The mission of the Oregon Zoo Foundation is to foster community pride and involvement in the Oregon Zoo and to secure financial support for the zoo’s conservation, education and animal welfare programs. Contributions to the foundation are helping to create a better future for wildlife.
About our endowment funds
In 2014, the Oregon Zoo Foundation Board of Trustees formally adopted three new endowment funds to provide support in perpetuity for the Oregon Zoo’s strategic initiatives in conservation, education and animal welfare. Endowment gifts are especially meaningful because they create permanent funds where the principal of the gift is continually invested to generate earnings.
The Oregon Zoo Foundation is also pleased to announce the creation of a new endowment to support Asian Elephant conservation efforts. Thanks in many ways to Packy and the rest of the herd at the Oregon Zoo, our community feels a strong connection to elephants. While the zoo has long supported a broad range of Asian elephant conservation projects, it has lacked a dedicated funding source for that purpose. The new Asian Elephant endowment is dedicated to making a direct and positive impact on Asian Elephants in their native lands by funding research and conservation efforts.
Like our other endowment funds, the foundation established the Asian Elephant endowment with $1 million from the foundation’s unrestricted reserves — all additional gifts will build upon that principal amount.
How they work
Each year, a portion of the fund’s balance (currently 4%) is transferred to the strategic initiative that you choose. The minimum donation permitted for an endowment designation is $1,000. Distributions will be used to support programs throughout the zoo, around our local community and around the world.
Conservation endowment fund impact areas
- Efforts to protect species like the endangered Borneo pygmy elephants, leopards, condors and wolverines
- Recovery efforts for species such as the Oregon silverspot butterfly, Oregon spotted frog and Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit
- Participation in research studies focused on saving species, including polar bears
Education endowment fund impact areas
- Zoo Animal Presenters (ZAP) program—providing internships to underserved teens who offer conservation outreach to more than 10,000 children per year
- ZooTeens program—offering teens summer volunteer opportunities throughout the zoo, interpreting for visitors, caring for animals and more
- Staff, equipment, materials and scholarships for camps and classes at the new Education Center slated for construction in 2017
- Urban Nature Overnights (UNO) Program—providing low-income 3rd through 5th grade children an experience in the natural world, developing appreciation for public lands and learning about conservation and stewardship
Animal Welfare endowment fund impact areas
- Developing innovative training practices to encourage animals to participate in their own medical care, minimizing the need for anesthesia
- Animal enrichment—pioneered by the Oregon Zoo over 30 years ago and now standard in zoos— that enhances welfare by offering physical and mental stimulation