Better Business Bureau Report for
Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves

Better Business Bureau Report issued July 2014
Better Business Bureau Report expires July 2016

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves
Address: 1899 W. Winchester Road
  Libertyville, IL 60048
Phone: 847-698-3110
Web Address:
Also known as:Lake County Forest Preserves
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 2007, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: The Preservation Foundation is the charitable partner of the Lake County Forest Preserves, located in Lake County, IL. Founded in 2007 as a way to connect the community to the Forest Preserves’ mission, it raises funds to improve and support Lake County’s open spaces, natural areas and cultural, educational and recreational resources. Donations to the Preservation Foundation allow the Forest Preserve to initiate programs and projects that might otherwise go funded or would take many more years to complete.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves does not meet the following Standard for Charity Accountability.

Standard 8: Program Service Expense Ratio - Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves does not meet this Standard because:

  • According to the its audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, the organization spent $120,982 or 38% of its total expenses ($319,044) on program service activities.

This organization provided the following explanation:

  • "In each fiscal year, the sum of program service activities in the audited financial statement equals the sum of funds transferred to the Forest Preserve District in support of the projects for which the Foundation raises funds. The operating surplus in a fiscal year is the sum of funds that had not yet been transferred at the end of that particular fiscal year, due to the timing of transfers to the Forest Preserve. Additionally, the Foundation often raises funds for long-term capital or special projects, and those funds are held in interest-bearing accounts until the time they are needed by the Forest Preserve District. Therefore, the amount expended on program activities in any given year varies because of circumstances out of the Foundation’s control, while administration and fundraising expenses remains constant. Comparing fundraising and administrative costs to total amount raised in a given year gives a more accurate picture of the costs per dollar raised for the organization. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, the total dollars raised was $584,230."
Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves meets the remaining 19 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The organizations states that charitable donations are essential for land acquisition, habitat restoration, education programs and other special projects. Since its establishment in 2007, the Preservation Foundation has helped the Forest Preserves restore more than 1,000 acres of land, increased public access to our preserves, supported cultural programs, events and exhibitions, and provided free or reduced-cost environmental programs to tens of thousands of children.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves's program expenses were:

Grants 120,982
Total Program Expenses: $120,982
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Chief Executive : Rebekah F. Snyder, Exective Director

Highest Paid Executive: Tom Hahn,Executive Director, Lake County Forest Preserve District
Compensation*: $214,960

Chair of the Board: David F. Nelson, President
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Senior Vice President, Investments - UBS Financial Services

Board Size: 11

Paid Staff Size: 0

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, radio, grant proposals, internet
Fund raising costs were 21% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $579,388, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Contributions 384,166
In-Kind Contributions 195,222
Interest Income 252
Other Income 50
Total Income $579,690


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 38%  Fund Raising: 38%  Administrative: 24% 

Total income $579,690
Program expenses $120,982
Fund raising expenses 120,960
Administrative expenses 77,102
Total expenses $319,044
Income in Excess of Expenses 260,646
Beginning net assets 260,705
Ending net assets 521,351
Total liabilities 1,623
Total assets $522,974

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

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