FRIENDS OF THE NATIONAL ZOO (fonz) is an independent 501(c)(3) organization which is the dedicated partner of the smithsonian national zoological park (nzp). Fonz provides informative, educational, enriching and exciting experiences that connect people with wildlife and educates regarding the need for conservation and preservation of endangered species and enhanced biodiversity. Together with the zoo, fonz is building a society committed to restoring an endangered natural world. Fonz has been providing support to programs at nzp since 1958.
Zoo Visitor Services
$4.5m annual program spend • These programs and guest services are designed to enhance visitor education of nzp/scbi's saving species conservation mission and enjoyment in the park. The programs provide visitors with amenities that facilitate an informative and enjoyable experience in the zoo. These services are critical to the operation of the zoo for visitors and include: information aides; grounds maintenance teams; dining; retail; and concessions. The zoo helps visitors better understand animals, our natural world and conservation needs and provides a connection to wildlife and endangered species.
$799k annual program spend • The smithsonian national zoological park director designates the use of these funds for animal care, feeding, conservation, research and educational programs.
Education and Volunteer Programs
$983k annual program spend • These programs provide fonz members and the public avenues to learn about the conservation needs of saving endangered species both through public education and fee-based education programs. Volunteers assist the zoo with animal care, interface with the public while providing interpretiveprograms, provide exhibit information, and perform demonstrations and educate fonz members and the public regarding the latest information on animal care and conservation science.