Better Business Bureau Report for
Jackson Zoological Society

Better Business Bureau Report issued September 2015
Better Business Bureau Report expires May 2018

This BBB Accredited charity meets all 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Find out more...

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Charity Contact Information

Name: Jackson Zoological Society
Address: 2918 West Capitol Street
  Jackson, MS 39209
Phone: 601-352-2580
Web Address:
Also known as:Jackson Zoo
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Better Business Bureau Comments

Year, State Incorporated: 1986, Mississippi
Affiliates: None
Stated Purpose: To provide visitors with a quality recreational and educational environment dedicated to wildlife care and conservation.

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Evaluation Conclusions


Jackson Zoological Society meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.
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The Jackson Zoological Society, Inc. (Jackson Zoo) is an interactive, living classroom. The organization provides homes for endangered species and animals that are a part of the active Species Survival Programs. The Species Survival Program is a collaborative effort between the Jackson Zoo and the American Zoological Association, working to ensure the long-term survival of species that urgently need to be conserved and protected in the wild. The Jackson Zoo works to contribute to field conservation efforts, species recovery, veterinary care for wildlife disease issues, and establishment of assurance populations. According to the organization, in 2014, the Jackson Zoo housed 14 endangered and 35 active Species Survival Program species. The Jackson Zoo offers educational programs for children and adults. During summer, winter, and spring breaks, the organization offers camps for children, including activities such as games, hikes, animal encounters, crafts, group projects, and keeper talks. The Scout programs encourage enthusiasm for learning about nature by engaging participants in hands-on exploration of the world around them, while meeting badge requirements or achievements. Through its Safari Slumber program, the Jackson Zoo invites children and adults to explore the Zoo in a night setting, exploring nocturnal animals in their natural habitats and the adaptations they use to survive. According to the organization, in 2014, the Jackson Zoo hosted over 19,400 participants in its education programs.

For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2014, Jackson Zoological Society's program expenses were:

Animal Collection 1,500,803
Exhibits and Grounds 928,523
Education 213,166
Total Program Expenses: $2,642,492
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Chief Executive : Ms. Beth Poff, Executive Director

Chair of the Board: Mr. W. Eric Stracener
Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation: Attorney, Stracener & Neely, PLLC

Board Size: 14

Paid Staff Size: 39

*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 fundraising events, grant proposals, internet appeals
Fundraising costs were 3% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $2,279,960, are donations received as a result of fundraising 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 Jackson Zoological Society's audited financial statements for the fiscal year-ended September 30, 2014.

Source of Funds  
City of Jackson grant 1,649,000
Grant - State of Mississippi 1,000,000
Admissions and concession revenue 711,015
Contributions and in-kind donations 409,681
Grants - other 160,000
Special events 61,279
State of Mississippi Education 42,576
Other 35,509
Interest income 711
Total Income $4,069,771


Uses of Funds as a % of Total Expenses

Programs: 87%  Fund Raising: 2%  Administrative: 11% 

Total income $4,069,771
Program expenses $2,642,492
Fund raising expenses 76,779
Administrative expenses 349,387
Total expenses $3,068,658
Income in Excess of Expenses 1,001,113
Beginning net assets 3,704,709
Ending net assets 4,638,686
Total liabilities 943,914
Total assets $4,638,686

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BBB Comments


 A BBB Accredited Charity Seal Holder since 6/14/2010. 

BBB accreditation does not mean that the charity's programs or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB or that BBB has made a determination as to the charity's competency in performing services. 
According to Notes 2, 12, and 14 in the charity's audited financial statements for the fiscal year-ended September 30, 2014, "the Zoo's current liabilities exceed its current assets ... [indicating] that the Zoo may not be able to pay its liabilities as they come due and payable." The auditors state, “These conditions raise substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern.” Management has issued plans to address this going concern, including, “increasing attendance revenue, securing additional grant revenue as well as state and local funding assistance.”
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