We’ve been working with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies since 2014 helping them to manage camp registration, year round program registration and managing their volunteers. They were in need of an automated registration system that would allow them to manage all of their programs in one central location.
Regpack was the only automated registration system and solution that truly offered all of their needs – camp, program and volunteers – in one centralized location.
And believe me, this is crucial for the amazing team at the Conservancy. These guys are BUSY! In addition to their programming, they are doing scientific monitoring, research, land stewardship, bird banding, and much more. Check out all their amazing work on their newly redesigned website!
Our interview below is with Peggy Watson, Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Conservancy. She goes into more detail about how they transformed their disjointed paper registration process and manual payment collection, into one centralized online process that works for everyone. Regpack also helps her and her colleagues be more efficient with their admin duties. They are a great example of how the Regpack automated registration system can work for any organization.
Regpack isn’t tailored to just camps, or just events, or just volunteer management. We can do it all, and every organization can decide what their registration experience will look like. And for admins, you can manage all of your data in one place, with the same sweet tools Regpack offers everyone! The team at the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies has enough going on, being able to easily manage all of their programming, from anywhere, is key to helping to fulfill their mission!
Thanks to Peggy for taking the time to chat with us!
Tell me a bit about yourself and the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies.
My name is Peggy Watson and I am Colorado native. I’ve been with bird conservancy for around 3.5 years and it’s a really awesome organization.
Our organization works from the Canadian border in Montana down into Central Mexico doing bird conservation work. The mission of the organization is to conserve birds in their habitat through education, science and land stewardship. I am the Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator for our Education team. I work with our volunteers in the education department and I also work with schools doing programs in the classroom and then outreach events.
You offer a variety of programming, including year round programs, camps as well as managing your volunteers. Can you tell me more about your programs?
We do summer camps, school programs onsite and in the classroom, home school programs, family and community programs. Our science team is doing bird population monitoring in the Rocky Mountain region and a lot of different projects. Our Land stewardship biologists are working with landowners to improve bird habitats.
Prior to Regpack, we were doing everything by paper and by email, phone, etc. Just the old school way of doing it. Especially when it came to camp and school registration. We had a volunteer system that wasn’t super user friendly, but it worked. We were hoping to get something that was all centralized in one place. Regpack was one of the only ones that gave us the option to achieve that.
What about that process/those processes caused you to look for an online automated registration system?
My position was new as of July 2014. No one had been in my role before and no one had had the time to think about needing to do something different. It was always the pipe dream, we need to do this but no one has the time to think about it. We were just doing how we knew that it worked. I came in and said we need to figure out something with volunteers and while we’re at it let’s find a solution for program registration for camps and schools too. We weren’t able to process online payments before, and we were dealing with checks and cash, and switching to Regpack has really tightened up the registration aspect of our process.
Our old process was lots of manpower, lots of paper, trees. Regpack has simplified that. There’s still lots of paperwork, but much of it is housed online and can be done prior to us ever even communicating with the applicant, which is really helpful.
When you were evaluating other registration software and volunteer management options, what eventually sold you on Regpack as compared to other tools out there?
Really, Regpack was the only option that could make it work. There were some that were like yea we can try this, but Regpack said we can do these things, no problem. We didn’t have the funds to have someone build something addressing every tiny thing we needed.
I can’t even think if there was another system that could do everything in one place. I think we were going to have to do 2 different systems, but if we could do it together that would be great.
What have been the biggest benefits in switching to Regpack for you?
Less paper! Being able to process payments online so it’s seamless, it’s done and out of our hands.
I think it’s helped focus staff time a little bit more. We have automated emails, for example, so we aren’t spending the time to create new emails, Regpack just sends it when we need it. We still spend time on registration and doing it, we’re just more efficient at the time we are spending.
How impactful has the automated email tools helped, especially with your volunteers.
It’s easy! Our volunteers are really on top of things in general but it just takes the need to send scheduling reminders off my plate, the email is already created and it’s going to go out when I want it to go out.
How has the customer service experience with Regpack been?
Everything has gone really smoothly. Calvin has been really helpful and flexible with our needs. We aren’t tech people so it’s been great to talk on the phone when we have an issue and response time is quick!
If you were talking with other organizations like the Bird Conservancy, organizations who run a variety of programs and are needing a registration and management solution that supports all of their programming, what advice would you give them?
Be honest with what your needs as an organization are and think big picture! Also, be open to the fact that for a pretty reasonable price you can get a software that will fit your needs. I’ve talked to other organizations that have had a custom software built and it’s great but it’s $20,000+ to get that done. We are getting that more unique experience for a more reasonable price. That’s been helpful, since as a nonprofit we don’t have the money for a custom solution.