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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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.