In March of 2021, MBG reached an agreement with the City of Mobile to provide operational support. Financial support of $150,000 annually is conditioned on increased performance by the Gardens in 6 critical areas: revenue, attendance, fund raising, capital projects, volunteer participation and prudent financial management.
At the conclusion of our FY 2020-2021 we reported the following:
- Revenue – our FY2019-20 total revenue was $619,539. Our FY2020-21 year total revenue INCREASED to $725,724
- Attendance – our Admissions for FY2019-20 was $12,000. Admissions for 2020-21 INCREASED to $32,286
- Fundraising – our FY2019-20 contributions and grants totaled $104,734. In FY 2020-21 we INCREASED our fundraising to $147,322.
- 2019-20 Capital Projects were $37,821. In FY2020-21 we added $120,119 in Capital Improvements
- Volunteer participation has been a challenge during the Covid months. Happily we have retained many volunteers, but the demographic for our typical volunteers (retired, over 65) have been the very ones who have had to step away from many activities.
- Prudent financial management – All incomes and expenses are documented in high detail through QuickBooks. All financials are reviewed monthly by the Board treasurer, Colleen Keleher CPA CGMA, who generates a Treasurers report for monthly board review and approval. An annual external financial review is performed each summer.
Endowment Fund for the Mobile Botanical Gardens
In 2021, the Mobile Botanical Gardens received a large gift from the Wayne Denson McRae Endowment Fund for educational and programming support. This seed money, managed by The Community Foundation of South Alabama, serves as the beginning of a larger fund to sustain the Gardens in perpetuity.
Match Challenge: The Wayne Denson McRae Endowment Fund for the Mobile Botanical Gardens
In addition to the initial gift of $500,000, a match challenge of an additional $250,000 has been extended from the McRae Foundation. If MBG can raise $250,000 before the summer of 2024, the Foundation will match our raised amount resulting in a $1,000,000 endowment.
Contributions can be made just to the Endowment fund or you may consider participating in a Naming Opportunity as a way to support a garden asset in addition to contributing to the endowment.
For more information on Naming Opportunities, please see the section below. If you would like to contribute strictly to the matching endowment fund, please use the link below and check the box to apply towards the endowment.
The Gardens gratefully acknowledges the following contributors to the match challenge for the Endowment Fund:
Jessica and Bill Barrick
Brenda and Harold Bolton
Stephen E. Clements
Ann and Jack Di Palma
Betty and Mack Graham
The Laidlaw Foundation
Kathy and Forrest Latta
Nella and David MacRae
Katherine and Matthew McLean
Mr. and Mrs. William McLeod
Kitty and Michael Meshad
Larry S. Miller
Vera Lynn and Randy Sheets
Judy and Rick Stout
van der Giessen Nursery
Judy and Mark Weaver
Greer and David Wilhelm
Naming Opportunities at Mobile Botanical Gardens
Naming Opportunities are categorized as 1) Existing Garden Features, 2) Existing Garden Features to be upgraded or 3) New Garden Features. Please contact us if you are interested in a naming opportunity. Please email or call the office at 251.342.0555 for more information. Click the image below to view the full list of naming opportunities.
How Naming Opportunity Funds are applied
Example: Funding the Naming Opportunity of the Crepe Myrtle Alley for $25,000.
First, the funder can decide if they wish to make the contribution fully in one payment or divide the amount over two years (completing by June 2024).
10% of the asset naming cost will be set aside in our asset management restricted fund. In the case of our example, that amount is $2,500. These funds are only accessed for specific enhancements made to the named asset.
If the funder elects to divide the naming opportunity over two years, their initial contribution is $12,500. Of that initial amount, $2,500 is directed to the asset management restricted fund and the remainder ($10,000) goes directly to the endowment fund. In year 2 the funder makes the balance payment of $12,500 and the full amount applies to the endowment. Naming of the Crepe Myrtle Alley ultimately results in $22,500 added to our endowment and $2,500 added to our asset management restricted fund.
Mobile Botanical Gardens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with public/private funding.