Privacy policy

Data Protection Notice

BGCI is an organisation registered in the United Kingdom as a charity (Charity Reg. No. 1098834) and a company limited by guarantee (No. 4673175). Our staff and associates are based in Richmond, UK; Nairobi, Kenya; Moscow, Russia; Gaoshu Township,Taiwan, China; and Guangzhou, China. BGCI (US) is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation in the USA, based in San Marino, CA.

BGCI offers a range of services to members, supporters and donors, and to the botanic garden community in general. In order to provide those services, we (the controller) collect and process some data, and some personal data, as detailed in this Data Protection Notice.

We do not collect or process special category data (GDPR Art 9 “… personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, or trade union membership, and … genetic data, biometric data for the purpose of uniquely identifying a natural person, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation …”).

More details about the kind of information we collect and process is available below.

Our preferred method of communications is email: unfortunately email transactions are inherently insecure, therefore we will not send or ask you to send any sensitive personal information via email. All the personal information you provide is stored on secure (password- and firewall- protected) servers and by GDPR-compliant data processors as appropriate.

BGCI staff and associates have access to personal information insomuch as that is necessary to perform their duties.

We do not disclose information outside our organisation, except where specifically mentioned below.

We may however disclose personal data:

  • to the extent that we are required to do so by law;
  • in connection with any legal proceedings or prospective legal proceedings;
  • in order to establish, exercise or defend our legal rights.

We keep personal data up to date by using information that is publically available online.

If your personal data is being processed by us, the GDPR regulation gives you some legal rights:

  • the right of access to the information we have on you;
  • the right to rectification;
  • the right to erasure;
  • the right to restrict processing;
  • the right to data portability;
  • the right to object (in particular to direct marketing).

If you wish to exercise any of these rights with BGCI, you can get in touch by filling in the form below and we will respond as soon as possible and within one month of your request.

You can also write to us at:

Descanso House
199 Kew Road

Any complaints may be lodged with the supervisory authority at the following address:

Information Governance department
Information Commissioner’s Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane

This policy was approved on 15th May 2018. Should this policy be amended, we will post a new version on our website. We will also notify our members, friends, supporters and donors and those who subscribe to our mailing lists.

The services we provide and the information we collect

Members, friends, supporters and donors

BGCI staff manage membership – actual and prospective – friends, supporters and donors through CRM application eTapestry by Blackbaud’s (our CRM system).

We process the following information:

  • Contact name and title;
  • Institution of belonging, job title and professional interest area (if applicable);
  • Email and phone;
  • Postal address;
  • Donation history (if applicable).

For the purposes of:

  • Membership, supporter and donor administration, including renewals;
  • Keeping our members, their employees, our donors, supporters and friends informed about the benefits derived from our relationship;
  • Advertising other relevant publications, events and opportunities from ourselves, our members and partners, as per our mission of fostering a community of botanic institutions;
  • Requesting information for the purpose of research or quality control, to support our mission;
  • Advertising membership and its benefits to non-members, with their consent;
  • Involving friends, supporters and donors in any relevant fundraising campaign, with consent.

We keep in touch mainly via email, although we also send our invoices in the post and use the phone in case of necessity. Our CRM system enables us to send mass emails with a limited amount of customisation options, and tracks email opens and click-through statistics for reporting purposes.

We do not share your information other than for occasional operational processing, for example postal mailings. In order to make sure your data is handled safely and only held for the time necessary to complete the processing, where relevant we enter into confidentiality agreements with our data processors.

You exercise your rights, including opting out of any of the above categories, except administration, without prejudice. If you opt out of receiving membership benefits, we won’t be able to provide you any. If you opt out of administration, we will remove your personal data from our CRM but will be still required to keep some data for legal purposes, such as financial records.

As a general rule, we keep contact details for up to 2 years after the last donation year for friends, supporters and donors, and 5 years from the last membership year for members’ employees.

If you have become a donor through one of our campaigns, we may contact you with information about our work and opportunities related to our mission. We will retain your information only as long as the next campaign, so that we can invite you to join in, unless you consent to join one of our mailing lists.

We do not maintain suppression lists to avoid contacting you by mistake in the future.

Member institutions are issued with organisation-wide login details for the Members’ Area of this website. It is their responsibility to keep them confidential as appropriate.

Membership fees and donations

If you have made a donation or a payment on behalf of your institution, we will process the personal data you provide in the form of:

  • bank details/credit card details/cheques.

Online payments are processed through secure application WorldPay. Their privacy policy is available at

Manual payments and cheques are processed through our London office by trained staff, unless:

  • you are a US institution or individual, and you contacted our US office;
  • you are an institution or individual in the Russian Federation and contacted our local representation.

In both cases, local regulations for the processing of payments apply.

Financial information is recorded in our accounting system and kept, in accordance with the law, to comply with our duties and reporting requirements (i.e. to funders).

Project, initiative (including Partnership programme and Accreditation schemes), training and event participants

BGCI coordinates a number of different projects and initiatives, which require collecting some professional and personal information of participants. We also organise and coordinate a number of training sessions, workshops, events and congresses, with or without partners.

Contact details may be obtained:

  • from the professional themselves;
  • from their organisation or a sponsor;
  • through publically available information (i.e. web searches).

When the project, initiative or training/event is funded externally, some of the information is collected as part of the contract with the funder; personal data is used for administration of the project and the activities related to it, as well as for reporting purposes.

