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One Great Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is a private, nonprofit organization that relies on revenues generated from ticket sales, concessions, and private event site rentals to sustain our operating budget.

Since we do not receive regular tax funding, improvements to the Zoo are made possible with the support of foundations, corporations, and individuals like you. More information can be found on the Zoo’s Donor Bill of Rights, Annual Reports, IRS 990s, and Audited Financial Statements.

Read on to see how you can become involved in any number of programs that help the Zoo!

A private 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation (tax id# 95-2268554), the Santa Barbara Zoo depends on the support of the community, not tax dollars, for operations and improvements. Most zoos are publicly funded municipal operations. charity-navigator-alt2

General Donation

Support day-to-day operations.

Sponsor a Class

Help send at-risk students  to the Zoo.

Sponsor an Animal

Become a Foster Feeder.

Purchase Toys for the Animals

Donate to the Animal Enrichment Fund.

Send a Child to Camp

Donate to the Zoo Camp
Scholarship Fund.

Save Wildlife

Donate to the Conservation Fund.

Event Sponsorships

From Boo at the Zoo to Zoofari Ball – events are always wild at the Santa Barbara Zoo! Event sponsorships are a wonderful way to support the Zoo and gain exposure for your business.

Please contact Elaine K. Mah Best, Director of Development at (805) 679-8450 or emahbest@sbzoo.org to learn more about the benefits of being a Zoo event sponsor.

Special Projects

Whether we’re modifying a barn to accommodate the needs of a newborn calf or purchasing a new vehicle to safely rescue endangered animals in remote areas – funds for special projects allow the Zoo to make repairs and replacements when most needed and you can help!

Please contact Elaine K. Mah Best, Director of Development by email or phone (805) 679-8450 to learn more about the current priority projects at the Zoo.

Planned Giving

We invite you to consider leaving a legacy to the Santa Barbara Zoo by making a planned or estate gift.

Did you know that planned and estate gifts may provide these benefits?

  • Lifetime Income
  • Income Tax Deduction
  • Reduction of Estate Taxes and Probate Costs
  • Avoidance or Reduction of Capital Gains Taxes

Learn more about planned giving here.

SBZooLogo_PhoenixSocThe Phoenix Society recognizes those visionary and caring individuals who help to ensure the future of the Zoo by remembering the Zoo in their planned or estate gifts.

Phoenix Society Benefits:

  • Golden Membership to the Zoo*
  • Invitation to the annual appreciation event
  • Invitation to other exclusive Zoo events
  • Recognition on the Phoenix Society plaque and in the annual report

*Golden Memberships are valid for 50 years and will be given to Phoenix Society Members who have provided the Zoo with a copy of the page(s) of their estate plans that specifies a gift to the Zoo.

The preparation of wills and trusts needs an attorney’s professional training. These examples are shown as a public service to provide accurate information of a general nature only. For your specific circumstances, professional legal and tax advice should always be sought.

For help in making a planned or estate gift to benefit the Santa Barbara Zoo, please contact Elaine Mah Best, Director of Development by phone (805) 962-5339, ext. 109 or email Elaine Mah Best.