapricot.com/security.aspx. In addition, we use Paypal for all credit card purchases,
so we never have access to your card number. Having said that, some people do not like using Paypal, so we will gladly accept a check sent to us in the mail.
You can also choose not to add personal information like address and phone number. The only fields that are mandatory are first name, last name, organization (this is a system requirement. You can really put anything here, we don't use it), email address (this will actually be your logon) and a password (which is secured).
You can opt out of providing anything in any other field.

Go to www.mapapa.org to visit the main website of the Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association.

Mailing Address (general inquiries to Board Chairman- do NOT send payments): 3831 Proctor Lane, Nottingham, MD 21236-4748
For mailed membership payments, please contact membership@mapapa.org for the current address. Do NOT use an archived address, as it may no longer be accurate.

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