While I worked for Crayola, I had a Crayola green, logoed canvas briefcase. Over the years of commuting and travel, it became battered and sun-bleached, and soon the logo was outdated. I held on to that bag because it was a badge of honor — a physical sign of my longevity at the company.
Long-time members consider their long-time-ness to be a badge of honor too. They love it when associations keep an accurate record of their original join date and usually love it when others can see that date in their profile.
On the other hand, they are displeased when the association does not have an accurate record of their original join date. When a long-time member lapses and the association only acknowledges their most recent join date – that frustrates them. Even worse is when the system inadvertently treats a long-time member like a new member upon rejoining.
Members want us to know them. They want us to value their longevity, but that is difficult even with just a few hundred members. If your AMS is not keeping an accurate record of member’s join date, fake it. Ask them to provide one. That way, you will know which new member get the onboarding messaging and which get the welcome back.