Guest blog by Barbara Wong, National Membership Committee Vice Chairman
Renewing membership online is very quick and easy, especially after you’ve created your account on the ALA national website. Login to your ALA account at www.ALAforVeterans.org and click on “renew here” in the upper right hand corner of the home page.
For members who are not internet savvy or can’t/won’t access the internet, they can renew by phone and talk to a a national headquarters staff member by calling 317-569-4500, Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST. Please be patient during heavy renewal periods in September and January. The beauty of phone renewal is that one can renew multiple members all at once…daughters, granddaughters, great granddaughters, nieces, etc. So please promote this very convenient feature of our phone renewal system to your unit members.
When a member renews online or by phone, they get an immediate emailed receipt and printable card with the ALA national secretary’s signature (or it is mailed to them if renewed by phone). Starting with 2019 dues, ALA National Headquarters will also mail a signed hard copy membership card within 15 days with the ALA national secretary’s signature. The Legion counsel general and TAL national leaders have disseminated information to TAL departments to pass down to their posts that these printable and hard copy cards should be accepted as valid cards.
Please note: Units do not have to mail or distribute cards to those that renew online/by phone now and won’t have to be contacted by these members asking for their card after paying, which has been the procedure up till 2019 dues. As a result, units will end up with leftover membership cards (for those who renew online or by phone) from the preprinted ones given to them each year. Units can decide what to do with those, but keeping them as back up for a while is probably a good idea.
We encourage units to get American Legion Auxiliary Management Information System (ALAMIS) access and check the system often to get the updated list of unit members who have renewed online/by phone. Those who have renewed by phone show up on the “paid online” report as well. There isn’t a separate list/report. Otherwise, calling the department office periodically for an update will help to minimize confusion regarding the status of members who may have renewed online or by phone.
Please help remind units to share with their members that the ALA’s first renewal notices are sent in September by ALA National Headquarters via email for those who have an email on file and mailed to those who don’t. Around this time of year (late summer) many ALA members think they’ve missed getting one because their American Legion Family members start getting theirs much earlier (and often) or they don’t realize they got one by email instead of mail. Second/final notices (in January) are always snail-mailed to all that still haven’t renewed by early December. Note: If a member does not want her renewal notices to come via email, she can call ALA National HQ Help Desk at 317-569-4536 or her department to request that this default setting be turned off in the system. There is no need to remove her email completely.
Throughout the year, it is essential that units submit membership renewals at least once a month to keep those members who paid in good membership standing. Units can start submitting membership renewals for the upcoming membership year as early as July depending on each department’s policy. ALAMIS will only allow entry of new members starting Sept. 1 of each year (though the department might start accepting transmittals for those new members early and hold them for entry starting Sept. 1. Check with your department).
Membership is EVERYONE’s business. Let us work together to get them and keep them for good.
This was originally published as an eBulletin.