Gift Certificates, Gift Cards, Store Credit SD308
Set up a system where people can purchase and give electronic gift certificates that are good for books, merchandise, course and activities. Gift certificates issues in whole dollar amounts. Offer a few suggestions like ($25, $50, $100). Have the giver specify and email address of the recipient. Allow the recipient to add the gift certificate to their account (require them to create an account if needed).
Travis Prescott commented
However, I would suggest instead of promo codes that we simply maintain a "store credit" for each member, kind of like how on Amazon you have a gift card balance. You could use the balance as payment for anything on the Mountaineers website like books, courses, donations, etc.
You could use it for things like volunteer recognition (eGift-cards) but, more importantly, we could use it to have a unified, consistent policy toward late course cancellations.
Prior to the course registration closing date, students could cancel for a full refund less the cancellation fee (the current policy). However, for those who cancel after the course has finished, our "default" solution, rather than throw it to the committee or course lead (who I guarantee want no involvement in adjudicating any "case-by-case basis") would be to credit the cost of the course fee to the member's gift-card balance.
In this way, the member would be able to use the amount toward a future offering of the course, or any other course, or any merchandise, without the club losing any money because the gift-card balance would not be redeemable to cash (which is, I believe, pretty standard practice).
In our branch, our policy tends to be, if you cancel after the course starts, you get no refund but you can take the course the next year at no additional charge. This creates admin burden for the course leads (especially if there's turnover) and harms the club because it would stand to make more if the student paid the current year's course fee (which is usually higher).
I would argue that this approach is:
1) ideal for volunteers since it will largely insulate them from these kinds of frustrating requests and means they don't have to track down old emails and old roster notes to adjudicate requests.
2) ideal for the club because it decreases revenue lost and increases future revenue by making students pay the future year course fee
3) fair to students since it ensures they never "lose" their fee and gives them more options for applying their course fee (which is also great if someone takes scrambling and realizes halfway through it's not for them!)
Samantha Sanders commented
As chair for the Trail Running Committee, this was the first item folks' requested when I asked how I could communicate my appreciation for their time. I humbly request we pursue this idea on behalf of all our wonderful volunteers.
This idea has several key benefits:
1) It allows people to, more or less, gift experiences rather than material items if wanted.
2) This particular gift card is a welcome addition to the person who has everything or is trying to downsize their collection. It also doesn't require to be near a specific store.
3) This can be used to draw people into the Mountaineers or extend their participation.
4) It's another way to help people offset the costs for those who can't afford it (including for the yearly subscription itself).
Why not encourage our members to be more involved in the Mountaineers? It would be wonderful to have this as an option to celebrate our volunteers or inspire others to take part and enjoy the benefits of the organization.
Cheryl Talbert commented
I've come to realize the significant value that gift cards could have for committees who want to give their volunteers recognition in the form of Mountaineers books, courses, activities or gear. We can't use promo codes because recognition needs to be spent in the year that it was budgeted and the committee has no control over when a promo code will be spent. With gift cards a volunteer can be given a gift card, with the money being booked to the committee at the time it is purchased, and the volunteer is then free to use it at their convenience.
Would seem to be useful for the same reasons to allow members to give a gift of Mountaineers courses, activities, merchandise or books.