Donor Recognition and Stewardship at the Zoo

Month two is in the books and I am starting to get deeper into a few projects! The Zoo’s Philanthropy Team is in the midst of revising our donor recognition strategies and stewardship plans and I have been excited to be a part of this endeavor.

Over the next few weeks, I will be connecting with our peer zoos to learn more about their experiences with a number of different initiatives, specifically their various commemorative and tribute gift options. I have been fortunate to make connections with several leading Zoos and Aquariums across the country from San Diego to Saint Louis. The conversations with these Zoos are ongoing but are already leading to valuable insights regarding current best practices in donor recognition. I am looking forward to bringing this research to the table and collaborating with our philanthropy team to develop the best options for our Zoo moving forward.

Looking forward, I am eager to see how this work focusing on commemorative and tribute gifts will compliment my earlier work and help create comprehensive donor recognition and stewardship strategies for the Zoo moving forward.

My experience with the Zoo has also been further enhanced by the educational opportunities made available to me through the Columbus Foundation. This past week, I was able to attend three educational sessions hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Davis Hall at the Columbus Foundation. These events are always very comfortable and inviting given the Zoo’s philanthropy team’s significant presence within our professional community. Although the topics explored in these sessions were wide-ranging, I was particularly interested in the points about actionable steps that can be taken towards creating a culture of philanthropy. I believe the conversations around this topic will help me provide more thoughtful and valuable work for the duration of my Fellowship.



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