Where projects/initiatives or training/events are organised by multiple partners, personal data will be shared with and among all the partners, through suitable platforms, for operational effectiveness, depending on the nature of the project/initiative, training or event. Participants will always be informed of the specific details.

With the consent of participants, we may collect multimedia material for educational and advertising purposes on the web or other media. Such multimedia (i.e. pictures) may also be used, together with contact details, on published directories of expertise with the consent of featured individuals (see professionals and directories of expertise).

Project and training participants’ contact details are kept on file for up to five years after the project/initiatives or the training/event or until the next occurrence of the initiative/event/project, whichever is shorter. This is to send any follow-up or relevant information.
With consent, your contact details may be added to our mailing lists.

If you have taken part in a project/initiative, training/workshop or an event and would like to exercise your rights, do get in touch.

Professionals and directories of expertise

BGCI maintains contact with a range of botanical and conservation professionals with whom we work to perform our mission of producing and disseminating research, education and practical work with and about botanic gardens and in conservation.

Contact details are obtained:

  • from the professional themselves, including when they participate in BGCI-coordinated; projects, events, training or other initiatives and consent to join a follow-up mailing list;
  • from their organisation;
  • through publicly available information (i.e. web searches).

We process professionals’ personal data through contact lists on our internal servers and our CRM in the form of

  • Contact name and title;
  • Institution of belonging, job title and professional interest area (if applicable);
  • Email and phone;
  • Postal address (if applicable).

Our lists are regularly revised to keep them up to date at least once every 5 years. Lists might be shared with some of our conservation, education and project partners for the sole purpose of operational effectiveness. In such cases, we record the transaction and make sure your data is handled safely.

A few of our lists we manage through LISTSERV at
LISTSERV offers a range of self-service ways to manage your personal data. Subscribers will be notified of the details on joining a list.

BGCI offers professionals, who are linked to botanical institutions or work with us on projects and initiatives, the opportunity to feature in a range of directories of expertise, linked to projects and initiatives and published on the web, or other medium, through suitable platforms (i.e. TableauReader).

Featured individuals give consent for their contact details to be shared and, if appropriate,
multimedia material (i.e. ID pictures).

At any time professionals can exercise their rights by getting in touch with BGCI through the form below.

GardenSearch, Garden Editors and BGCI databases

BGCI offers a directory service for botanic gardens, with the extra opportunity to upload collection information for monitoring and research purposes. The content is maintained by the users themselves, so we cannot take responsibility for accuracy. The service is open to all on our website with a creative commons CC BY-NC-ND licence.

Garden Editor is a password-protected service, and we issue individual and organisational login details, which are your responsibility to keep confidential as appropriate. We will not ask you for your password.

Garden Editors who apply on our website, or that otherwise request access, are asked to provide:

  • Contact name and title;
  • Institution of belonging and job title;
  • Email and phone.

This is so that we can verify they belong to an institution, associate them with it and get in touch with login details and other relevant information.

Contact details for any Garden Editor are stored on our Content Management System (CMS) and may transferred to our internal CRM system, so that we can maintain contacts with institutions, extend any benefits of membership and supply other relevant information (see Members, friends, supporters and donors).
You can exercise your rights, including asking to be removed from our CRM, without prejudice. If you want to stop being a Garden Editor, we can remove you from the CMS too.

As a general rule, we keep contact details in our CMS for up to 5 years from the last update.


Our newsletter, featuring news from our members, information on botanical and conservation practice, events and opportunities, is managed through JangoMail, whose privacy policy is available at

Subscribers fill a form on our website, detailing:

  • Name;
  • Surname;
  • Email address;
  • Professional area of interest (optional).

The opportunity to unsubscribe is offered with every issue.

This mailing list is not shared with anyone and you can get in touch to exercise your rights.

Websites visitors, shoppers and people who email or otherwise get in touch with BGCI

BGCI manages our main website and sub-sites,,, and on WordPress and a legacy Content Management System.

All electronic transactions you perform on our main website will be encrypted using SSL technology. Refer to the data protection notice of sub-sites.

When you navigate our website, we collect the following data:

information about your computer and about your visits to and use of this website (including your IP address, geographical location, browser type, referral source, length of visit and number of page views)

We use “session” cookies on the website. We will use the session cookies to keep track of you whilst you navigate the website. Session cookies will be deleted from your computer when you close your browser.

We use Google Analytics to analyse the use of this website. The information generated relating to our website is used to create reports about the use of the website. Google’s privacy policy is available at


  • to administer and manage the website, including removing pages that are not visited or are out of date;
  • to enable your use of the services available on the website;
  • to provide third parties (e.g. funders, web developers) with statistical information about our users. This information cannot be used to identify any individual user.

Enquiries and feedback

When you email or write to us, depending on the reason you get in touch, we may record personal information you supply to carry out activities in relation to your request or feedback.

Where enquiries about membership of BGCI or any of our services to the botanic garden community are made, we may record your personal professional data in our CRM system (see Members, friends, supporters and donors) to follow up on your enquiry and provide further information on membership and selected opportunities that might be relevant to your request (i.e. grant funding availability).

We will let you know that that is the case, and we will not add you to our newsletter (see Cultivate) mailing list unless you specifically consent to it.

Note: third party websites

Besides third party shops, the website contains links to a range of third party websites, whose privacy policy we have no control over. Please make sure you check the privacy policy of any sites you visit.
You can however get in touch if you have any specific concerns that you think we should address.