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How sheepCRM helps BGCI engage with its members in the digital age

Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Img of Patrica Malcolm, BGCI International

"I felt confident that sheepCRM could provide membership software that was going to be helpful for BGCI and necessary for us to achieve our goals, and that has proven the case"

Patrica Malcolm, Membership and Conservation Services Manager

Who they are:

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) is a global network of Botanic Gardens. Its mission is to conserve plants and support Botanic Gardens to benefit people on the planet. There are two parts to the charity, one part membership and one part plant conservation. They have approx 750 organisational members. They support their members to achieve their goals of conserving plants across the world.

In September 2021, they launched a State of the World's Trees report. The landmark report found that at least 30% of tree species are at risk of extinction. It was an incredible project using their global network of Botanic Garden experts to identify global threats and risks of tree species. It was picked up by over 1500 media outlets and garnered more than 15 million impressions on social media.

Patricia Malcolm is the Membership and Conservation Services Manager and has been with BGCI for a year now.

The challenges:

Before sheepCRM, BGCI used a CRM platform that wasn't membership-focused; it was more tailored towards fundraising.

"Our interaction with members wasn't very effective. It made it difficult for us to engage with our members actively and ensure that they remained members," says Patricia.

"It was an outdated system, and it didn't provide any opportunities. We wanted to find a membership software package that would enable us to engage and provide value to our members”.

BGCI went through a process of getting proposals from eight different membership packages. During that first round, they eliminated most based on price alone.

"When it came down to it, we chose sheepCRM for several reasons. One, it is a cost-effective solution for a charity like ourselves and two, because of the opportunities it provided", says Patricia.

"The ability to work with sheepCRM and help discuss new features that would benefit our members impressed us. We also had a great feel from their team and the initial conversation about how the relationship could be with them. sheepCRM felt like a great match for us".

"I felt confident that sheepCRM could provide a customer service experience that would be helpful for BGCI. That has proven the case", says Patricia.

How sheepCRM helped:

When they started working together, quickly BGCI began to think about things they hadn't been able to think about before. Like which integrations they could use and how they could better connect members to their benefits. They started thinking of ways to use the sheepAPI and sheepFlow, such as for grant management and accreditations.

"I think what it allowed us to do was think outside the box. sheepCRM has made BGCI more technologically driven. For example, during the pandemic, we needed to communicate more digitally. We needed to create an online space for our members and community; sheepCRM was able to handle that", says Patricia.

They were also able to create an online members area and link to external data, including online training courses. It enabled them to bring all of the benefits they were providing face to face and historically on paper into the online world.

Growing memberships and income:

Despite the pandemic, BGCI membership has consistently grown, year on year, over the past two to three years. As a result, both their membership numbers and income have increased.

"We've grown our membership. That is down to the organisation, the benefits we provide and the community we create, but also because we now have a membership system that enables us to track, monitor, and reach our members effectively. sheepCRM drove that".

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