Thank you! It is because of your support, our Friends and park fans, that we had another significant year working to care, renew, and advocate for the Boston Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue Mall. Your support allowed us to invest $1,096,135 this year alone to provide what our parks require, above what the City can contribute.
We believe that advocacy and care must go hand in hand. You have made it possible for the Friends to advocate for the protection and improvement of our greenspaces. While we lost the battle to prevent the Winthrop Square development exemption from the state shadow laws protecting the Common and Garden, we succeeded in gaining the City’s commitment to engage in both a master plan for the Common and a comprehen- sive planning study for Downtown. The year began with 175,000 people coming together on the Common for the Women’s March, the first of many demonstrations illustrating the central importance of the Common as the irreplaceable heart of Boston’s political and civic life. One of our signature events, Duckling Day, was sadly canceled due to inclement weather, while Making History on the Common engaged over 1,000 Boston elementary school children, despite the rain, in a fun-filled, interactive day during which they learned about more than 1,000 years of history that have unfolded on or near the Common.
It was an important year in the Public Garden with the completion of our latest capital project, the restoration of the George Robert White Memorial fountain which now flows once again, after decades of being dry. It is hard to believe it has been 30 years since China Altman started the Rose Brigade, in whose honor we commissioned a hybrid rose to be named after her, and with due ceremony planted in the Ether rose bed.
While we provide vital care for the trees and lawns, sculptures and fountains, thanks to concerned and dedicated Friends like you, we must continue to fight against threats like damaging shadows or overuse of the Common for special events, as well as concerns about safety in our Downtown parks. As you know, this was my first year as Board chair and I am honored, with Liz, to advance the Friends’ mission for excellence of care along with proactive advocacy for parks protection. We are so thankful for Friends like you, who make all of this important work possible!
Leslie and Liz
|Contributions, Grants & Bequests||560||482|
|Development & Public Events||728||524|
|Endow. Draw &Temp. Rest. Assets||859||990|
|Parks Care — Common, Garden & Mall||$1,040||$1,027|
|Personnel & Overhead||355||399|
|Total Program Services||$1,585||$1,539|
|Personnel & Overhead||334||322|
|Trans. to Endow. & Temp. Restr. Assets||$(600)||$(445)|
|Cash & Cash Equivalents||$716||$943|
|Pledges & Accounts Receivable||644||53|
|Total Current Assets||$1,394||$1,022|
|Property & Equipment||817||848|
|LIABILITIES & NET ASSETS|
|Accounts Payable & Accruals||$117||$169|
|Total Net Assets||$23,269||$18,656|
|Total Liabilities & Net Assets||$23,705||$19,377|
Notes to Operating Results and Statements of Financial Position
It was a very successful year financially. Total Support was $1.9 million, over $300,000 higher than the $1.6 million received in 2016. The very successful Green & White Gala brought in a record-breaking $700,000, $200,000 above budget. In addition, tree and bench sponsorships exceeded budget by over $100,000. The rolling three-year average of our investments, measured at September 30, 2017, decreased slightly from $17.2 million to $17.1 million. Income from Temporarily Restricted Assets also decreased mainly due to the smaller pool of funds available from the previous year. Total Income rose 8% to a new high of $2.8 million.
Total Expenses for 2017 were 3% higher than 2016. While Parks Care spending increased only slightly compared to 2016, over the last five years we have averaged an increase of 11% annually. Total Personnel & Overhead expenses increased by almost 4% mainly due to the full year salaries of the two new staff positions hired in 2016. We transferred $600,000 to Temporarily Restricted Funds, split $150,000 each to the Common, Garden and Mall Funds to be used in 2018, plus $150,000 to the Shaw Memorial Fund, needed for the upcoming renovation project. We ended the year with a small surplus, just as in 2016.
Investment performance for 2017 was 17.9%. While slightly below our benchmark for the year, it was ahead of the benchmark for the five and ten year periods. Our endowment is in the top 25% of the Cambridge Associates universe of endowments of less than $100 million. The increase in Pledges Receivable is due to the successful fundraising for the Henry and Joan Lee Sculpture Endowment. Our goal of raising $2.5 million was reached during 2017. Lastly, due to the very positive cash flow generated during the year, we were able to make $200,000 in additional principal payments on our mortgage.