The Saint Louis Zoo and CCS Fundraising partnered on a feasibility study, development assessment, and predictive modeling to help resource and bring their strategic plan to life.

Two children reach out to touch the glass of an aquarium, behind which a seal is playing.

Based in: St. Louis, MO, Central US, United States

Sector: Environment & Animals

Key Elements

  • This will be the largest fundraising campaign in the Zoo’s history, meaning the close partnership of CCS will be imperative to success.
  • Development staff are among the most dedicated there are in the field and additive fundraising of $160 million over six years will require human resources.


Voted the nation’s “Best Zoo” and “Top Free Attraction,” the Saint Louis Zoo is internationally recognized for its innovative exhibits and its leadership in education, animal care, research, and conservation locally and around the world. The core mission of the Zoo had remained unchanged since their founding more than a century ago and it was time to think bigger and bolder for their animals, community, and future. The recent passing of Prop Z, a sales tax in St. Louis to support the Zoo, as well as the acquisition of 425 acres of land, served as levers in creating a new strategic plan with exciting opportunities at the Saint Louis Zoo and WildCare Park.


CCS partnered with the Saint Louis Zoo to test case messaging, identify volunteer campaign leadership, create a top prospect list, and right-size a fundraising goal. In addition, we partnered with the Zoo to augment the Development Department’s organizational chart to optimize workflow and ensure the appropriate resourcing of staff in advance of a major fundraising campaign.

Working with the team at CCS Fundraising has been an enormous blessing for the staff and volunteers at the Saint Louis Zoo. After hiring them to conduct the Campaign Feasibility Study, we were so pleased with their professionalism and the results, we decided to hire them to build, launch, and shepherd our institution’s $160 million campaign. We could not be happier with their smarts, initiative, and resourcefulness.

Cynthia S. Holter, CFRE, Senior Vice President, External Relations, Saint Louis Zoo


The Saint Louis Zoo is ready to commence fundraising for $160 million with capital projects prioritized at WildCare Park and the Saint Louis Zoo, along with $20 million for the endowment. A comprehensive planning phase will allow for the recruitment of volunteers, campaign material development, and top prospect engagement. Projects will provide interactive experiences for children and families to learn about animals as well as create spaces dedicated to conservation breeding of some of the world’s most endangered species.

Featured Team Member

The Saint Louis Zoo is a world-class institution with world-class leadership. The economic, environmental, community, and global impact of this campaign will be unmatched. It’s an honor to support the talented conservationists at the Saint Louis Zoo as they bring species back on the brink of extinction.

Brooke Laskin, Vice President, CCS Fundraising

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