Two years ago, the Covid-19 pandemic changed the world as we knew it. The Conservatory faced one of its most difficult periods to date, but today we have great cause to be thankful. Because of your support—Monarchs, Women’s Board Members, Volunteers, Members, Visitor, Donors, Corporate and Business sponsors, grant-makers and friends—the Conservatory has returned to its pre-pandemic operating budget in 2022. This includes restoring 20 full-time positions that were lost. This is the comeback story that YOU helped us write.
When the Conservatory closed in March 2020, we anticipated a brief closure – surely no more than two or three weeks! By mid-April, our Board and leadership team faced the grim reality and made the heart-wrenching decision to lay off or furlough nearly 130 members of our staff, cancel events and cut beloved classes and programs and all their related expenses. But you supported us through it all. You helped keep us afloat with your generous gifts to matching campaigns, the Big Give, the annual fund, and to events that eventually went virtual or were rescheduled. Thank you!
Just like you, our remaining team members rose to the occasion. When we finally reopened in June 2020, they ensured that every guest experienced the much-needed beauty, peace and healing power of time spent in nature—the full experience of visiting the Conservatory—despite staff and budget reductions. Our doors have remained open ever since. As one of the only institutions in Columbus that could safely welcome guests and members during the pandemic, we heard:
“Thank you for providing a safe and wonderful space for the community.”
“We are currently on the membership for WIC/SNAP and are so happy you have it. We lost jobs due to Covid but it enables us to still go. The butterfly display is VERY important to our child.”