Thank you to our donors who make our critical work possible. We rely on our current donors and members to contribute nearly half (43%) of our operating budget each year. The remainder is covered through the Garden’s endowment (21%), campus contributions (21%), and earned income (15%). See charts below.
We need your help to meet our mission of research, conservation, and education and to take care of our priceless collections that have been assembled over many lifetimes.
The Garden is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic. While things have certainly improved since March 2020, our projections show it will be a multiyear effort to rebound from forced closures, diverted funding, and loss of revenue from rentals. On the positive side, membership to the Garden doubled over the 2020/21 fiscal year due to a renewed sense of connection to nature and the outdoors. Loyal donors also made stretch gifts to help us weather the storm. Our outlook is good but your support is more critical than ever.
(July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021)
The information below reflects the financial activities of the Garden in the 2020/21 fiscal year. During this time period, it cost nearly $4.0 million to operate the Garden. Of that, 64% was provided by the generous past and present contributions of our donors. To see the full impact of these gifts, please download the Winter/Spring 2022 Newsletter which contains our Annual Report here.
For Donors: Frequently Asked Questions
Is UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley a 501(c)3 nonprofit?
The UC Botanical Garden is a unit of the University of California, Berkeley operating under the Tax ID of the UC Berkeley Foundation: 94-6090626. Gifts made to the UC Berkeley Foundation are tax-deductible and are used for purposes specified by the donor. For information about all gift types and FAQs visit: https://give.berkeley.edu/faq
Where should I send my donation?
For fastest processing, donors should send their checks to the UC Berkeley Foundation and indicate that the gift is for the UC Botanical Garden on accompanying paperwork, or on the memo line of their check. This is the same for gifts made via donor advised fund (DAF) or IRA distributions.
UC Berkeley Foundation / Gift Services
1995 University Avenue, Suite 400
Berkeley, CA 94704-1070
If you are making a significant contribution, please email Garden Director Dr. Lew Feldman to let him know your gift is en route: email@example.com
Can I make a donation online?
Yes! To make a one-time donation online you can via the Garden’s website or by clicking here. To make a Recurring Gift, please visit our All Ways to Give page and follow the instructions or see next question.
Can I set up a recurring gift for the Garden?
Yes, to do this go to UC Berkeley Foundation’s giving webpage and search Botanical Garden or go here.
Begin to make your gift then select “Recurring.” From there, you can select the frequency (monthly, quarterly, annually) and duration (until I cancel or until a specific date).
The Garden is unable to keep credit cards on file so we appreciate donors using UC Berkeley Foundation’s system.
In-Kind Gifts and Contributions
Donors of gifts made in-kind to the Garden will receive a letter, signed by the Director, acknowledging the receipt of the good(s) or service(s) donated. Please note that this letter will not include the dollar amount as it is not the Garden’s role to place a market value on contributions.
Instead, we encourage donors to work with their tax advisor or other professional counsel. If an in-kind contribution is valued at $5,000+ it is advised that donors procure an appraisal prepared by a qualified appraiser.
Is a portion of my gift used for administrative purposes?
A portion of your philanthropic gift, five percent, is allocated to support fundraising efforts. This level compares favorably to those at other UC schools and select institutions. One-half of this amount (two and one-half percent) is directed to fundraising operations at the school, college, or program (e.g. UC Botanical Garden) benefiting from your gift, and the other half to further investments in development campus-wide. Your support enables us to contribute to renewing the University’s public mission and world-class excellence for generations to come.
Are there any benefits associated with my gift?
Gifts made anywhere on campus count toward participation in The Charter Hill Society, Berkeley’s annual giving recognition program. In addition, the Garden has its own donor recognition programs.
For more information about the Garden’s donor recognition programs, please contact Garden Director Dr. Lew Feldman at (510) 643-8999.
For more information about The Charter Hill Society, its tiers and benefits, and other campus recognition programs, please visit The Charter Hill Society website.
What is the Garden’s operating budget?
The Garden’s operating budget in FY 20/21 was nearly $4.0 million but now that we are approaching full staffing and resumed services, it will be closer to $4.2 million.
What percentage of your budget goes to program?
The Garden spends 64% of its income on Collection care and garden experience and 10% on education and outreach, totaling 74%. This is on par with other gardens, zoos, and aquariums. Other expenses include membership services, marketing, development, administration, management, and general. All expenses directly support the Garden’s mission.
What percentage of your budget comes from memberships? Private gifts? Corporate? Foundations? University?
While finances fluctuate over time depending on external circumstances including the pandemic, below you can find this information for the most recent fiscal year FY 20/21:
INCOME – $3,450,685
Gifts & Membership …… 43%
Endowments ……………… 21%
Campus Support ………… 21%
Earned Revenue …………. 15%
EXPENSES – $3,905,794
Collection Care &
Garden Experience ……………. 64%
Management & General ……… 13%
Education & Outreach ……….. 10%
Development & Marketing …. 9%
Membership Services …………. 4%