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National Arbor Day Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Environmental Beautification

Mission: The purpose of the corporation shall be to engage in educational and charitable activities including offically promoting the annual observance of arbor day, inspiring people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees, stimulating a world-wide program of tree and horticultural planting and care, advancing nature education and environmental education, and maintaining arbor day farm, the estate of arbor day's founder, j. Sterling morton.

Programs: Trees for america - the foundation's signature program distributes millions of trees each year across america, helps replant forests, and teaches the importance of trees.

arbor day youth education - the foundation promotes arbor day, america's oldest environmental holiday, and offers nature education programs to reconnect children with nature to inspire the next generation of tree planters and environmental stewards.

arbor day farm - this national historic landmark is home to lied lodge & conference center, innovative conservation demonstrations, and the arbor day farm tree adventure.

Community Stories

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I ordered trees for our school and was promised delivery for Arbor Day. Arbor Day was approaching and there was no delivery. When I contacted them they said there was a delay and shipping wouldn't occure until 17 days after. I told them this was not acceptable. They pretty much said "Tough Luck". I contacted them via email and told them I wanted them immediately. I got the run around. I called and said I wanted a refund. They still wanted to charge me shipping even though the trees were never shipped. Do not do business with these crooks. There are better places to get trees from with better customer service. They refuse to let you talk to a supervisor. They refuse to follow the law. So... I'm taking them to court just to cost them the added expenses. NEVER do business with this place. Unethical.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Got an invitation to join and a list of trees and benefits I would recieve. I got trees about 10 months later that were totally dead the roots were rotted. Now this could have been caused by the USPS I don't know who is to blame. In that 10 months I recieved all kinds of mail from the foundation bumming money and trying to sell me more trees. Since I hadn't yet received the original order why would I possibly want to spend more money not knowing if they would also not arrive. Not a good experience.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I purchased 15 privet hedges in the spring, eight of which died. When I called, they said that they would replace them in the fall. They showed up a month after the ground was frozen, needless to say the replacements also died. When I called again, they more or less said "to bad" we only replace them once. I wish I had read all of the negative reviews, before I tried to purchase anything from them.

2

Donor

Rating: 4

I am sad for the negative experiences people have had with Arbor Day. Our personal experience has been very positive. We joined a couple of years ago, both to help a good cause and to get some trees for our new house. They arrived as promised, several months after our donation, at the appropriate time for planting. Most of them have lived and I take responsibility for the ones that didn't - I'm not a natural gardener! We have not ordered any additional plants from their catalog but do continue to support their efforts. We have received regular updates and newsletters but not an overwhelming amount of communications. As a former development officer for nonprofits, I understand the need to regularly ask for donations. Overall we have been very pleased and are happy to support the vital work they do.

Review from Guidestar

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

We received a letter from this group saying we were "selected" for a special deal on trees ?? We ordered the trees, sent them the funds and then received a notice that they would ship them in the beginning of Nov. which would be the proper time to plant them, It's New Years and haven't received anything !! Considering they deal in numerous states, we are filing a complaint with the Federal Attorney General, Consumer Fraud Division. They need to lose their " non-profit" status. Reading all the complaints and scams this group is committing, people need to get together and file a class action suit. One thing for sure, we'll NEVER do business with them again !!!

4

Donor

Rating: 1

In August 2020 I received one of many of Arbor Day Foundations mailing asking for a $15 donation. It went on to say if I donated $15.00 I would receive healthy trees. Weeks went by, then months. I contacted them in October asking where my trees are and got a reply they would be shipped in Nov or Dec.
So I waited and I dug holes and planned for an area to put my trees when they came. It will be January in two days and I never received any trees, however, they did send me an additional two mail packets asking for more money in that time span.
For an organization that is supposed to help with trees, they sure do more than their share of using paper needlessly.
I remember my parents giving to the Arbor Day Foundation. They used to be a great organization. They are corrupt now and no one should give them a dime anymore. Look up how much the CEO makes. Listen to people like me that have been taken by this group. They run a scam and I have a canceled check to prove it.

5

Donor

Rating: 1

This is a scam! Beware! They promise free trees with any donation. Then after yiu donate. They send you a sevind letter staing you get ine free tree with each additional order you make. Therefore it is not free! I thought it seemed odd that a place claiming to be concerned about trees was using so much paper made from trees!

5

Donor

Rating: 1

A truly negligent and dishonest group. I have been a donor for years simply to promote the cause. They promise ten trees with the donation, which is not why I was donating, but if they are promising it, they should stick to their word. I am done with this group.

5 James W.6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

We ordered 15 cedars and a magnolia. This is the condition they arrived in...browned off and nearly dead. We asked for replacements, and got the same thing! Will never do business with their so-called nursery again.

