Membership renewal online

Your membership renewal for 2019-20 may be done online using our BEACON Management System and paying with a debit card, credit card OR, if you have one, a PayPal account. Note that neither U3A nor Beacon has any access to debit or credit card details.

If you are one of the 800 people who renewed online last year then you will already be familiar with the system. Payment is made through the PayPal website directly from your card, or from your own PayPal account, to our U3A PayPal bank account. If you have any concerns about this we have prepared a slide show with example screens (opens in a new window) so that you will know in advance what to expect.

You may also of course renew as in previous years by debit/credit card, cheque or cash in person, or by post. A renewal form will be available for this in the magazine published on 28 February.

However we do hope that you will renew online as it will greatly reduce our administrative effort and the number of trips to the bank with cash at this busy time of year.

Renewing online

If you are renewing as a couple and only one is registered for gift aid then please use the details of that member to gain access to the system.

You may wish to go straight to the Beacon Members Portal or you could first read the procedure outlined in the yellow box below. If you experience difficulty there are a few notes at the bottom of this page.

Another feature of this link is that you can update your personal details including emergency contact, email address etc.


The numbered paragraphs below tie in with example screens in this slide show (opens in a new window)

      1. Click the link to enter the Members Portal of our Beacon management system
      2. Enter the requested data which includes member number, name etc.
        • If you are renewing as a couple and only one is registered for gift aid then please use the details of that member to gain access to the system
      3. Click “Confirm Identity
      4. If this returns you to an empty form then please see the NOTES paragraphs below.
      5. Once in the member’s portal, click “Renew your membership”.
      6. You will be asked to confirm your gift aid status.
      7. Once you are happy with this page, click the “Make Payment” button.
      8. On the next screen, click the “Continue to PayPal to complete payment” button and you will be taken into PayPal with an option to log in to PayPal
      9. If you want to pay with debit or credit card click “Pay with debit or credit card” button at the bottom of the screen
      10. Enter card information to make your payment with a Debit Card or Credit Card.
      11. Click “Pay now
      12. The next screen checks again whether you want to open a PayPal account. Ignore this and click “Not Now
      13. When the payment is complete you will be shown the PayPal Receipt screen.
      14. Click “Return to Merchant” and you will be taken back to the Beacon Members Portal and you can close your browser.
      15. You will then receive two emails, one from PayPal and one directly from the Beacon system
        • PayPal: This will thank you for making the payment and let you know that we will also be sending you a confirmation of your renewal
        • Beacon: This email will
          1. Confirm that you have renewed.
          2. Contain an attachment showing your membership card(s). This will contain your name(s) and membership number(s).
      1. You may print the email, print the membership card(s) or store them on a mobile phone or tablet. This could be used to confirm your membership at any time in the future.


Unsuccessful in getting into the renewal system?

  • Something you have entered into the form is different from what we have recorded in our Beacon system. The most likely explanation is that it is connected with how you are known eg did you give us a nickname or full name, first and second forename, etc. Another explanation could be just having typed a wrong letter by mistake.
  • Try again and if you remain unable to access the system then please contact the membership team by email using this link or if still unsuccessful, renew by one of the previous methods using the form from your U3A magazine (February edition).

From 28 February you will be able to renew using the form included with your magazine, paying by post using a cheque, or in person using a cheque or cash or card.