How does the Full Membership (Student) work?
Student Membership is a form of 'Full Membership' with HAOS. We decided the best way to describe all the terms and conditions of our Full Student Membership was to start a 'Frequently Asked Questions' page. These are all the questions asked so far; when more questions are asked we'll add them.
Full Student Membership frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)
How does Full Student Membership Work?
A Full membership (Student, Adult or Senior) is required in order to participate in one of our productions, more details about all the benefits a full member gets alongside this can be found here. There is a minimum 12 month commitment upon successful signup, after which your membership will auto-renew, and you will remain a student member on a quarter by quarter basis until you cease to make payments, or your eligibility changes. All membership official start dates are based on the date on which your first payment reaches our account, NOT the date you fill out the payment instruction. If you are already an existing member of HATY then you do not require any further membership as this allows you honorary full student membership with HAOS.
How do I become a member?
The easiest method is to follow the online process on our website starting at ‘Join & Get Involved’. It’s very simple, and the process is explained along the way. You will eventually be directed to an online signup form, after filling that out (ensuring you have selected the correct membership type and payment preference) you will be directed to our payment form. Upon successful completion of both forms your part of the process is complete.
If you would prefer not to do this online, a paper copy can be downloaded, or requested, and this will need to be completed & returned to our Membership Secretary, or via any member of the Management Committee. You will also need to organise your payment via the method you have indicated on the paper form, for more info regarding options, see ‘What happens if I don’t want to pay via Direct Debit?’ below.
What happens next?
Upon receiving your completed membership form our Membership Secretary will send you a welcome email, and for purposes of simplicity you will be classed as an honorary member in lieu of your first payment reaching our account.
When we see your payment reaches our account your membership will begin, and also your initial 12 month commitment. We’ll send you an email to let you know that everything came through fine and the date upon which your 12 month commitment is due to end.
In due course our IT services manager will be in touch to enable your access to our member’s area on the website where you can access show photos, videos and other digital memorabilia, and also our member’s forum area.
If applicable, you will be added to our HAOS members Facebook group by our communications coordinator.
You will have been automatically added to our general mailing list (unless you opted-out), our Communications Co-ordinator will add you to our HAOS Members Mailing Group so that you receive our mail-outs as a priority over non-members.
Why is there an initial 12 month commitment on Full Membership?
Full membership allows you to perform in one of our Productions. We appreciate and respect all of our long-standing members who loyally commit to the Society on a regular basis regardless of the title of our productions. We are aware that our new monthly membership could allow a previously unknown new-comer to join the Society solely to appear in a show and quit their membership immediately after. We want to protect all our members against this possibility, a 12-month minimum term helps to ensure that all new members show the same initial commitment to the society as existing ones, and is in line with the standard annual membership system that most other groups similar to ourselves operate under.
Are there other types of membership available?
This membership is for under 18’s or any student in full-time education, if you consider yourself eligible this is the optimum membership choice for you. We also have Full Adult Membership which is not discounted, the FAQ’s can be found here, and our discounted Senior Membership FAQ’s can be found here.
Social Membership is available to others offering slightly less benefits than those available to you. To find out all about this visit our Social Membership page. The main difference is that social membership will not permit you to perform in a production.
At the time of writing, if you were to class yourself as eligible for Student or Senior Membership you can enjoy the benefits of full membership at the same price as social membership.
If you are a member of HATY (our youth division) you are automatically an honorary student member of HAOS
Can I transfer between membership types?
Yes, it is possible to switch membership plans. However, as a student member (at the time of writing) our social membership plan offers less benefits for the same amount, therefore you would be advised to remain on a student plan. If, however your eligibility to remain a student member changes (i.e. you leave full time education) you are required to switch to either a Full Adult Member or Social Member to remain in the society.
I’m no longer a full-time student, but I’m still in my initial 12 month commitment period, what do I do?
