This error can occur when the smart query that is being used as a segment for the membership renewal effort does not allow itself to be ran by all users. To correct this setting follow these steps:
  1. Click Marketing and Communication > membership renewal efforts
  2. Click on the templates tab
  3. Click on the membership renewal template
  4. Under membership rules click the drop down arrow next to the segment and click edit
  5. Click the pencil icon next to the segment
  6. Click on the smart query name and click edit
  7. Click on the set save options tab
  8. Mark allow other users to modify this query and click save
  9. Repeat this process for each smart query in each segment of the membership renewal process