I have a membership contribution page that has an options for monthly and biannual periods. I'd like to offer members the option for auto renewal when their memberships are up. When I check the box allowing for recurring contributions on my contribution page config, I'm offered choices, one that doesn't make sense for a contribution explicitly used for membership. (I do have my contribution set up this way.) The problem is this option:

Supported recurring units* day week month year

Select recurring units supported for recurring payments.

For my specific problem, there is no biannual option. But more generally, if I had a membership type/ price set that was set for a period of 27 days, and I wanted to offer recurring payments, I'd want the recurring period to match exactly the length of the duration of the membership and happen after the 27th day. Am I doing something wrong or is this a design bug?

Why wouldn't people always want to automatically constrain their recurring payments with their membership length?

The period is already set by the duration of the membership. Isn't this redundant to be asked to set it again in the recurring contribution options?


1 Answer 1


The big answer is that recurring contribution features were built with regular donations, not memberships, in mind. That memberships work is a nice bonus, but I think it would take a bit of investment to rework that the way you describe. With most memberships being more standard durations, nobidy has stepped up to build that.

In your specific case, many payment processors won't even support biannual recurring payments--their maximum interval is one year. A potential reason for this is the proportion of cards that would expire between each renewal.

  • Thanks for the explanation. Just to clarify, biannual means once every six months, not once every two years. With that in mind is there way to handle that?
    – Peter_
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 15:46
  • Sorry, I understood semiannual to mean every six months, biannual every two years. While the second issue I mentioned doesn't apply in that case, it still is unusual enough that nobody bothered to build it originally. You might consider hiring someone to build that feature in, or you can work around it with some Javascript on the form(s) where it's an issue.
    – Andie Hunt
    Commented Oct 15, 2015 at 16:11

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