Columbus Zoo




The has grown exponentially since its founding in 1927. The zoo is basedin Franklin County in the state of Ohio. It started off as a smallproject sustained by various CEOs and community leaders desiring togive back to the local community. Family values were one aspect thatattracted many families to set up homes in Columbus. Since itsformation, subsequent leaders at the zoo have endeavored to maintainand enhance the community experience. For example, Jack Hannaselflessly spent 38 years growing the capacity of the zoo. In 1985,the zoo had bilateral talks Franklin County officials about taxation.These talks led to the zoo benefitting from a $35 million annual levyfund. The commitment was made for a fixed figure from 1990 till 2025.Only 10% of the levy is used to fund operations conducted by the zoo.The voters and residents of Franklin County especially benefit fromlow admission rates into the facility.

Sizeand Scope of Organization

The organizationhas enjoyed phenomenal success as a nonprofit such as to be the modelzoo in the US. For example, the zoo has commandeered 70 conservationin 30 countries. The zoo is based on a 580-acre facility with over10,000 animals. Additionally, the zoo has initiated various projectsso as to increase its impact. Some of these projects include theZoombezi Bay Water Park, Safari Golf Course, The Wilds, and the Heartof Africa initiative.


The currentorganization structure has an emphasis on teamwork and cooperation.The Senior Team is composed of many members involved in dailydecision-making processes. Each department has a senior leader vestedwith authority and mandate. The organization has an overall governingboard and social board. All board members are non-salaried in theirduties. They primarily generate special interest in conservation.There is one President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with anExecutive Vice President (EVP) working directly under him. The EVPalso doubles as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Several SeniorVice Presidents head different departments such as philanthropy,planning and design, animals and animal care, and operations.Furthermore, there are Vice Presidents that oversee departments suchas education, marketing, and public relations.

Growthand Human Resources

The businessmodel has always focused on return on investment and sustainability.Scaling up operations has resulted from reinvestment of revenues inthe business. The zoo is committed to providing quality experiencesto both its employees and visitors. Moreover, the organization iskeen on conservation and education. Saving species and protectinghabitats are core objectives of the zoo. The zoo has 2,200 employeesstationed at various levels. Some work as zookeepers while othersserve as veterinarians. Support staff and first-time employees alsoplay a fundamental role within the organization. Wherever they serve,each person is committed to achieving the objectives of theorganization of connecting people and wildlife.


The operates on an annual budget of $82 million. Over 3 million personsvisit the zoo annually. This has resulted in massive revenues of $220million per year. The levy fund from the county helps theorganization to carry out maintenance and build new exhibits. Theorganization has embraced a culture of risk-taking and innovation. Itprides itself as a nonprofit focused on sustainability. Therisk-taking aspect is highlighted by the $35 million Heart of Africaproject that sought to replicate African wildlife conditions in theUS. The $3million Wild Lights initiative is also another riskyproject that was set up with the help of local sponsors. Theorganization has also embraced a culture of networking throughestablishing public-private partnerships. Some of these partnersinclude Nationwide, Ohio Health, Pepsi, and WBNS TV.

OrganizationalImpact &amp Change Theory

The organizationhas had massive impact through its conservation efforts. The zoo is ahuge driver for the local economy through the provision of employmentopportunities. It attracts a sizeable number of tourists annuallywhich acts as a boost for local businesses. The organization provideseducation opportunities for 300, 000 individuals each year throughclassroom safaris. Furthermore, it has raised over $4 million insupport of conservation efforts. has a flexible changetheory as typified by its use of a strategic plan to refocus itsobjectives. Consequently, the organization simplified its coremission to make it more memorable to both staff and visitors. The zoomeasures its impact through the increase of safeguarded species andprotected habitats. It delights in improving the status of speciesfrom endangered to threatened as in the mountain gorillas in Rwanda.Ultimately, the organization evaluates its success based on theearnings realized from its activities. As a nonprofit, most of therevenue is reinvested back into the organization.


and Aquarium. (2015). Retrieved from: