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Matt Stephens, Melody Gray, Edward Moydell, Julie Paul, Tree Sturman, Abby Hird, Sonya Lepper, Cate Prestowitz, Casey Sharber and Aaron Steil

The University of Delaware Botanic Gardens (UDBG) is at a critical juncture in its development. Momentum of shared interest at the University of Delaware and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources favors the Gardens' advancement as an institution. Having identified endowment planning as a critical and immediate need for UDBG, the goal of this research was to gather pertinent institutional knowledge from select university-based public gardens throughout the United States that had already created an endowment. Key staff were interviewed during the summer of 2005 at Cornell Plantations, JC Raulston Arboretum, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and the State Botanic Garden of Georgia. Valuable insights into the procurement and management of endowments within a university-based garden environment were gained through these interviews. Utilizing these results, as well as input from an advisory Task Force, specific recommendations for the University of Delaware Botanic Gardens were made from within the following topic areas: Organizational Structure, Planning, Current Strategies, The Endowment, and The Donor.

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Matthew Stephens, Aaron Steil, Melody Gray, Abby Hird, Sonya Lepper, Edward Moydell, Julie Paul, Catherine Prestowitz, Casey Sharber, Treenen Sturman and Robert E. Lyons

The University of Delaware Botanic Garden (UDBG), located in Newark, is in transition, moving from its initial founding as a public garden by dedicated faculty and a volunteer group to an organized and efficient entity with widely recognized achievements and reputation. To make this leap, UDBG is faced with the particular need for an endowment to fund its operations, staff, and collections to continue future success. An endowment will provide a steady source of monetary support to operate and maintain UDBG. This study was conducted to discover the best endowment strategies based on the experience of four other public gardens associated with universities. These interviews were compiled and compared. The resulting recommendations for UDBG are based on the following five areas: organizational structure, planning, current strategies, the endowment, and the donor. The insights into how all five of these areas affect endowments may also be beneficial to other university public horticulture entities seeking to build an endowment.