Mission: PROMOTE ESSEX COUNTY TURTLE BACK ZOO THROUGH EDUCATION AND RESEARCH.

Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1978, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  www.zoologicalsocietyofnj.org

  560 NORTHFIELD AVE
West Orange NJ 07052-2431


 Important note on the timeliness of ratings

The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Finance & Accountability score for Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc. is outdated and the overall rating may not be representative of its current operations. Please check with the charity directly for any questions you may have.


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Encompass Rating System by Charity Navigator


Overall Score

100

out of 100

This charity's score is a passing score.
This overall score is calculated from multiple beacon scores: 90% Finance & Accountability and 10% Leadership & Adaptability


Learn about the Encompass Rating System: Overview | FAQ | Release Notes

Next: Impact & Results

...   Finance & Accountability


This score provides an assessment of a nonprofit's financial health (stability, efficiency and sustainability) and its commitment to governance practices and policies.


Finance & Accountability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc. is a passing score

This V6 of the Finance & Accountability Score provides a baseline measure of an organization's health including the indicators listed in the report below.

This score represents Form 990 data from 2020, the latest year electronically filed and published by the IRS.



Back to Overall

Finance & Accountability Report

100

of 100 points

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

89.31%

Higher effect on score

More data  


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s). This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver.


Program Expense Percentage

Amount of Credit Received

70% or higherFull Credit
60% - 69.9%Partial Credit
50% - 59.9%Zero Points for Program Expense Score
Below 50%Zero Points for Both Program Expense AND Liabilities to Assets Scores

Source: IRS Form 990

Board Composition

12/12 Independent

Higher effect on score


Charity Navigator looks for at least 3 board members, with more than 50% of those members identified as independent (not salaried).


The presence of an independent governing body is strongly recommended by many industry professionals to allow for full deliberation and diversity of thinking on governance and other organizational matters.


Source: IRS Form 990

Independent Audit or Financial Review

Audited

Higher effect on score


An Audit, Review, or Compilation provides important information about financial accountability and accuracy. Organizations are scored based on their Total Revenue Amount:

Total Revenue Amount

Expectation to Receive Credit

$1 million or higherExpected to complete an audit
$500,000 - $1 millionExpected to complete an audit, review, or compilation
Less than $500,000No expectation (removed from scoring methodology)

Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

39.35%

Lower effect on score


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990). This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and/or long-term sustainability.

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

Amount of Credit Received

Less than 50%Full Credit
50% - 59.9%Partial Credit
60% or moreNo Credit

Source: IRS Form 990

Website

Listed

Lower effect on score


Charity Navigator looks for a website on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency metric.


Nonprofits act in the public trust and reporting publicly on activities is an important component.


Source: IRS Form 990

Conflict of Interest Policy

Listed

Lower effect on score


Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a conflict of interest policy on the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.


This policy protects the organization and by extension those it serves, when it is considering entering into a transaction that may benefit the private interest of an officer, director and/or key employee of the organization.


Source: IRS Form 990

Board Meeting Minutes

Documented

Lower effect on score


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has this process in place as an accountability and transparency measure.


An official record of the events that take place during a board meeting ensures that a contemporaneous document exists for future reference.


Source: IRS Form 990

Document Retention and Destruction

Listed

Lower effect on score


Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a document retention and destruction policy per the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.


This policy establishes guidelines for the handling, backing up, archiving and destruction of documents. These guidelines foster good record keeping procedures that promote data integrity.


Source: IRS Form 990

Whistleblower Policy

Listed

Lower effect on score


Charity Navigator looks for the existence of a whistleblower policy per the Form 990 as an accountability and transparency measure.


This policy outlines procedures for handling employee complaints, as well as a confidential way for employees to report financial or other types of mismanagement.


Source: IRS Form 990

Additional Information

Unscored

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

No Data Available


Key Persons data is currently unavailable for this organization. This data is only available if this charity has at least one year of electronically-filed Form 990 data filed within the last six years.

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Museum, zoo, planetarium, etc. (BMF activity code: 060)


Foundation Status:

Organization that normally receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and unrelated business income and at the same time more than one-third of its support from contributions, fees, and gross receipts related to exempt purposes.  509(a)(2) (BMF foundation code: 16)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc. reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

The Zoological Society of New Jersey raises funds via many avenues, in order to support the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo; our primary method of fundraising is via our annual membership program. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, membership purchases declined by 30%. We did apply for and receive a PPP loan, and were therefore able to maintain the employment of all our staff members.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

Turtle Back Zoo was closed for a few months because of the pandemic; once it reopened, visitor capacity was limited in order to maintain social distancing. Visitors, both members and non-members, were required to make reservations in order to visit the Zoo, so that the number of people in the Zoo at any given time could be monitored. Membership purchases dropped 30%, which affected us both financially and, because membership is one of our primary offerings, affected the strength of that program.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

