Increasing the Financial Capacity of the Continuing Education Programs at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Client: Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Faculty: John Brothers, Monte Kurs
Team: Matthew Bukirin, Ada Feng, Melissa Husby, Clara Janis, Kimberly Wittmer
Year: 2010
The Capstone team analyzed revenues and expenditures from certificate and non-certificate Continuing Education programs at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) with the goal of increasing earned income to fund the garden's general operations. The team researched adult education curricula, course pricing, instructor pay rates, and registration policies at competitor and peer institutions to determine a baseline for industry standards, with a special emphasis on certificate programs in horticulture and floral design. Interviews with other divisions at BBG increased the team's understanding of organizational culture and the interrelatedness of garden operations affecting this project. Additional considerations were added to the project's scope including the implications of the current economic crisis on present and future budgets. The team analyzed course offerings and schedules, fees, and attendance rates to identify courses and certificate programs with the highest profit margin and the highest demand by students. This analysis yielded recommendations for scheduling, pricing, and registration policies for certificate and non-certificate courses at BBG in order to maximize Continuing Education program participation and revenues while adhering to the organization's overall mission.