FORT WAYNE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY INC

Connecting Kids and Animals, Strengthening Families, Inspiring People to Care

aka Fort Wayne Children's Zoo   |   Fort Wayne, IN   |  www.kidszoo.org

Mission

Connecting kids with animals, strengthening families, and inspiring people to care about the world around them – this is the mission of the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and something that zoo staff members are proud to pursue every day. For over 50 years, the zoo has carried out this mission by providing innovative and engaging exhibits, fun animal encounters, and space for quality family interaction. We also present engaging educational programs to audiences both inside and outside the zoo campus. We strive to be the best children's zoo in the nation and serve our local community to the best of our ability, as we endeavor to provide an exemplary experience for each zoo guest.

Ruling year info

1967

Zoo Director

Rick Schuiteman

Main address

3411 Sherman Blvd

Fort Wayne, IN 46808 USA

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EIN

35-6068234

NTEE code info

Zoo, Zoological Society (D50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We are working to connect kids and animals, strengthen families, and inspire people to care each and every day. We believe that by connecting kids and animals, and exposing them to the natural world, this will not only enhance their childhood development - but that these children will become better stewards of nature as they age.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Zoomobile

Brings science lessons to life with a visit from the zoo! Interactive, hands-on programs that engage students and include friendly zoo animals.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Intensive 9-week program, students build terrariums, care for live animals, and learn to gather and interpret data using the scientific method. This program is for 4th graders.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Guests will explore select areas of the zoo, meet friendly program animals, and participate in engaging educational activities before they bed down in The Reef. In the morning they do a scavenger hunt.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth

A trained zoo volunteer will visit classrooms to explore the wide array of zoo careers with students in 6th-12th grade.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Students

Students age 13-17 develop lifelong professional skills through our structured summer program.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents
Students

Where we work

Accreditations

American Zoos and Aquariums Association - Accreditation 2018

Sensory Inclusive Certification - KultureCity 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Zoomobile

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of paid participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The average number of attendees from area field trips during 2019.

Total number of acres of area indirectly controlled under cultivation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We have a 50 acre campus, 40 of which is developed.

Number of animals with freedom from hunger and thirst

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We care for approximately 1,200 each year, providing them with the highest level of quality care and animal welfare.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goal is to connect kids with animals, strengthen families and inspire people to care.

We accomplish our mission through providing innovative and engaging exhibits, animal encounters, as well as space for both quality family interaction and opportunities for young learners to explore the natural world. Additionally, we provide exciting educational programs which take place both inside and outside of zoo grounds. Our vision is to be the best children's zoo in the nation and our values are
rooted in providing the best experience possible for each guest who visits.

We carry out our work through our 40+ acre world-class zoological facility, along with a robust set of mobile programs capable of providing nature-based programming to schools, homes, care-facilities, and other community venues.

Since 1965, the Zoo has served more than 21,000,000 children and families. Success can be measured in a number of ways. From the child who was inspired to learn more about a clouded leopard, to the family who has decided to recycle more or reduce water waste after engaging with educational activities promoting those ideals.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    2020 was a year of challenge, but one change we made due to the pandemic was the addition of "Members Only" hours. These were very well received by our Members, and while it isn't feasible to continue that practice into 2021, we are looking to add to "Members-Only Preview Days" to the beginning of the season. Another recent change, also brought on by the pandemic was an extension of our typical season. We normally closed the first weekend in October, but reopened for our popular Wild Zoo Halloween programming. We had to cancel those activities, but stayed open daily through October 31st. That was also so popular that we are looking to extend daily operations through October 31 for the 2021 season.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,

Financials

FORT WAYNE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

FORT WAYNE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY INC

Board of directors
as of 7/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Chuck Surack

Randy Brown

Fort Wayne Memorial Coliseum

Gary Probst

Self-Employed

Chuck Surack

Sweetwater Sound

Kathleen Anderson

Barnes & Thornburg

Chris Gomez

Community Volunteer

Mark Hagerman

Hagerman Group

Mike O’Hara

Barrett Law

Kristin Marcuccilli

STAR Financial Bank

Ben Miles

Parkview Health

Julianne Toenges

Community Volunteer

Ron Turpin

Ambassador Enterprises

Dominic Freiburger

Steel Dynamics

Dan Nieter

Neiter & Goeglein

Bill Zielke

Fort Wayne Parks

Cheryl Schleinkofer

Community Volunteer

Sarah Earls

Lake City Bank

Brian Emerick

Micropulse, Inc

Tom Ackmann

SYM Financial

Tom Ellis

The Ellis Company

Heather Schimmele

Community Volunteer

Whitney Bandemer

Trine University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/22/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/22/2021

Policies and practices developed in partnership with Equity in the Center, a project that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase racial equity. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.