Frequently Asked Questions about ONCARD

The Seattle Chapter of AGO, like most others, is using the Online National Collection and Remittal of Dues (ONCARD) system for membership renewal. In addition, ONCARD accepts new member sign-up and maintains member information for Chapter use.

This is just the second time we have used ONCARD, so nothing is familiar. The following list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) answers most questions through September 9, 2015. It will be updated as new questions arise.

You may also get help from the chapter Registrar, David Nichols, by phone or e-mail.

AGO maintains its own FAQ. There are instructions and examples, too, in the June 2014 issue of The American Organist. AGO also takes questions by e-mail,, and phone, 212-870-2310. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern.

Logging In and Out of ONCARD

Do I have to log in? Can’t I just print my invoice when it comes and mail it in with a check?
The e-mail sent in the spring, though sometimes called an invoice, is not the invoice you need to pay by check. Rather, it is a notice that it is time to log in and start the renewal process. If you are paying by credit card, you can do everything online. If you are paying by check, National still asks you to log in, update your personal information, and then print an invoice to mail. Next year, after we all have verified or corrected the data initially transferred into ONCARD, they will probably streamline the process. Fortunately, you don’t need that first e-mail to log in, so it’s OK if you didn’t keep it.
What is the login process?
Point your Web browser to the Login page. Type your Username and Password into the blanks and click Log In.
Do some browsers work better than others?
Some members have reported problems paying online through Internet Explorer.
What is my Username?
Initially, it is your first initial and last name with no punctuation. Fictional member Daisy Member’s Username would be dmember. Once logged in, you can change your Username if you like.
What is my Password?
Initially, it is your member number. Once logged in, you can change it.
What is my member number?
Member number is your unique identifier in the ONCARD system. If you get your own copy of The American Organist, it is the number on the first line of your address label beside your membership expiration date.
How can I find my member number if I don’t get my own copy of the magazine?
You may ask the chapter Registrar, David Nichols, by phone or e-mail. However, if you have an e-mail address in ONCARD, it is faster to command ONCARD to send your current Username and Password to that address.
How do I get my Username and Password from ONCARD?
Click the link on the Login page after No TAO or forgotten your username or password? Type your ONCARD e-mail address into the form and click Submit. If ONCARD sent you a renewal notice by e-mail, that is your ONCARD address.
Why didn’t I get a reply when I asked for my Username and Password?
There are many possible reasons e-mail is lost or delayed. One is that some e-mail systems are set up to reject computer-generated mail. Instead of putting the message into your inbox, they send back a challenge question to test whether the sender is human. Of course, ONCARD will fail the test, and you will not see the message.
How can I tell my mail provider not to block messages from ONCARD?
It depends on your mail provider; ask them. Some allow you to bypass the test by putting the sender’s address into your address book. The addresses to store are for the Username and Password reminder and Chapter donation receipt; for the renewal notice and a Thank You message when you’re done; and for National donation receipts.
How do I log out?
There is a logout link near the top of each page after you log in.
Why did ONCARD say I must log in to continue when I was already logged in?
Possibly your session timed out. If ONCARD receives nothing from you for 20 minutes, it assumes you went on to other tasks and logs you out. This can easily happen while you are giving ONCARD your personal information for the first time this year. We suggest you update a few things, then go on to pay your dues. You can return to the update page as often as you like, any time you like. See Is this my only chance to update my personal information? below.

Updating Personal Information

Who uses my information?
ONCARD is the primary database for both National and Chapter use. In addition, you may optionally allow AGO members worldwide to search for your name and e-mail address, and you may optionally accept e-mail from AGO-screened vendors.
Must I disclose my personal e-mail address to participate in the member search and hear from vendors I might buy from?
If you opt in, your ONCARD address will be disclosed, but it needn’t be your personal address. Your mail provider might offer an alias that you can change later; details would depend on your provider. Another option is to open a free "throw-away" mail account you can abandon if it starts attracting spam.
Must I disclose my date of birth?
No. If you do, ONCARD will automatically change your membership type from Regular to Special when you turn 65. If you are willing to do that yourself, or you are already a Special member, just leave it blank.
Why does the Chapter ask for additional information?
We plan to use ONCARD data for Chapter newsletters, directories, lists of teachers and substitute organists, and other purposes. You can update your ONCARD information any time, so it is more reliable than lists we might keep.
Why can’t I save my changes as I go on to the renewal page?
We think this problem has been solved. Let us know if you are still encountering it. There is now a single button to post changes and continue to membership renewal. Just avoid the Reset Form button next to it, and don’t Return to Menu before going forward.
Is this my only chance to update my personal information?
No, you can update your information any time from the main menu. In that case, look for Post Changes at the bottom of the form. Click that before Return to Menu. If you are interrupted, post your changes right then to avoid timing out and losing them.

