Como Friends promotes, supports, preserves and enhances Como Park Zoo and Conservatory by:
raising funds for the capital and program needs of the Zoo and Conservatory;
developing and maintaining solid relationships with donors, the City of Saint Paul and the general community;
advocating for Como Zoo and Marjorie McNeely Conservatory on behalf of those who use, and are interested in, the facilities.
Review Completed: 11/16/2010
1225 Estabrook Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55103
||Jackie Sticha, President
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Most Recent 990
Most Recent Audit
In the past year, Como Friends has provided critical funding and institutional support to Como Park Zoo and Conservatory making it possible to welcome more than two million free visitors—the most of any cultural institution in the state of Minnesota.
Fundraising support provided through Como Friends enabled Como Zoo to unveil Polar Bear Odyssey, a new exhibit for the Zoo’s twin polar bears in June 2010, on budget and on time. This award-winning, $16 million exhibit is a state-of-the-art facility paid for by the Campaign for Como, an $18.8 million capital campaign pairing $10.35 million in public funding with an additional $8.45 million in private contributions. This funding will also support The Japanese Garden Experience, a new wing to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory uniting Como’s top-ranked Bonsai collection and exterior Japanese Garden, as well as several beautification, maintenance, and interactive education initiatives across Como’s campus.
The campaign is currently on pace to achieve its funding goals in the coming year, which will enable Como to break ground on The Japanese Garden Experience in 2011.
Como Friends’ organizational goal in the current year is to move toward the successful completion of the total $18.8 million funding goal for the Campaign for Como, and to begin the construction phase of The Japanese Garden Experience in 2011.
In addition, Como Friends aims to achieve its current annual fund goals, and to continue its present level of investment in the programs and projects underway at Como Park Zoo and Conservatory through corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, three annual fundraising events, private contributions, and revenue generated through Como’s two gift shops.
Though Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is committed to remaining free to visitors, the completion of the Campaign in the coming year will allow Como Friends to concentrate resources on more aggressive major gifts and membership strategies to provide sustained community support for Como Zoo and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory.
Community or Constituency Served
Como Park Zoo and Conservatory serves a diverse audience of more than two million visitors of all ages, incomes, and ethnicities—the largest of any cultural institution in the state of Minnesota. The state’s top family destination, Como welcomes more than 973,000 children under 17 every year, and provides value-added conservation education programming to more than 450,000 children and adults. An estimated one in three visitors at Como are Asian, Native American Indian, Black or Hispanic.
Geographic Area Served
A true regional destination, Como welcomes visitors from the surrounding metro area and across the upper Midwest. Of Como's 2,028,009 visitors in 2010, approximately 47 percent were from Minneapolis, the surrounding suburbs, and western Wisconsin; 22 percent were from Greater Minnesota; 16 percent were from the City of St. Paul; and 15 percent of visitors were from outside the state.
Impact and Programs
3 Year Average Expenses
Unrestricted Net Assets
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|Unrestricted Net Assets (End of Year), Current 990
|Based on information provided on 2008 to 2010