The Jackson Zoo has created an endowment fund and operating reserve with the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson to help elevate the long-term growth and stability of the Jackson Zoo’s future.

The Zoo wanted to establish an endowment fund and operating reserve to allow the opportunity for philanthropists and other Mississippians who care deeply about the Jackson Zoo to invest in the long-term future of the Zoo. With the initial contributions of Crymes Pittman, Dr. William (Bill) Aden, and Ellen and Charles Johnson, the zoo was able to establish a starting point to open these funds and begin the process to allow the public to invest in the zoo, as well.

An endowment fund is made up of gifts and bequests that are subject to a requirement that the principal be maintained intact and invested to create a source of income for an organization. An operating reserve is recognized as one of the key ingredients to the financial stability of a non-profit organization and can serve as an internal line of credit when needed to cover the normal fluctuations of day-to-day operations.

“We are excited to be starting this partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson.  They exist to be a source of community capital benefiting the residents of Jackson, and we as the Jackson Zoo look to them to assist us in planning a long term future.  We wanted to give our supporters a way to give, that not only supports our education and conservation missions, but to also help us reach a goal of sustainability,” Zoo Director, Beth Poff said.

The Jackson Zoo has a long standing relationship with CFGJ through grants and constituents who have supported the zoo’s educational programs, conservation efforts and zoo operations. Director of Major Gifts and Annual Fund, Josh Friedel said, “I’ve known many of the principle members of CFGJ for many years now and they have a true heart for non-profit organizations and ensuring they have the proper institutions in place in order to be wildly successful.”

One advantage of having this system in place is that anyone can leave their legacy at the zoo by way of life insurance policies, property, stock options, bequests, estate holdings, and other types of major contributions. Another advantage is that it will aid the zoo in the process of major upgrades such as master planning projects and major long-term upgrades for the Jackson Zoo.

 Inquiries contact: Josh Friedel at or 601-352-2580 ext. 225.