6 Cary S.

Client Served

Rating: 1

DESPICABLE COMPANY..... DO NOT buy your trees from Arbor Day Foundation !!!!! 4 out of 10 types of trees which I purchased turned out to be the cheaper destructive undesirable varieties which weren't even shown to be sold on their website..... [see 4 pics below}
I nurtured these trees for 5 to 8 years & grew them between 25 feet to 30 ft tall, before the differences became evident..."THORNLESS" ? honey locust has huge Harpoon like Thorns all over, some as long as 2 and 1/2 inches and hard as a rock.....crepe myrtles were Native variety definitely not the hybrid that I was promised and ordered...Chinese Elm which I ordered turned out to be the Siberian elm...and they're "free" ? Red Maple which they promise with larger orders turned out to be a silver leaf maple...the last two mentioned are about eight to nine feet from the concrete at the top of my driveway on either side...the varieties I ordered are very minimally destructive toward concrete... The ones they sent me are extremely destructive toward concrete...
But hey!!!... "No problem" !!! ... according to Arbor Day Foundation!!... They're happy to send me 18 in tall Replacements that are as big around as a pencil... Problem solved!!!!
" NOT" problem solved, since everything that you order from them is like a crap shoot .......a total of 8 wrong mature trees in my yard... That's no philanthropic company just going about to do good for their beloved customers???

7

Donor

Rating: 1

Like others, I received a survey and an offer of "free for a donation" saplings. I really don't understand what qualifies NADF as a not-for-profit. Their "non-selling" of saplings seems to be their main focus.

If you are concerned about deforestation, there are organizations out there who actually make a difference. If you're looking for saplings, there is no shortage of mail order nurseries with excellent reputations.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

If they think the silly questions in their survey can save a tree they are "barking up the wrong tree"! Just think how many trees can be saved if you stop using tons of paper begging for dollars. Shame on you!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Received a packet from arbor Day Foundation today the 20th of sept. 2016. Asking for 10
dollar donation by the 7th day of sept 2016. What is going on is this a scam. checked the address on computer not the same address, now am wondering is this real. Would Gladly donate the ten dollars to a really true company such as arbor day foundation but something is fishy.

6

Donor

Rating: 1

I sent contribution and requested 2 (two) BEAR TOTES (twin grandsons) you sent seedling trees - I can NEVER get to live. I send contribution YEARLY!! Not Happy about my last request.
Frances Dennis

17

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I read some of the comments about the 2013 survey. Yes, it is a bit simple and so on, but it is an opportunity to start the conversation off rather that simply saying "give us some money". They do offer some small trees that might be valuable to contributors. Instead of "bad mouthing" the organization, I consulted Guidestar that offers in-depth information about a million charitable organizations. Based on the 2012 IRS Form 990 The National Arbor Day Foundation supports many good causes, their officers are not overpaid and their administrative costs are reasonable. The total administrative and fund raising expenses total about 10%, which is reasonable. I have seen instances of what appear to be worthwhile organizations with great sounding titles, yet they spend 25%-30% or more of their total expense budget with a contract service to solicit funds. The description of the worthwhile contributions this organization supports are well worth public support. Enough said!

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

I recently received a mailing labeled as the 2013 New Jersey Tree Survey. Seriously packaged, complete with a "Participant Number" on the front. But the survey itself was just 16 silly questions... things like "Have you ever climbed a tree?" It was obviously an attempt to tug the heart strings and package a fund-raising pitch as something else. That duplicity bothered me enough to consult GuideStar.

I might have responded well to something more direct and honest, and seeing that others felt the same way, I decided to write this review. There's more than a little irony when an organization dedicated to saving trees sends such a paper-intense communication, which included a calendar, various coupons and personalized return address labels. Please!

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

I was a former donor to National Arbor Day Foundation and still believe that it serves a worthy cause. However, I was a bit disappointed in their recent mailing to me (2013 Forest Survey - Texas) that indicated that I had "been selected as part of a representative sampling of Texas residents to participate in this year's survey." Additionally, to "thank me" I would receive 4 free gifts. The survey was very shallow and was important to their donation marketing, I suppose (my demographics, whether I visited forests or National Parks, whether I thought the pecan was a good choice as Texas' state tree, etc.). I expected questions about how Texas was affected by the current drought, or whether I noticed signs of recovery from recent wildfires throughout the state. But, apparently it was mostly about the ten dollars that I would need to donate to get my "free gifts". I would rather have been asked to donate without the marketing survey disguised as a "forest survey," or at least, indicate clearly that their purpose is to survey to improve their marketing outreach. A forthright approach would have been much better. Their approach cost them my donation.

Review from CharityNavigator

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Duplicitous marketing. The net takeaway from their recent mailing was that it was somehow sanctioned by New York State; they used the state logo in their return address. They were also giving away "free" trees and plants, but they were available only if a donation was made. A legitimate organization wouldn't resort to such sleaze, in my opinion.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a member of NADF for several years. I applaud the work that they do to restore our national forests devistated by wild fires. Their mission to plant and encourage others to plant is vital to our wild life and our protection of the environment.