CLEVELAND BOTANICAL GARDEN

Rating: 2.33 stars   3 reviews

Issues: Environment

Location: 11030 East Blvd Cleveland OH 44106 USA

Mission:

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Community Reviews

Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I happened to look at the reviews for the Botanical Garden and noted that one indicated the highest level and another indicated the lowest. in ratings. I thought that very interesting; usually the result of a disgruntled visitor or employee.

However, when I reviewed the file on Guidestar; the reviews submitted were even more interesting. When exploring the 990s for 2011 and 2012, it seems the Botanical Garden Board of Trustees has totally ignored their fiduciary responsibility for the fiscal viability of this historical and important local organization.

In 2011, the 990 for the Botanical Garden indicated a loss of almost $1 million dollars in their operating budget. More striking, was a loss of more than $2 million in 2012. Yet, when one reviews the compensation for highest paid employees - the Executive Director earned a salary of $117,287 in 2011 with an increase of 16% in 2012 to $136,074. How does that compute; a small nonprofit organization loses millions - more than $3 million in just 2 years on a budget of from $6 to 7 million and yet, compensates its senior executive with an increase of 16% from 2011 to 2012 - and, when customarily compensation increases in today's economic climate are from 1 - 3%.

This kind of behavior on the part of a governing body is unconscionable. This is an organization that relies upon our tax dollars, through the county Arts Tax, in part, to sustain its operations. The Board, as well as their highly paid Executive Director have clearly thumbed their collective noses at the tax payors and most importantly, at the organization for which they were appointed to lead and maintain. Shame!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Appoint volunteer leadership who were focused on the health of the organization and not on the aggrandizement of its paid leadership.

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

No

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Badly

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

The Botanical Gardens is a very great organization and I enjoyed being there. The Gardens are beautiful and it was fun and healthy to be around nature. Botanical Gardens focuses on their customer service and takes matters like that seriously. Everyone was very friendly and they never failed to put a smile on my face.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

This is an institution that epitomizes how non-profit organizations generate negative stereotypes for the sector. The compensation allocated to the 4 top employees indicates salaries that represent more than 13.2% of the operating budget. Typically the benchmark for non-profits is 12% of the operating budget allocated to the full/overall administration of the organization, but 13.2% to senior staff salaries is unconscionable.

One must wonder where is the Board in its fudiciary responsibility of an organization that is clearly experiencing financial difficulties, but continues to fund individual staff members rather than focus its resources on the mission and operations of a historical organization such as this.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have visited the Garden and noted the decline of the exhibits and the building while wondering what was happening and how the mission would continue to be served, given current financial challenges.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

First review best practices for the financial management and structure of non-profit orgaizations and then develop a realistic business plan that would ensure the future financial viability of the organization.

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Review from Guidestar