The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) hopes to broaden its appeal, become more relevant to ordinary gardeners and aims to grow its membership in the next year.
To achieve a deeper understanding of its members and consumers the charity carried out a review of its core systems and has implemented a new integrated customer relationship management (CRM) system from Blackbaud to better understand how people are engaging with it.
Dan Wolfe, director of members, art and media said: “We recognised that one of the weaknesses in our brand is our relevance to ordinary gardeners.”
He told civilsociety.co.uk that RHS wants to “understand how our disparate group of customers are engaging with us at the moment so that we can hopefully become more relevant to them.”
RHS previously had separate databases for its membership, retail and fundraising systems – but these did not talk to each other.
Wolfe said that the charity’s number one objective is "to continue the growth of our membership – it’s our single biggest income channel". Income from membership came to about £16m in its last financial year. RHS broke the 400,000 membership milestone for the first time last year and aims to gain another 35,000 members next year.
As part of its mission to become more relevant RHS is also planning a relaunch of its website which will have “a different tone of voice for the organisation” according to Wolfe.
RHS is also hoping to become less London-centric in the next five years. This year the charity is piloting two RHS regional centres, in Yorkshire and Scotland, with a view to opening 13 covering every UK region in the next five years.