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Arbor Day Foundation

CharityWatch report issued
April 2024

CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Arbor Day Foundation
211 North 12th Street
Suite 501
Lincoln, NE 68508

Other Names

National Arbor Day Foundation

Tax Status


Stated Mission

To engage in educational & charitable activities including officially promoting the annual observance of Arbor Day; inspiring people to plant, nurture & celebrate trees; stimulating a worldwide program of tree & horticultural planting & care; advancing nature education & environmental education; and maintaining Arbor Day Farm, the estate of Arbor Day's founder, J. Sterling Morton.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2023

Program Percentage: 70%

The percentage of Arbor Day Foundation's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $27

How many dollars Arbor Day Foundation spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Joint Costs

Arbor Day Foundation's rating was adjusted for Joint Costs. If you are a donor who considers direct mail, telemarketing, and other Joint Cost solicitations to be true charitable programs, the below efficiency ratios, which were not adjusted for joint costs, may better reflect your goals.

Program % Cost to Raise $100
75% $19
Accounting rules allow charities to report some telemarketing, direct mail, and other solicitation costs as Program expenses. CharityWatch believes that most donors do not consider a charity's solicitation activities to be the Programs they are intending to support with their donations. We therefore adjust such expenses out of a charity's reported Program expense and add it to Fundraising expense prior to calculating its rating.

Government Funding

0% to 24%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Arbor Day Foundation IRS Form 990 23-7169265
Arbor Day Foundation Audited Financial Statements 23-7169265
Entity: Arbor Day Foundation
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 23-7169265
Entity: Arbor Day Foundation
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 23-7169265

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
Arbor Day Foundation
meets governance benchmarks.
Arbor Day Foundation
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy

  Name Title Compensation
1 Dan Lambe CEO $463,190
2 Paul Cooper CIO $254,051
3 Katie Loos President $253,550
Name: Dan Lambe
Title: CEO
Compensation: $463,190
Name: Paul Cooper
Title: CIO
Compensation: $254,051
Name: Katie Loos
Title: President
Compensation: $253,550

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation's. tax filing of June 30, 2023, IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Part IV, Business Transactions Involving Interested Persons:

Matt Harris was paid $72,000 by the Arbor Day Foundation. The "Relationship between interested person and the organization" is reported as "Former Officer." The "Description of Transaction" is reported as "Independent contractor-strategic advice and transition services".

According to the Arbor Day Foundation audit of June 30, 2023 (Note U, Subsequent Events):

"On September 14, 2023, the U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded the Foundation $50,000,000 under the Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program."

According to the Arbor Day Foundation tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, Arbor Day Foundation reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):

Regarding nonfixed payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 5):

"One individual received an incentive payment based on revenues from corporate partners, which resulted in an incentive payment of $21,250"

"One individual received an incentive payment based on both the revenues and net earnings of the organization which resulted in an incentive payment of $16,875."

Regarding nonfixed payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 6):

"One individual received an incentive payment based on the ratio of expenses to revenues at Arbor Day Farm, which resulted in an incentive payment of $10,000."

"One individual received an incentive payment based on both the revenues and net earnings of the Organization which resulted in an incentive payment of $16,875."

National Arbor Day Foundation does not report on the designated lines of its fiscal 2023 tax filing (Form 990, Schedule J, Column B(ii), "Bonus & Incentive Compensation") which specific employees received such incentive compensation.

According to the Arbor Day Foundation audit of June 30, 2023 (Note N, Commitments):

"The Foundation had open commitments to purchase reforestation carbon credits in the amount of $17,325,000 and to purchase trees in the amount of $7,720,367 as of June 30, 2023. All are expected to be paid during the year ending June 30, 2024."

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