No problem, we have two options available to you:
Sign up to be a Full Adult Member, to enjoy all the benefits you have been accustomed to. This has a different payment structure and therefore you will need to sign-up again with us. This is simply done by following the same process you did to become a student member online, selecting the full adult type, filling out both forms, thus starting a new payment instruction for the new amount. (It’s exactly the same as setting up as a new member from the start), we will receive your new membership form and cancel the old payment instruction for you. You can find out more & start this process here.
You could transfer your membership over to a Social Member. The pricing structure remains the same, but as stated above you lose some of the benefits you have been used to. You are required to complete the remainder of your existing initial 12 month commitment until the original expiry date passes, after which you, like any social member, will not be bound by any further 12 month minimum term and can therefore cancel the social membership at any time. The process is one simple form that you can fill out online. As this is a membership transfer, it is not available to public, and can be found in our member’s area of the website, or provided via other means upon request.
How much does it cost and how do I pay?
Student membership to our group only costs £3.75 per quarter, which equates to £15 per year, as agreed by the membership at a prior AGM. We now request that you pay your membership by our quarterly Direct Debit structure. When you sign up to be a member on line, immediately after filling out the membership sign-up form, you will be forwarded to our Direct Debit payment form. This is managed for us by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) who process donations for charities, simply fill out the form including your bank details and select one of the two process date options you prefer, and submit the form. There may be a slight delay before we receive your payment at our end, as CAF need to process the payment and forward it to us (this could be as much as 30 days).
Why is payment quarterly?
Paying quarterly will benefit the society and the members. It allows us to have a regular stream of income throughout the year, thus supporting us in making our regular payments towards our premises and other regular overheads such as insurance, storage and much more. It benefits our members by spreading the cost over the year into small manageable payments, and a member can now join at any time during the year. In more traditional methods of annual membership, people joining a group mid-year often find themselves paying a full year’s membership for only a few months gain. Under our new payment structures this will be a thing of the past for our valued members. There is a minimum amount required through ‘CAF Donate’ on monthly transactions which means that we are unable to process student membership monthly as this would put the payment under this amount.
Why have you moved to Direct Debit payments?
Direct Debit payments are very easy to set up and benefit both the payer and the payee. This offers us a much lower maintenance solution for us to monitor and control active membership status including payment notifications and alerts. You benefit from one very easy setup form, and as long as you wish your current membership type to remain valid you don’t have to do anything again.
Is Direct Debit a safe option?
Our Direct Debit payments are managed for us by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) who process donations for charities. CAF Donate is fully PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant, so our members can be confident that their donations (such as membership) are being processed securely, and all details are stored safely on our behalf. They also specialise in advising charities like us on best practice to remain GDPR compliant. For more information about how we store/handle your personal information and GDPR please visit our Policies and Procedures page on the HAOS website. If you are interested in reading more details about CAF please visit their comprehensive website.
What happens if I don’t want to pay via Direct Debit?
If required we can offer more traditional methods of payment including the following:
You can set up a Standing Order for £3.75 quarterly (or £15 annually) via online banking or your online banking app. Click on ‘Standing Order’ on your online banking page and then follow the prompts. The account details are:
Bank: Barclays Bank, Commercial Street, Halifax.
Sort Code 20-35-84
Account No 20913111
Account Name: Halifax Amateur Operatic Society
Reference: ‘Initial,’ ‘Surname’ & ‘MB’
Example reference – “J Bloggs MB”
(But you don't need to remember this as when you sign up we’ll remind you of it all again)
You could pay by cheque or cash. This option is only available annually. You will still need to fill out the membership form and submit it in exactly the same way as other paying options, but you will give the cheque or cash to our membership Secretary or Treasurer (or via any other committee member, such as our Production Secretary). This can still be commenced at any point in the year, but will obviously not auto-renew.
