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Today we posted the 2016 audited financial statements of the non-profit Greenway Conservancy following their approval by our volunteer Board of Directors. Every year independent auditors review our books, and they again offered a “clean opinion.”

We talked with our Director of Finance and Administration, Renee Wood, about the audit.

Q: What is an audit?

A: Most people are intimidated by the word “audit,” but at The Greenway we love sharing our financial story with the publicEvery year we have an independent third party come in and review our books; for 2016, this was AAF CPAs. As certified auditors, they test our accounting system and review our entries to ensure we are complying with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. The auditors review that donations are spent consistent with any agreed upon restrictions, that financial reporting is accurate, and that controls are in place to ensure there’s no fraud or mismanagement. Their final report contains our annual financial statements, true and fair representations of our organization.

 

Q: Can you give an overview of the 2016 financials?

A: 2016 was a financially successful year for The Greenway. Over 62% of total revenue that supported our public park in 2016 came from the private sector. The ever-popular Greenway Gala fundraising event and the second year of our young professional event, Glow in the Park, grew to $423K (net). Earned income continued its strong growth trajectory, nearing a million dollars last year!  Unseasonably good New England weather propelled Greenway Carousel ticket sales to record levels, while additional Mobile Eats food truck offerings in a stronger rent market also boosted income.  MassDOT continued to provide ~$2M in cash for maintaining and repairing the park’s hardscape and horticulture. And finally, our investments generated $850K of income from the fundraised endowment, of which we drew $638K for operations in accordance with our sustainable investment policy.

Street Piano at the Greenway Carousel

Street Piano at the Greenway Carousel

Programmatic expenses represented 84% of the total $5.23M in operating expenses. Major programmatic expense categories include our organic landscape care, excellent park maintenance, 400+ free public programs, and remarkable public art installations. Administrative expenditures remained low in 2016, as we implemented cost saving measures in office overhead. Fundraising expenses were also slightly lower due to a part-year vacancy in a senior position (now filled!)

 

Q: Renee, what’s your favorite part of The Greenway?

A:  The staff!  Seriously, the park is great because of the people that make the magic happen. World-class gardens weaving through an urban environment are enjoyed by many because of our dedicated horticultural team.  The Rings Fountain has been referred to as the “happiest place in Boston” thanks to the maintenance crew’s diligent efforts.  Our public art curator enlivens the park with ever-evolving displays of whimsy and challenging perspectives. All those fun and free events are dreamed and delivered by our programs department. And where would we be without the fundraisers to support it all?  It’s this fun group of creative individuals who give their time and talent that make The Greenway so spectacular.

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Renee with her children in our Wharf District Parks

 

As part of our commitment to transparency, you can find 8 years of Conservancy audits, tax filings, and annual reports at www.rosekennedygreenway.org/documents