Membership renewal online

Your membership renewal for 2020-2021 may be done online from 19th February 2020 using our BEACON Management System and paying with a debit card, credit card OR, if you have one, a PayPal account. Please note that neither U3A nor Beacon has any access to debit or credit card details.

If you renewed online in previous years 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 some screen shots (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 or credit card, cheque or cash in person, or by post. A renewal form will be available for this in the magazine published on 26th March.

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 and will also avoid queues at Horizons.

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 the screen shots

  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
  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. (This does not mean you have to open a PayPal account.  You can pay by debit or credit card.) Continue to the next screen.
  9. To pay with a 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 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” (i.e. U3A) 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). You may print the email, print the Membership Card(s) or store 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 not leaving a space in your post code or just a simple tying error.
  • 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 (March edition).