Renewing Your Membership

Where do I start?
Click Renew Dues & Subscriptions at the top of the main menu as soon as you log on. It will take you to your Personal Information page for any needed updates, then to the membership renewal page. After you have renewed, you will not see this item in the main menu again until next year.
Will this take a long time?
Not if you pay by credit card. You can update your information, pay your dues, and donate to National and Chapter funds in a single short session. If ONCARD has your e-mail address, it will immediately mail your membership confirmation and donation receipts. However, you may log on as many times as you choose to complete your updates and donations if that’s better for you.
May I pay by check?
Yes. In this case, instead of entering credit card information, you print your invoice. Mail it to National with a check, which could be your employer’s. There are two links you can click to generate a printable invoice, one on the page where you can fill in donation amounts, and one on the page where you can pay by credit card. Either is fine if you are paying only dues, but use the second if you are making donations, too.
Can I simply get my renewal invoice by postal mail instead of e-mail?
Yes. Click mail as your answer to Send my member dues invoice by while you are updating your personal data.
Can I change my membership type?
Yes. If you are changing from Regular to Special or Student to Regular, leave the membership Category as Chapter and change the Subcategory. If you are changing to Chapter Friend, drop down the Category list and click Chapter Friend.
Should I print the acknowledgment page as ONCARD suggests?
If you receive all the e-mail ONCARD sends you, you will have the same information. If you don’t receive it, see How can I tell my mail provider not to block messages from ONCARD? above. Printing the acknowledgment from your browser will probably require reducing the print size to fit the paper. The way to do that depends on the browser.

Making Donations

Will my ONCARD receipt document a tax deduction?
Receipts for National funds are intended to pass IRS scrutiny. Ask your tax advisor if you have doubts. Donations to the Chapter Scholarship Fund are deductible, but ONCARD doesn’t know that, since chapters may use the same mechanism for non-deductible accounts. If you need a receipt for your taxes, ask the Chapter Treasurer, David Nichols.
Aren’t there more National funds than these?
You may donate to additional funds by clicking Make a Contribution from the main menu.

Former Members, Dual Members, and Departing Members

Can I re-join AGO through ONCARD?
Yes, the database includes former members. If your e-mail address has not changed, and you have a copy of The American Organist with your member number, sign in just like a current member. If your e-mail address has changed, log in with the old address and update it with other information. The chapter Registrar can look up your member number if you need it.
How can I add dual memberships after I have renewed with my primary chapter?
Tell the HQ staff which chapters you want to add. They will put your status back to Invoiced not Paid so you can go to the renewal page again. This is also the procedure when your primary chapter does not participate in ONCARD.
Should I re-join the Seattle chapter when I am about to move away?
Yes, that will keep your AGO membership current, including your TAO subscription. If the chapter you transfer to also participates in ONCARD, you can make the change yourself when the time comes (ask the Headquarters staff how). ONCARD will notify the losing and gaining chapters. If the gaining chapter does not use ONCARD, Headquarters staff can make the change.
Is there a grace period after my expiration date during which I will continue to receive The American Organist?
Yes, two months. If your expiration date is July 1st, you must renew by August 31st to avoid a gap in membership.
What happens if I wait past the grace period to renew?
You will stop receiving the magazine, and you will lose privileges of membership such as voting in chapter elections. Any insurance you have purchased through AGO will continue until the expiration date in your policy. When you re-join, your expiration date will be the first day of that month. You will receive the next month’s issue of The American Organist, but later than those who were members on the first day of the month.