Configuring Biweekly Membership Types

There are many Membership Types that you can create to accommodate your CSA members. A common request from members is for half shares. Generally, there are three ways that this can be accomplished. The first way is for a membership to be split between 2 members. This means that the customers would sign up for a full share as their Membership Type and receive their share every week. It is then up to the members to coordinate the splitting of the share between the two (or more) people.

The second option is for the farmer to offer half shares that are picked up weekly. This is simply a weekly share that is half the size of a weekly full share. The third option is to offer a Biweekly Membership Type. This means that the Membership will receive a full sized share at pickup, but will only go and get their share every other week. This is considered a half share because this Membership will be picking up their goods half as much as a full share. This article will go through the process of setting up a Biweekly Membership Type.

To begin, log in to the Control Panel and navigate to:

   Member Assembler > Configure > Member Types

Create the Member Type that will include a half share as one of the options. See the screenshot below for examples of Membership Types that include options.

   Figure 1. Membership Types on a Small Farm Central Website

If you need help creating your Membership Types, read the Creating Membership (Share) Types article.

Now, simply allow people to sign up for your Season. When you are just about ready to start delivery, contact Small Farm Central's Farmer Support team by emailing us at: or calling 412-567-3864. We will then take all of the memberships that signed up for your 1/2 share option and split that list into two groups: Week A & Week B. This split will not be visible to the public and your Membership Types will remain the same in your sign-up process,still giving your customers the option of a full or half share. However, this split will be reflected in your pick-up lists, so that each week you will know how many shares you will need at each pickup location.

After your list has been split, you will need to notify your members as to when their pick-up weeks are. You will want to compose this email to include all the important details of pickup, including a schedule of the days when they should go and get their share. The Share Option Types of "Bi-weekly Share - Week A" and "Bi-weekly Share - Week B" will be available in the Send Email tool so you can easily send these notices to the right members.

If you are running a rolling sign-up and new members may join your CSA or membership program at any time, you will need to manually assign each new membership to one of the two pickup weeks, if they choose the half share option. You will do this by logging into the Control Panel and navigating to:

   Member Assembler > Members > View Members

Find your new member by using the search features. You can search their name, or you can search by share type. Search the Half Share type and the new member should come up right away, since all of your other members have been moved out of this type and into a designated week. You will choose the week by clicking on the "type" tab in the member's dashboard. Then use the dropdown menu to select which week you want to put them in. Once you have changed their share type, they will be added to your pick-up lists.

Again, you will want to notify your member as to when their pick-up weeks are. Keep in mind that you will want to compose this email yourself to include all the important details. The "confirmation" email option will not have information about pick-ups weeks included in it as it is pre-written and automatically sent.

A Note About Configuring Pickup Lists With Bi-weekly Shares If you don't make any adjustments when preparing your weekly pickup lists, you lists will include both the Week A and Week B members of your CSA. In order to customize your pickup lists accordingly, you will need to utilize the "Exclude Options" option in the Pickup Lists tool. To do this, you would choose to exclude the “Week B” option(s) when preparing your “Week A” pickup lists and vice versa. Warning: if you exclude a member type, any member with that member type will be excluded from the pickup list, regardless of what other share types they may be connected with. For example, if a member has both a Weekly Veggie Share and a Bi-weekly Fruit Share and you exclude for the Bi-weekly Fruit Share, neither share type will appear on your pickup list. If you have members with weekly and biweekly share options, you may want to use the "Hide" feature to simply leave out shares from the pickup list when it is an "off week". For more information on Pickup Lists, see this article.

A Note About Using Pickup Reminders with Bi-weekly Shares If you enable the Pickup Reminders tool, be aware that these reminders are set to go out every week. If you have bi-weekly shares, you'll want to restrict the Pickup Reminders for these share types. To do this, navigate to:

   Member Assembler > Configure > Pickup Reminders

Above the table of pickup locations there will be an option for "Restrict". This will bring up a page where you can restrict which member types receive the Pickup Reminder notifications. There are two ways you can handle this. One, you can go in on a weekly basis and switch which week is restricted. To begin, restrict the B Week and let the notification go out to the A Week members. Once that notification has been sent, you'll go back in and restrict the A Week and enable the B Week. This will require you going into the settings each week and making an adjustment.

The other option is to restrict both Week A and Week B types from receiving these automated notifications. You can then use the "Send Email" tool to create specific reminders for your Week A and Week B members. You can either do this on a week-to-week basis or you can create the emails ahead of schedule and have them future-dated to go out at the appropriate time to the appropriate members. Keep in mind that variables listed in the Pickup Reminder section of the control panel (e.g., %%begin-time%%) are not universal and cannot be copied and pasted into the Member Assembler mailing list tool. Instead, use any of the variables listed on the Member Assembler mailing list page.

Ready to move on? Click on another article below: