Mission: The Cleveland Zoological Society supports the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the variety of animal and education programs that are offered. Founded in 1957, the Society functions as the development arm for the Zoo, sharing goals of conservation education and the preservation of wildlife, making this a uniquely effective public/private partnership for the growing Cleveland community. The Zoo attracts about 1.3 million visitors every year, and membership is at 43,000 households, the largest and fastest growing cultural organization in Cleveland. In addition, the Society manages the membership program, raises 50% of the funding for capital projects, and four times a year publishes a full-color magazine about the Zoo.
Programs: The cleveland zoo society provides annual support to cleveland metroparks operating budget in the following key areas: zoo education and outreach programs; excellence in animal health and welfare; horticultural and on-grounds beautification initiatives; and superior visitor services. The zoo society's signature fundraising initiative of 2014, the circle of wildlife campaign, raised nearly $3,000,000 to help bring new life to the heart of the zoo with the creation of the carousel, nature discovery ridge and stillwater place event center. (continued on schedule o) the success of the campaign additionally allowed the zoo to jump-start updates for the giraffe deck and to develop a new hay storage facility. Additionally, the zoo society secures significant funding for shared strategic priorities such on-grounds improvements, the zoo education and workforce development initiative and international conservation partners in africa, asia and the americas that receive funding from the zoo society through a competitive awards process managed by the zoo.
the cleveland zoological society has the largest membership base in northeast ohio and member visits comprise 30% of overall zoo attendance. Zoo society members enjoy free admission to the zoo and the rainforest 363 days of the year plus discounted admission to more than 130 zoos nationwide.
zoofutures, the zoo society's planned giving fund, was established by the board of trustees in 1998 to provide consistent, stable funding for wildlife conservation initiatives and other mission-critical work not covered by the baseline operating budget. Thanks to new contributions from donors and to effective investment management, the zoofutures fund has grown to $3. 3 million dollars and generates $150,000 in spendable income each year. This annual distribution, combined with an additional $100,000 board-designated contribution, funds long-term conservation programs, competitively awarded "seed grants" for emerging conservation professionals, and projects on zoo grounds.