Better Business Bureau Report for
Lincoln Park Zoo

Better Business Bureau Report issued May 2016
Better Business Bureau Report expires May 2018

Does not meet one or more standards
This charity does not meet one or more of the 20 standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Lincoln Park Zoo
Address: 2001 N. Clark St.
  Chicago, IL 60614
Phone: 312-742-2000
Web Address:
Also known as:The Lincoln Park Zoological Society
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1868, Illinois
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: Lincoln Park Zoo is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience in the heart of Chicago and by exhibiting leadership and advancing the highest quality of animal care, education, science and conservation.

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Evaluation Conclusions


The BBB of Chicago & Northern Illinois requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s governance and oversight and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following Standard for Charity Accountability: 1.
Lincoln Park Zoo meets the remaining 19 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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Lincoln Park Zoological Society is responsible for the day-to-day operations and management of Lincoln Park Zoo, as well as the educational outreach, conservation and research. Lincoln Park Zoo welcomes more than three million visitors a year, providing them with remarkable learning experiences as they see fascinating animals in an urban setting.

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016, Lincoln Park Zoo's program expenses were:

construction 16,947,022
animal collection and conservation 10,098,752
public education 5,031,697
buildings and grounds 4,460,058
visitor services 2,468,875
events 1,758,636
membership 584,385
facility rental 164,829
Total Program Expenses: $41,514,254
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Chief Executive : Kevin J. Bell, President & CEO

Chair of the Board: John R. Ettelson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: President and CEO, William Blair & Company, LLC

Board Size: 52

Paid Staff Size: 250

*Compensation includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.
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Fund Raising


Method(s) Used:

direct mail, invitations to fund raising events, print advertisements, radio, grant proposals, internet, planned giving arrangements, membership
Fund raising costs were 17% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $11,268,801, are donations received as a result of fund raising activities.)
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Tax Status


This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.
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The following information is based on Lincoln Park Zoo's audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2016.

Source of Funds  
contributions 11,268,801
visitor services 7,586,406
chicago park district subsidy 5,590,000
events revenue 2,663,897
membership dues 1,411,786
other income 1,256,589
facility rental revenue 1,204,238
investment income -5,644,625
Total Income $25,337,092


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 89%  Fund Raising: 4%  Administrative: 6%  Other Expenses: 1%

Total income $25,337,092
Program expenses $41,514,254
Fund raising expenses 1,960,897
Administrative expenses 2,657,933
Other Expenses 572,725
Total expenses $46,705,809
Expenses in Excess of Income (21,368,717)
Beginning net assets 99,726,905
Other Changes in Net Assets (25,000)
Ending net assets 78,333,188
Total liabilities 72,728,625
Total assets $151,061,813

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An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fund raising or promotional purposes.

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