Endowment Fund

In the spring of 2011, extreme flooding on the Missouri River threatened the Dakota Zoo, and forced the evacuation of nearly 100 animals along with the closure of the zoo grounds for more than six weeks. During that time, the zoo lost an estimated $250,000 in revenue. As a non-tax supported entity that relies on memberships, admissions and donations for the bulk of its funding, an unexpected closure at the height of the summer season could have had lasting repercussions.


Fortunately, in 1988, the Dakota Zoo board of directors established a permanent endowment fund, to help ensure a strong and financially independent zoo for future generations to enjoy. And during the flood of 2011, the endowment fund stepped in to provide vital funds that helped get the zoo through the closure and back on its feet again.


The Dakota Zoological Society Endowment Fund provides a foundation of financial support for the Dakota Zoo.  The principal of the fund remains invested, with earnings either reinvested, or earmarked for selected zoo projects. The Fund is governed by a board of directors which adheres to specific policies on investment and spending.


There are many different ways that donors can contribute to the Dakota Zoo Endowment Fund. Gifts of cash, stock and/or other assets, and planned gifts such as bequests, life insurance, annuities or trusts may all be accepted, and donors may choose to remain anonymous, if they so desire.


The Dakota Zoo is a 501c3 charitable organization, so your donation may qualify for state and federal income tax credits or deductions. Please consult your accountant of tax preparer for details.


For more information on how you can give a lasting gift that will help to support the Dakota Zoo for generations to come, please contact Terry Lincoln, Zoo Director at 701-223-7543.