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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Botanical Gardens & Arboreta, Environment


To inspire and educate visitors with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and worldwide biodiversity through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse.

Geographic areas served: Western Pennsylvania

Programs: The Conservatory designed and executed the new FamilyPass program beginning in 2008, designed to help the region’s underserved schoolchildren and their families embrace Phipps’ enriching and unforgettable experience by placing the garden back at the center of family life. In this two-part initiative, Phipps promotes the offer of field trip admission and transportation subsidy to schools in low-income communities through classroom outreach initiatives. After their field trips, each attending child receives a FamilyPass certificate redeemable for a complimentary group admission for up to two adults and two children. This innovative new element doubles the value of the initiative by allowing children an opportunity to share their new expertise with those closest to them, treating their parents and siblings to the wonders of the garden through a second visit to Phipps.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 4

Phipps Conservatory is one of the most loveliest gardens ever. After entering thru the LEED certified Welcome Center and viewing the Chihuly chandelier, you walk into another world, filled with all sorts of flowers and various plants from absolutely everywhere. For a volunteer, I don't consider this work @ all, but a wonderful garden oasis that brings delight to all who visit Phipps. The special flower shows throughout the seasons ensure a continuim of beautiful garden displays all year long. Indoors and outdoors, there's truly always something blooming in the gardens.
One of the newest features of Phipps is the Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL). Truly a showcare to the world that building & operating a green sustainable office building is achievable & architecturally beautiful. From the green roof to the sustainable landscaped hillside, Phipps extends it's commitment to living green by sharing the CSL with us & to all future generations. As a CSL docent, I get to share Phipps story of the CSL but als get to hear Phipps visitors green stories. Phipps is truly a world class organization, devoted to caring for all that is green (plants) & blue (our planet)!


Rating: 5

My husband and I have volunteered for Phipps for the last several years and are so proud to be even a small part of such a well-run organization whose positive influence has spanned generations. Phipps remains the "jewel of our city" for many reasons -- their many displays and events provide a wide variety for folks of all interests and ages -- toddlers to seniors -- and their attention to detail with all of these offerings transcends language. On even the greyest of days, we know we will be surrounded by beauty, interesting and accomplished folks but most especially an organization that makes you feel valuable and appreciated for even the smallest of contributions.

It was our original intent to contribute and feel good about that so imagine our utter surprise when we actually "got" more than we "gave". Thank you Phipps -- may your many success continue!!

Carmen N. Sapir
Grateful Volunteer



Rating: 5

I had a very enjoyable evening greeting and directing guests as a volunteer for Phipps' recent collaboration with the Pittsburgh Opera. This was a unique event in which opera performances were held in the conservatory rooms. All the guests had a wonderful time.