Spring 2020 Membership and Certificate Order Processing Changes
The COVID-19 crisis is requiring maximum flexibility by all organizations, and O∆K is no different. We are fortunate to have circles and circle officers who are still diligently moving forward with membership selection and initiation, even if those processes are rapidly changing. We are working on modifying our systems to be as flexible as possible so that circles can continue to recruit and initiate members.
O∆K has made several changes to business as usual. We have communicated some of these modifications already, and we are implementing changes. Below is a list of changes that are in effect until further notice.
1. FULLY ONLINE MEMBERSHIP SELECTION: All circles are encouraged to continue recruitment and selection virtually. Circles should do their best to maintain the national procedures for the review and selection of members. We understand that circles may not always be able to meet the exact requirements. As is O∆K national policy, all circles must use the National Leadership Honor Society Membership Form and the Membership Management System (MMS) for the final processing of all memberships.
2. ONLINE PAYMENTS: All circles should move to online payments of the National Lifetime Membership Fee through the O∆K payment portal.
Every circle is automatically set up in this system, so there is nothing you need to do except provide this link to your initiates. There are three good reasons for utilizing this payment process.
The process is online and requires no action by circle officers. O∆K handles all payments and informs the circles on a regular basis about who has paid.
By using the O∆K online payment system, you ensure that you submit only paid members as part of your certificate order.
While O∆K can still invoice the circle, we are already seeing large gaps in the time it takes to receive payments via invoice. With university or college business functions reduced, O∆K is not receiving payments for membership fees in a timely manner.
NOTE: We are still unable to accept circle or local dues through this portal. Please arrange to receive circle or local dues through another process.
3. VIRTUAL CEREMONY: O∆K has approved virtual ceremonies through June 2020. We posted guidelines and a revised script on the O∆K website. [https://odk.org/circle-officers/initiation-process/] Circles that cannot conduct a virtual ceremony should contact their O∆K Circle Contact for instructions about verifying membership as part of the certificate order process.
NOTE: For circles that will not hold a virtual ceremony and will be recommending their new initiates attend a National Virtual Ceremony, you still must include an initiation date on the certificate order. Use the originally planned date for the “official” date of initiation that will appear on certificates.
4. CERTIFICATE ORDER PROCESSING: O∆K will continue to process certificates orders as received. For circles that request an invoice for fees payment, we will continue to invoice you upon submission of the certificate order. We ask that you submit the request for payment immediately because we know that business-processing times have greatly increased due to staffing restrictions.
5. CERTIFICATE MAILING: [Updated April 6] O∆K has committed to mailing the certificate directly to every individual initiated after March 25, 2020, upon request of the circle. Unfortunately, the cost of mailing pins with the certificate has proven to be exorbitant given these tight financial times. We now have three options.
- Option 1 – We mail the certificates and pins to the circle as we do in normal years. The circle will distribute both.
- Option 2 – We mail the certificate to the initiate and the pins to circle. The pins will be distributed by the circle in the future.
- Option 3 – We mail both the certificate and pin to the initiate. The circle pays the additional cost ($3.00 per parcel). We will invoice the circle for the number of parcels at $3.00 ea.
We added a selection button to the Certificate Order for circles to select where to mail certificates. There are two additional restrictions.
O∆K will not mail the certificates to individuals until on or after the date stated on the certificate order because initiates would not have received the emblems of membership before this date in normal circumstances.
O∆K will not send a certificate to any new initiate for whom we have not received payment. For circles that are still using the invoice process, we will mail the certificates and pins once we have received the payment from the circle or institution. This change is necessary because unlike working with circles to return certificates and pins for initiates that have not paid, it will be extremely difficult and time-consuming to retrieve materials from individuals.
6. NATIONAL VIRTUAL CEREMONY: We have set the dates for the National Virtual Ceremony. The first will be Tuesday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. eastern. The second will be Thursday, May 14, at 7:00 pm. eastern. The National Virtual Ceremony will be a live-streaming event that will have every element of the ceremony except presenting the certificate and pin directly to the new initiates. We will have a process where attendees sign an “online” record book through a Google form so we can provide circles with the names of members who attended.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (877) 635-6437 or (540) 458-5336