You can pay by credit/debit card. You will still need to fill out the membership form and submit it in exactly the same way as other paying options, and then this will need to be arranged to be paid in person at the wellington rooms, with the Treasurer or Membership Secretary. As above, this can still be commenced at any point in the year, but will obviously not auto-renew.
If I’m paying quarterly what happens after the first 12 months? Do I need to renew?
One of the major advantages of our Direct Debit quarterly payment structure is that now you don’t have to worry about renewing your membership. After your first 12 months of being a student member you won’t need to commit to a further term, by continuing to make your quarterly payments your membership status will remain valid and current whenever your account remains in good standing. If you decide to leave us and later decide you’d like to re-join on the same or other Full Membership option again, you will be subject to the initial 12 month commitment again as per a new member.
Can I still pay annually?
Yes, an annual membership can be initiated at any point in the year, however we really hope that members will embrace the regular giving schemes because of all the benefits that are detailed above. By default the only methods for paying annually are more traditional methods such as standing order, cash, cheque, or credit/debit card. Please see the ‘How do I pay’ section above. Upon request a Direct Debit annual payment can be arranged.
It will be your responsibility to make annual payments to keep your membership up to date. Where possible we will endeavour to send you a renewal reminder, however it remains your responsibility & if no payment is made your membership will automatically expire upon your anniversary date. For clarity, that date will be 12 months after the date at which your last annual payment was received.
If you wish to terminate your membership mid-term, after the annual amount has already been paid, no refund will be available.
How do you know who is still a member?
A major advantage of the Direct Debit system is that we can run reports to gain a quick overview of all our member’s payment history, thus giving us a clear picture of who is a current member, but also an indication of the loyalty and commitment of individuals.
What happens if a payment goes wrong?
Direct Debit is a well-established and dependable payment method that once initiated very rarely falters. However we appreciate that sometimes there are other unintentional factors that can impact on the process (not enough cleared funds in account, change of bank account etc.) Standing orders require additional responsibility on the payer’s behalf to ensure details are accurately inputted initially, and funds remain available.
If a Direct Debit payment is reversed for some reason the payment will be processed automatically a 2nd time & we will receive a notification from our Direct Debit processors. Any missed standing Order payments will take a little longer for us to identify during our end of month accounting.
Either way, initially we’ll assume that there has simply been an error somewhere in the system and we’ll temporarily suspend your membership while the issue is resolved. This will not have an impact on any associated initial 12 month commitment. The Membership Secretary will send you a friendly reminder message via your preferred method of communication, to inform you of the missed payment and discuss how to proceed.
If we receive no reply, or the outstanding payment has not been received by the next payment due date we will assume this to be a cancellation request, and carry out the necessary cancellation process on your behalf. For Clarity, this means, depending on how dates fall, you could potentially be disqualified from being able to perform in one of our shows. If this form of auto-termination was to occur during your initial 12 month commitment period this will have an impact on your account status within the organisation. Please see details below under “What will happen if I cancel my payments early, during the initial 12 month commitment?”
Will there be any further payments expected to be in a show?
Yes, it is customary on all our productions that we request an associated ‘show donation’ from each participant in the show. This is a suggested amount that varies depending on the show, and is a way that each member who benefits from being on-stage can contribute towards the huge cost it takes to mount our productions with a donation. As any information regarding this is show specific we will make it available to any prospective cast member before auditions or rehearsals commence, including available methods of payment.
Why do you use the term ‘donation’? I noticed it on the Direct Debit membership payment form.
Certain payments you make to us are eligible for gift-aid claims. This is a great way our country supports its charities by adding an additional 25% on top of any donation a UK tax-payer makes to a charity, such as HAOS. Your membership to the society is an example of a payment you make to us that is eligible for us to claim gift-aid on. However this is technically a donation, as you receive no service/reward or tangible monetary benefit directly from being a member. It’s just your way of supporting us on a regular basis. Whenever we use the term donation it is because we are describing a payment you have made to us that we will claim gift-aid on if you have ticked the box on your membership form declaring that you are a UK tax-payer and that we are authorised to process gift-aid on your donation. By doing this when you pay £15 over 12 months, we will receive £18.75.
