Better Business Bureau Report for
Houston Ballet Foundation

Better Business Bureau Report issued December 2013
Better Business Bureau Report expires December 2014

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Houston Ballet Foundation
Address: 601 Preston St
  Houston, TX 77002
Phone: 713-523-6300
Web Address:
Also known as:Houston Ballet
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1955, Texas
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: To inspire a lasting love and appreciation for dance through artistic excellence, exhilarating performances, innovative choreography and superb educational programs. In furtherance of our mission, we are committed to maintaining and enhancing our status as: • A classically trained company with a diverse repertory whose range includes the classics as well as contemporary works. • A company that attracts the world’s best dancers and choreographers and provides them with an environment where they can thrive and further develop the art form. • An international company that is accessible to broad and growing local, national, and international audiences. • A company with a world-class Academy that provides first rate instruction for professional dancers and meaningful programs for non-professional dancers. • A company with state of the art facilities for performances, rehearsals, and ongoing operations.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Houston Ballet Foundation meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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As the fourth largest ballet company in the US, the Houston Ballet Foundation opened the largest dancing facility in the nation where it operates two major programs: The Houston Ballet Company and The Houston Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy. During the 2011-2012 season, The Houston Ballet Company offered over 75 performances at the Wortham Theater and 25 performances on other outside stages and reached a total audience of 169,875 people. In addition, there were 18,300 attendees at free, or primarily free, performances at the Miller Theater and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. With a 20% increase enrollment in the year-round program, Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy offers a program designed to take students from their first introduction to the ballet through a full course of ballet study. Over 500 students take classes in technique, pointe work, pas de deux, men's technique, character dance and music. The academy also held auditions in 13 cities to choose intermediate and advanced level students from around the United States and abroad for its six-week summer intensive program. The most gifted students from the Summer Intensive Program are invited to remain at the academy on a year-round basis. Houston Ballet Academy received over 1200 auditioning dancers for its Summer Intensive Program. Other Outreach and Education activities include Studio A, Student Matinee Performances, HBII, and Docent Visits to Schools. The Houston Ballet 2012-2013 Performance Impact includes; 77 Performances, 30 performances at Wortham Theater, 39 performances on other stages and the total audience at 173,571. The Global Reach includes; Chicago, Ottawa, Toronto, Lausanne, Australia, 3 World Premieres, 3 Houston Premieres, 900 volunteers with over 3500 volunteer hours.

For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013, Houston Ballet Foundation's program expenses were:

Production and company 15,759,923
Ballet Academy 2,605,472
Total Program Expenses: $18,365,395
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Chief Executive : James Nelson, Executive Director

Highest Paid Executive: Stanton Welch,Artistic Director
Compensation*: $242,736

Chair of the Board: Mr. Karl S. Stern, Chairman Board of Trustees
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Co-Chair, Litigation Department, Vinson & Elkins, LLP

Co-Chair of the Board : Mr. James M. Jordan, President Board of Trustees

Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Division-Director-Legal at Macquarie Bank Limited

Board Size: 106

Paid Staff Size: 135

*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, telephone, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements
Fund raising costs were 8% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $11,625,869, 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 Houston Ballet Foundation's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

Source of Funds  
Performance 8,539,827
Special events 7,168,215
Public and Private Support 4,457,654
Tuition 2,203,483
Investment 1,223,378
Other 904,088
Total Income $24,496,645


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 76%  Fund Raising: 4%  Administrative: 8%  Other Expenses: 12%

Total income $24,496,645
Program expenses $18,365,395
Fund raising expenses 878,298
Administrative expenses 1,813,689
Other Expenses 2,857,719
Total expenses $23,915,101
Income in Excess of Expenses 581,544
Beginning net assets 94,516,157
Ending net assets 104,508,075
Total liabilities 10,835,756
Total assets $115,343,831

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The BBB has processed no complaints about this organization in the past 36 months, our standard reporting period.

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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.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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