BBB Charity Review

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BBB Reliability Report for

Butterfly Pavilion

Original Business Start Date: 07/01/1995

A BBB Accredited Charity since 01/14/2009.

This BBB Accredited Charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability and is a Seal Holder.
BBB issues Charity Reports on all organizations, whether or not they are BBB accredited. If an organization is a BBB Accredited Charity, it is stated in this report.
Name: Butterfly Pavilion
Phone: (303) 469-5441
Address: 6252 W. 104th Ave.
Westminster, CO 80020
Report Creation Date: September 4, 2015
Report Expiration Date: September 4, 2017
Original Business Start Date: July 1995
Principal: Lisa Fairlee, Director of Marketing
Customer Contact: Lisa Fairlee, Director of Marketing
Entity: Corporation
Incorporated: January 1994, CO
Type of Business: Charity - Local, Charity - Animal Protection, Charity - Education & Literacy
BBB Accreditation: This organization is a BBB Accredited Charity.

Stated Purpose

Butterfly Pavilion Mission
Our mission is to foster an appreciation of invertebrates while educating the public about the importance of conservation of threatened habitats in the tropics and around the world.

Butterfly Pavilion Vision
We believe that an appreciation of the environment begins with an appreciation of all living things. Every day we teach the young and old alike!

Evaluation Conclusions

This organization has been evaluated according to the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. This organization meets all those Standards and is a BBB Accredited Charity.

BBB Charity Seal Participation

Charities that meet the Standards for Charity Accountability are eligible to participate in BBB Wise Giving Alliance Charity Seal program. The seal, which can be displayed on the charity's web site and in printed materials, helps inform the public that the charity meets these standards. This organization participates in this program.


Butterfly Pavilion opened its doors in July of 1995 as the first freestanding butterfly house and invertebrate zoo in the United States. In 2014, they became accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as the first stand-alone invertebrate zoo. Butterfly Pavilion indicates it serves over 300,000 guests per year, both onsite and offsite.

Butterfly Pavilion recently opened a new exhibit, Invertebrate World, which showcases the diversity of invertebrates around the world. It includes an exploratory Dug Out, in which visitors can dig through the dirt to find worms and pillbugs.

Additionally, a variety of live invertebrates from around the globe can be found throughout the facility, including marine invertebrates and a 7,000 square foot rainforest which is home to more than 1,500 butterflies.

Education programs at Butterfly Pavilion are developed around educational methodology predicated upon full-immersion, experiential techniques that permits visitors close-up, hands-on animal encounters. The Pavilion offers scholarship opportunities for admission assistance as well as transportation assistance for the underserved, disadvantaged residents of Colorado.

Total Program Expenses:$2,660,269


Chief Executive Officer:Patrick Tennyson
Chair of the Board:Rob O'Dea
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation:President, Barracuda M.A.D., LLC
Board Size:10
Paid Staff Size:37 Full Time. 34 Part Time.

Fund Raising

Method(s) Used:Grant proposals and Internet appeals.

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.


According to Butterfly Pavilion's Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2011:

 Total Income:$3,394,380
Expenses  % of total
% of total
 Programs:$2,660,269 72.27%78.37%
 Fund Raising:$151,795 4.12%4.47%
 Administrative:$506,371 13.76%14.92%
 Other:$362,447 9.85%10.68%
 Total Expenses:$3,680,882
* Excess of Expenses over Income$286,502
Ending Net Assets:$3,514,894

* Excess for the year indicates the portion of income remaining after expenses.


BBB processed a total of 1 complaint about this organization in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period.

Service Complaints
 1  The organizations addressed the complaint issues brought to its attention

Charity Licensing

All charitable organizations soliciting contributions in Colorado -- with a few specific exceptions listed in the Charitable Solicitations Act at 6-16-104(6)(a)-(c), C.R.S. -- must submit an initial registration statement with the Secretary of State and receive a registration number. After the initial registration, annual registration statements must be renewed each year by the 5th day of the fifth month after the close of the organization’s fiscal year. In addition, all solicitation campaigns utilizing paid solicitors as defined at 6-16-103(7), C.R.S. must be listed on separate Solicitation Notices, which should be filed online by the paid solicitor.

An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. Please understand that a BBB report is furnished solely to assist donors in making their own judgment. This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes. Copyright 2006, BBB.

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Industry Tips

Charitable Giving Tips

Whether charitable organizations use their employees, volunteers or professional fund- raisers to solicit donations by phone, mail, or in person, consider the following precautions to ensure that your donation dollars benefit the people and programs you want to help.

-Ask for written information, including the charity's name, address, and telephone number. A legitimate charity or fund- raiser will give you materials outlining the charity's mission, how your donation will be used, and proof that your contribution is tax deductible.

-Ask for identification. Many states require paid fund-raisers to identify themselves as such and to name the charity for which they're soliciting. If the solicitor refuses, hang up and report it to local law enforcement officials.

-Call the charity. Find out if the organization is aware of the solicitation and has authorized the use of its name. If not, you may be dealing with a fraudulent solicitor.

-Watch out for similar sounding names. Some phony charities use names that closely resemble those of respected, legitimate organizations.

-Know the difference between "tax exempt" and "tax deductible." Tax exempt means the organization doesn't have to pay taxes. Tax deductible means you can deduct your contribution on your federal income tax return. Even though an organization is tax exempt, your contribution may not be tax deductible. If deductibility is important to you, ask for a receipt showing the amount of your contribution and stating that it is tax deductible.

-Know that a 501(c)(3) organization must make a copy of its annual returns, (Form 990 or Form 990EZ) for the last three years and its exempt status application and supporting documents available for you to view during business hours.

-Be skeptical if someone thanks you for a pledge you don't remember making. If you have any doubt whether you've made a pledge or previously contributed, check your records. Be on the alert for invoices claiming you've made a pledge when you know you haven't. Some unscrupulous solicitors use this approach to get your money.

-Ask how your donation will be distributed. How much will go to the program you want to support, and how much will cover the charity's administrative costs? If a professional fund-raiser is used, ask how much it will keep.

-Refuse high pressure appeals. Legitimate fund-raisers won't push you to give on the spot.

-Be wary of charities offering to send a courier to collect your donation immediately.

-Consider the costs. When buying merchandise or tickets for special events, or when receiving free goods in exchange for giving, remember that these items cost money and generally are paid for out of your contribution. Although this can be an effective fund-raising tool, less money may be available for the charity.

-Be wary of guaranteed sweepstakes winnings in exchange for a contribution. You never have to donate anything to be eligible to win.

-Avoid cash gifts that can be lost or stolen. For security and tax record purposes, it's best to pay by check. Use the official full name of the charity - not initials - on your check. Avoid solicitors who want to send a courier or use an overnight delivery service to pick up your donation.

More information:

ID: 3003462
Report as of November 26, 2015 07:09
Copyright© 2015 Better Business Bureau

An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. Donors must decide for themselves the significance of any variation from BBB Standards, taking into account the relative importance of the practice in question in the context of the organization's total performance.

This report reflects the results of an evaluation of informational materials provided voluntarily by the organization. The report is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgement.

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