I am working with an organisation that has several different types of membership. Members sometimes move from one membership type to another, but it is important that we keep track of which membership they had when.

Unfortunately, when a member signs up for a different type of membership using the online payment form CiviCRM overwrites the old membership so that it looks like it becomes the new membership type. We would like to keep the original membership record as it is and add a new membership for the new membership type.

Staff can do this in the backend by creating a new membership, but we want to be able to do this using the online sign up form.

We are using CiviCRM 4.6 on WordPress.


To illustrate my point, this is an example of what we would like:

Existing membership before sign up

  • Membership 1
    • Type = Silver
    • Status = Current
    • Join Date = 1 April 2010
    • Start Date = 1 June 2014
    • End Date = 31 May 2019

After sign up

  • Membership 1
    • Type = Silver
    • Status = Current
    • Join Date = 1 April 2010
    • Start Date = 1 June 2014
    • End Date = 31 May 2019
  • Membership 2
    • Membership type = Gold
    • Status = New
    • Join Date = 8 November 2018
    • Start Date = 8 November 2018
    • End Date = 7 November 2019

What we actually end up with after sign up is:

  • Membership 1
    • Type = Gold
    • Status = Current
    • Join Date = 1 April 2010
    • Start Date = 1 June 2014
    • End Date = 31 May 2020

i.e. the membership has been converted to 'Gold' and given an extra term

  • i thought there was an extension (by jon g.?) that allows the normal process of civi to be overridden so multiple memberships are possible – petednz - fuzion Nov 9 at 19:34

On the contact record's Activities Tab, there is an Activity of the Type: "Change Membership Type". Could you use that to determine the past/present Membership types?

Also, if you set up different Membership Types with a different 'Membership Organization' selected, I believe the record can have simultaneous memberships. I do not recall if this creates additional problems down the line, however.

  • 2
    Using different membership organizations is how a couple of my clients have gotten around this limitation - one 'organization' per family of memberships (e.g., if you have some memberships that should overwrite, then they can all have the same membership org). – Lesley Carter - BackOffice Nov 9 at 20:14

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