With less revenue coming in as a result of the pandemic, the Zoological Society of New Jersey has had to do more activities as a result of restrictions on visitor capacity -- we have had to step up our fundraising and grant seeking efforts.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

The Zoo Team Go conservation fieldwork program is a volunteer program created by the Zoological Society to tackle environmental/conservation needs in local communities. Its primary purpose is to mobilize fieldworkers to remove debris from local forests/trails/waterways; the second purpose is to educate volunteers regarding environmental issues/responsibility, including human impact on the environment. We held two in-person cleanup events pre-pandemic, then instituted virtual “Conservation Cleanups”, in which volunteers walk around local neighborhoods with gloves & trash bags, pick up safe-to-handle litter, weigh it & dispose of it properly. They are encouraged to take photos of their efforts, post them to social media (#ZOOTEAMGO), & complete a survey informing us of their efforts. This virtual aspect of the program has been as successful as the in-person cleanup events, & we intend to keep this innovation in place permanently, concurrent with the program’s in-person events.


Previous: Finance & Accountability  / Next: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc. cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc.? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


Back to Overall

Additional Information

Unscored

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc. reported its largest program on its FY 2020 Form 990 as:


$1,188,636

Spent in most recent FY

100%

Percent of program expenses


TO PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE OF ESSEX COUNTY TURTLE BACK ZOO, A FACILITY OF THE ESSEX COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF PARKS, RECREATION, AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS TO STIMULATE THE PUBLIC'S INTEREST IN THE GROWTH, I ... (More)


Previous: Impact & Results  / Next: Culture & Community

...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc. is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


Back to Overall

Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


The Zoological Society of New Jersey, established in 1975, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), organized under the laws of NJ. It acts as an advisory body for development, as well as educational and fundraising purposes. Its mission is to promote the general welfare of Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, and to aid the Zoo in providing an enriching recreational experience that fosters excellence in wildlife education and conservation, so that present and future generations are inspired to understand, appreciate and protect the fragile interdependence of all living things. It accomplishes this mission by stimulating the public’s interest in the growth/improvement/development of the Zoo through education and research, with an emphasis on natural conservation of all animal species; by sponsoring/supporting fund-raising events, obtaining grants, and encouraging Society membership, in order to help finance new facilities, purchase equipment, and expand the zoo’s animal collection and existing exhibits.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


Safeguarding wildlife by inspiring the public’s interest in wildlife conservation, and leading by example.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Collaborate with Turtle Back Zoo to provide enriching experiences to visitors, engaging them on wildlife education & conservation issues and inspiring them towards stewardship of wildlife & nature.

Goal Type: This goal reflects our commitment to further our advocacy work for our organization and or cause area.


Goal Two: Stimulate the public’s interest in the growth, improvement, and development of Turtle Back Zoo, via education and via the opportunities and services provided by our membership program.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Maintain/expand our Zoo Team Go Conservation Fieldwork Program, which addresses conservation needs in local communities, protecting/preserving local environments via cleanups by volunteers & staff.

Goal Type: New program(s) based on observed changes in needs among our constituencies/communities served.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

The Zoological Society of New Jersey participates in a justice equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee; in addition, the Society seeds a professional development fund for Zoological Society employees to pursue education and leadership opportunities.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Raising Awareness

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

All activities of the Z. Society are dictated by a commitment to the mission of the organization. In our focus towards our ideals of conservation, education and inspiration, we have worked with several conservation partners to achieve our goals. Additionally, we use the power of the Zoo's advocates to support our efforts in raising awareness of our mission; we use marketing to spread awareness of the need for wildlife conservation.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


With less revenue coming in as a result of the pandemic, the Zoological Society of New Jersey has had to do more activities as a result of restrictions on visitor capacity -- we have had to step up our fundraising and grant seeking efforts.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Previous: Leadership & Adaptability

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's culture and connectedness to the community it serves. Learn more about how and why we rate Culture & Community.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Zoological Society of New Jersey Inc. is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback or Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen and Equity Practices sections of their Candid profile.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


Back to Overall

Culture & Community Report

Unscored

This beta feature is currently viewable only on desktop or tablet screens. Check back later for updates.

Constituent Feedback

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion


This organization has not provided information regarding the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices it is presently implementing. As such, the organization has not earned a score on this metric. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations implementing effective DEI policies and practices can enhance a nonprofit's decision-making, staff motivation, innovation, and effectiveness.


Methodology


We are utilizing data collected by Candid to document and assess the DEI practices implemented by the organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the Equity Strategies section of their Candid profiles to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective.



Methodology


We've partnered with Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations can fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile to receive a rating.


Learn more about the methodology.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Below you can find more information about the metrics we currently evaluate in this beacon and their relevance to nonprofit performance.


Constituent Feedback


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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