I ticked the gift-aid box, what does this mean?
See above Question regarding donations
Can I play the 100 club too? If I do, will I receive a discount on my full membership?
Yes of course you can play (if you meet the age requirements). Our 100 club scheme is a great way to further regularly support the society whilst having some fun. Full membership and the 100 club are not linked in anyway, you will not receive any discount. Full membership gets you additional (non-monetary) benefits such as the ability to perform on stage, and is therefore totally separate to the honorary social membership associated with the 100 club, which is intended to keep participants in the loop with news and provide them access to communication streams. For more info regarding our communications policy you can see our policies and procedures page.
Can I merge my 100 club/Show Donation and membership payments into one single payment?
As different payments need to be processed in different ways for accounting purposes, gift-aid claims and to aid in our record keeping and status reports, we ask you to keep payments separate. The only exception to this is that you can play multiple numbers in one payment in the 100 club.
Why do you need my details, and how do you store them?
We keep your address and contact details in order to effectively communicate information as required, and also to process gift-aid as per the details under “Why do you use the term ‘donation’?” For more detailed information consult both our Members Privacy Notice and our Data Protection Policy which are available in the Policies and Procedures section of our website.
How do I update my contact details?
In the past we would have received your new preferred contact details each year upon renewal of your annual membership. As we have now elected for an anniversary membership that automatically renews we will only keep the details you provided upon initial enrolment. Therefore we have provided the facility for you to go on our website and quickly update your contact details, this can be found in the ‘Join & Get Involved’ section, or the member’s area. If you want to change the way you pay your membership, or change membership types you will need to follow the change of membership type process which is detailed above under “Can I transfer between membership types?”
I don’t have email or social media, what will happen?
We value all our members and will strive to ensure everyone is kept ‘in the loop’. In each individual case we will endeavour to find the best possible way to establish and maintain communications with any member that prefers non-digital routes. However, it must be clearly understood that this cannot be as efficient as other digital means.
When do I need to pay my membership by?
You no longer need to pay your membership (or renew) at the beginning of the year, you can start your membership at any point. However we must have received your first payment in our account for you to be eligible to perform in one of our productions. As there can be a delay of up to 30 days in processing payments through our chosen payments handler we recommend you do not leave this too late, it is expected that this is processed at the start of the rehearsal period at the latest. If you have concerns that this may affect your involvement, please contact the Membership Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org without delay.
What if I want to cancel my membership?
If you have already completed your initial minimum 12 month commitment you can cancel your membership at any time by simply cancelling your Direct Debit/standing order. You will need to cancel by contacting your bank though, if you have internet banking, you should be able do this yourself on your bank's website, or on your online banking app on your handheld devices. We will, of course, be sorry to see you leave, but if you wouldn't mind dropping us an email at email@example.com to tell us you've cancelled your regular payment instruction, then we can double check for you that your cancellation request has been carried out. Full membership (including student) cannot be cancelled during the initial 12 month commitment without settling the remaining outstanding balance.
What will happen if I cancel my payments early (during the initial 12 month commitment)?
If a missed payment is detected at any time we will follow our missed payment procedure which is detailed above under “What happens if a payment goes wrong?”
If the process above has been carried out with no resolution, the associated member will have their membership revoked, and will not be permitted to re-instate any form of membership or participate in any current or future production or audition procedure until their outstanding balance for the remainder of the initial 12 month commitment has been received in full. The above conditions imposed will remain indefinitely while the account remains in arrears.
Help - I need further information
No problem! - We have a Membership Secretary and they are contactable via firstname.lastname@example.org. They should be able to answer any of your questions. Alternatively click the "I have a Question" button below and fill out our contact form, and one of the team will reply in due course.