Become a Participating Institution

What is a CPC Participating Institution?

A CPC Participating Institution is any organization that has committed by mutual agreement to support the National Collection of Endangered Plants through science-based conservation, research that directly supports the vision and mission of CPC and its conservation partners, or supports CPC’s vision and mission through a corporate partnership and shared vision. CPC Participating Institutions cooperatively work to promote ex situ conservation of plants, advocate for living collections as safeguards in preserving plant species, and communicate the scientific understanding of plants and their vital role in global health.

In return, CPC is committed to supporting its Participating Institutions – collectively known as the “CPC Network” or “Network” – by providing technical and scientific expertise both directly and through other CPC Participating Institutions, by advocating for the National Collection and the organizations dedicated to the conservation of plants in the National Collection, and through securing and distributing direct funding to support conservation efforts when possible. CPC also works extensively to assist organizations aspiring to become CPC Participating Institutions and works with these institutions and their staff to build capacity enabling them to achieve sustained conservation outcomes.

What we provide to our Participating Institutions

CPC is committed to supporting its Participating Institutions, collectively known as the “CPC Network” or “Network”, by providing technical and scientific expertise both directly and through other CPC Participating Institutions, by advocating for the National Collection and the organizations dedicated to the conservation of plants in the National Collection, and through securing and distributing direct funding to support conservation efforts when possible. CPC also works extensively to assist organizations aspiring to become CPC Participating Institutions and works with these institutions and their staff to build capacity enabling them to achieve sustained conservation outcomes.

Here are just a few of the benefits of being part of the CPC family of Participating Institutions:

  1. Access to cutting edge tools, data, and information through our exclusive Participating Institution-only web portal.
  2. Member invitation to the annual CPC National Meeting, the country’s premier opportunity for front-line information on plant conservation science.
  3. Opportunities to receive funding through CPC National Office disbursements for seed collection, plant propagation, scientific research and more.
  4. Technical support, guidance and community, facilitated through the CPC National Office, your go to connection on how to Save Plants.

What we ask of our Participating Institutions

Expectations of CPC Participating Institutions:

  1. Work actively towards our shared goal of ending plant extinction and are expected to uphold the highest standards in scientific and professional integrity.
  2. As custodians of some of the rarest plants on the planet, Participating Institutions promote ex situ conservation of plants, advocate for living collections as safeguards in preserving plant species, and for some partners (Conservation Partners; see below), maintain living collections of endangered plants as part of the CPC National Collection.
  3. Understand the responsibility of managing imperiled plants and work with the CPC Network to ensure their long-term survival, including contribution to building the body of scientific expertise in plant conservation.
  4. Communicate the scientific understanding of plants and their vital role in global health.

Institutions, upon acceptance into the CPC Network, are assigned to one of four partner categories of Participating Institutions:

  1. Conservation Partner
  2. Research Partner
  3. Corporate Partner
  4. Network Partner

Participating Institution – Conservation Partner

Conservation Partners are 1) non-profit organizations, exempt from federal income taxes under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, 2) are primarily research gardens, arboreta, museums, zoos or other such organizations whose mission either partially or wholly concerns the conservation and appreciation of plants, and 3) must formally maintain documented ex situ collections of regionally rare taxa of conservation concern for inclusion in the CPC National Collection.

Conservation Partners must use quality, science-based principles and recognized best conservation practices in their rare plant work including those specified in the CPC Guidelines for Participating Institutions. (Examples may include public gardens and nonprofit organizations that maintain ex situ plant collections)

Participating Institution – Research Partner

Research Partners can be a variety of organizations, consortia or partnerships that are non-profit (although IRS exemption is not required), that conduct research or perform other related work that directly supports CPC mission. Whereas Conservation Partners are directly responsible for the National Collection, Research Partners often perform basic research or provide technical skills and services that support the CPC National Collection in tangible ways. (Examples may include universities and federal research labs)

Participating Institution – Corporate Partner

Corporate Partners represent a variety of for-profit companies whose corporate mission aligns with CPC vision and mission and whose affiliation with CPC represents a mutually beneficial relationship. Corporate Partners provide financial support through direct contributions and/or contribution of equipment, tools and resources useful to CPC and its Participating Institutions. (Examples may include conservation focused landscape architect firms or ecosystem restoration companies)

Participating Institution – Network Partner

Network Partners are organizations, consortia or other regional, national or international organizations whose mission overlaps significantly with CPC either by amassing ex situ conservation collections for different but complementary purposes as CPC or maintain professional memberships, partnerships or networks. (Examples could include botanical garden associations)

Conservation Partner, Research Partner

One-time Joining Fee Equal to annual fee calculated below
Annual Fees (based on institution’s annual budget)
More than US $2.5 million $1,550
$1.5-2.5 million $950
$100,000 – $750,000 $375
Less than $100,000 $100

Corporate Partner

One-time Joining Fee Equal to annual fee calculated below
Annual Fees (based on annual sales revenue)
More than US $50 million $30,000
$10 million – $50 million $20,000
$5 million – $10 million $7,500
$2 million to $5 million $3,000
$750,000 to $2 million $1,125
$500,000 – $750,000 $750
Less than $500,000 $500

Network Partner

Case by case; based on Memorandum of Understanding (MOU); often reciprocal memberships and member benefits exchanged.

CPC Participating Institution Application Process

Applying to CPC is straightforward and simple. Our goal is to accurately assess your institution’s capacity to support our shared mission to Save Plants. We review your submitted materials, your website, and other accessible information to determine your institution’s eligibility and potential role in our network. We strive to be as inclusive as possible while maintain our high standards of excellence that have made CPC so effective.

To apply, you will need to submit the following three items via email to info@saveplants.org with the subject line “Participating Institution Application: [Your Institution Name]”

  • A signed letter of intent to join CPC, normally from the board of trustees (for non-profits) or by another authorized agent for other types of organizations. We need this to know for certain you have institutional support at the highest level to join CPC.
  • Your most recently filed IRS Tax Form 990 (US non-profits only). We use this to determine what fee structure will be applied to your institution, if accepted into the network. For organizations other than US non-profits, such as Canadian charitable organizations and for-profit corporate entities, we will contact you for more financial information as needed.
  • The following completed PI Application Form

Applications can be submitted at any time, but with few exceptions, we have an annual process where applications are processed beginning in January each year. Organizations will be notified in writing before October 15 of each year along with further instructions on finalizing the application process including fees (see our PI fee structure for more details). Newly inducted PIs begin formally being part of the network as of January 1 of the year following their approval in September by the Board of Trustees.