June 17, 2010

Reiman Gardens enjoys financial success in FY10

As fiscal year 2010 winds down, Reiman Gardens announced this week that both its admissions and gift shop sales have set revenue records. So, even with a 40 percent reduction in university funding, the gardens balanced its budget and will end FY10 with a small surplus. Garden leaders attribute the successful year to four factors:

  • The popular dinosaur and gnome displays sparked revenue increases from daily admissions and 200 new memberships. The displays bring many repeat visitors and create sponsorship opportunities for donors.
  • Generous support and participation from members and volunteers have had a big impact. Volunteer hours increased and new membership materials and benefits increased this important income stream.
  • Keeping the butterfly wing open during the winter proved to be a financial benefit. Attendance figures more than tripled over the winter, but there was no additional increase in labor because staff and volunteers handled all winter docent duties.
  • Careful gift shop management has dramatically increased revenue. Gift shop income is projected to increase more than 55 percent this year.

Speaking of gnomes

Gardens staff's call for additional "personalized" small gnomes last month for the gnome exhibition in the Stafford Garden resulted in 26 more gnomes painted or decorated by central Iowa community organizations and individuals. Those are being added to the exhibition as they arrive and join the original group of 24 gnomes.

The gardens also is selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a Fred Hoiberg gnome, sporting Hoiberg's No. 32 Cyclone basketball jersey. Tickets for the 65-pound concrete gnome are $5 each or three for $10; the drawing will be Aug. 27.