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    Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

    Columbus Zoo and Aquarium


    ...Is this your nonprofit?

    ...501(c)(3) organization

    ...Donations are tax-deductible


    ...9990 RIVERSIDE DR
    Powell OH 43065-9606

    ...Mail donations to:
    9990 Riverside Drive
    P.O. Box 400
    Powell OH 43065


    Powell OH | IRS ruling year: 1952 | EIN: 31-4390844  


    Organization Mission

    The mission of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is to lead and inspire by connecting people and wildlife.

    Today, the Zoo is a nationally and internationally acclaimed conservation center, housing more than 10,000 animals representing nearly 600 species.

    In addition to its role as a global conservation leader, the Zoo is a renowned year-round educational and recreational facility for visitors of all ages, backgrounds and experiences - attracting 2.2 million visitors annually with a membership base representing more than 82,000 households.

    The Zoo resides on 580 acres consisting of six zoogeographic regions, a water park and a golf course - making it one of the fastest growing zoos in the world and the third largest municipally affiliated zoo in North America.


    Rating Information


    This charity's score is 89%, earning it a Three-Star rating.

    This overall score is calculated entirely from a single beacon score, weighted as follows: 100% Accountability & Finance. Learn more about our criteria and methodology.

    Beacon Weights
    Historical Ratings
     Proceed with Caution - Reported Other Material Investigation

    On April 1, 2021, The Columbus Dispatch reported that Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the subject of an active investigation by the Office of the Ohio Attorney General in an article titled, "As scrutiny of Columbus Zoo mounts, board says they will release some investigation details." For more information regarding this matter, please see The Columbus Dispatch article.

    • On March 29, 2021, The Columbus Dispatch published an article titled, "Columbus Zoo: Top officials resign following Dispatch investigation." For more information, please see The Columbus Dispatch article.

    • On April 8, 2021, NBC4 published an article titled, "Former Columbus Zoo executives respond to investigation." For more information, please see the NBC4 article.

    • On June 10, 2021, The Columbus Dispatch published an article titled, "Columbus Zoo and Aquarium officially begins search for new leader after resignations." For more information, please see The Columbus Dispatch article.

    • On June 29, 2021, The Columbus Dispatch published an article titled, "'This office will get to the bottom of it.' Columbus Zoo investigations: Here's where things stand." For more information, please see The Columbus Dispatch article.

    • On March 14, 2022, AXIOS Columbus published an article titled, "Zoo reaches $400,000 settlement with former CEO Tom Stalf." For more information, please see the AXIOS Columbus article.

    For more information about our alerts methodology, see here.

     Important note on the timeliness of ratings

    The IRS is significantly delayed in processing nonprofits' annual tax filings (Forms 990). As a result, the Accountability & Finance score for Columbus Zoo and Aquarium 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.

    Rating Report

    • Impact & Results
    • Accountability & Finance
    • Culture & Community
    • Leadership & Adaptability
    Accountability & Finance
    Impact & ResultsAccountability & FinanceCulture & CommunityLeadership & Adaptability


    Accountability & Finance


    Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has earned a 89% for the Accountability & Finance beacon. See the metrics below for more information.

    This beacon provides an assessment of a charity's financial health (financial efficiency, sustainability, and trustworthiness) and its commitment to governance practices and policies.

    This Accountability & Finance score represents IRS Form 990 data up until FY 2019, which is the most recent Form 990 currently available to us. 

    Learn more


    Accountability and Transparency
    ...Full Credit
    ...Partial Credit
    ...No Credit
    ...Not Applicable

    Financial Metrics
    ...Full Credit
    ...Partial Credit
    ...No Credit
    ...Not Applicable
    ...Liabilities to Assets Ratio - 10.10% - 7.5/10 pts
    ...Working Capital Ratio - 2.91 years - 10/10 pts
    ...Fundraising Efficiency - $0.05 - 10/10 pts
    ...Administrative Expense Ratio - 12.80% - 10/10 pts
    ...Fundraising Expense Ratio - 2.40% - 10/10 pts
    ...Program Expense Ratio - 84.60% - 9.88/10 pts
    ...Program Expense Growth - 1.89% - 2.89/10 pts

    Additional Information

    Total Revenue and Expenses - Data Available
    Salary of Key Persons - Data Available
    IRS Published Data (Business Master File) - Data Available
    Data Sources (IRS Forms 990) - Data Available

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