Investing in the Zoo

The Zoo Society maintains a planned giving program to support donors who want to include The North Carolina Zoo Society, Inc. in a will, a trust or some other financial account. Please see Society’s Planned Giving page for more information on this opportunity. Potential donors can access this tab anonymously to explore estate planning options, even if they do not plan to make a gift to the Zoo Society or to another charity.

If you do plan to include the Zoo Society in your estate plans, please let us know by contacting Society’s Lisa Smith. We will not ask you questions about the amount or your intent—we will just add you to our Lion’s Pride list so that we can thank you for your intent and can keep you informed about the Zoo’s programs. We hold one event a year for our Lion’s Pride members so that we can meet them and thank them for caring about the Zoo.

Other options for investing in the Zoo are available. Please see below for more information about Lion’s Pride, as well as information about The Randolph Friends of the Zoo.

Randolph Friends of the Zoo Fund

This fund was established to help Zoo and Society employees grow their capacity to contribute to the well-being of the world’s wildlife. The Randolph Friends of the Zoo board accepts written proposals from staff each spring and, after reviewing these proposals, awards grants to the projects that hold the greatest promise of achieving the missions supported by the fund. The Randolph Friends of the Zoo has defined those missions as:

  • Implementing activities that enrich the lives of animals living at the Zoo
  • Enrolling in classes, conferences, and training that will sharpen an employee’s professional skills and knowledge.
  • Conducting research that advances the Zoo’s commitment to provide the best care possible to its animals and its plants
  • Establishing programs that inspire Zoo guests to learn about and protect the Earth’s wildlife
  • Contributing to conservation programs that protect species living in the wild as well as species living inside the Zoo
  • Promoting sustainable management practices at the Zoo
  • Developing campaigns that engender public support of the North Carolina Zoo and Zoo Society.

If you would prefer to specify a particular amount with which to support The Randolph Friends of the Zoo Fund, please click here. If, instead, you prefer to make a donation of $50, $150, $500, $1000, or $2500 to that fund, please start by clicking the icon to the right.

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The Lion’s Pride

Lion’s Pride honors donors who have taken steps to ensure the Zoo’s future. This organization recognizes donors who have named the Zoo Society in their wills, on a life insurance policy or in some other estate planning arrangements. The Zoo Society recognizes their generosity by presenting Lion’s Pride members with a commemorative lion and by inviting them to a private Lion’s Pride luncheon or dinner each year. The meeting includes a behind-the-scenes tour for members and guests and offers them the opportunity to learn firsthand about the Zoo’s programs and plans.

Your Lion’s Pride membership lets us thank you today for the benefits your gifts will ensure tomorrow. It also lets us share our hopes for the Park with the friends and the families who will keep it great. If you have any questions or would like to discuss your gift plans, please contact the North Carolina Zoo Society’s Planned Giving Team at 336-879-7251, or via e-mail at You may also visit the Zoo Society’s legacy planning website at