Bison Circle

The efforts of the Chicago Zoological Society would not be possible without your support. Working together, we can ensure that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy wild things and wild places. Here are some ways to help:


The Chicago Zoological Society can accept donations through the PayPal Giving Fund. If you would like to donate via PayPal, please click here. Please note, you will be taken off the website managed by the Chicago Zoological Society to the charity page for the Society on the PayPal website. When donating, you have the option to make your donation anonymous. We would prefer you do not, so we can properly thank you for your gift. Also, anonymous donations will not be considered if you are attempting to attain an Elite Status. If you have any specifics around the gift you make via PayPal (i.e. honor or memorial gift, or a gift to a specific fund), please contact us at or 708-688-8560.

General guidelines for non-cash donations

For electronics to generally be accepted, the value of the electronic item typically must have a fair market value greater than the cost of shipping the item to the donation facility.

The Chicago Zoological Society will from time to time accept donations of animals from the public, however, the Society does not accept domestic animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, ferrets, cats, dogs, parakeets, and farm animals. Other animal such as captive bred reptiles, exotic birds and mammals may be accepted only on a limited case by case basis.

The Society will not accept wild native species, those possessing such animals should contact your nearest rehabilitation organization or the Illinois Department of Natural Resources who can provide information on the location of rehabilitation organizations.

Bison Circle

The Bison Circle recognizes those generous donors who are committed to the Chicago Zoological Society's mission—to inspire conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature—and are able to support the Society through significant gifts of $2,000 or more. Bison Circle members truly make an impact. Through their contribution, we are able to reach millions of individuals each year, including:

  • Two million zoo guests engaged by unique exhibits and programs
  • Over 250,000 schoolchildren, campers, and families who participate in award-winning science education programs
  • Nearly 24,000 teachers who take part in our professional development workshops

Diverse communities across Chicagoland.
We inspire conservation action by leading by example, and Bison Circle donors are an integral part of our conservation programs. The Society is an active partner in wildlife protection programs around the world, including the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the world’s longest-running study of bottlenose dolphins.

We have also pioneered the field of conservation psychology, the study of how people connect with animals and nature—an endeavor that would be much more difficult without Bison Circle members.

Bison Circle donors care…and their support is critical to animal welfare. Thanks to their donations, thousands of animals representing 400 species receive state-of-the-art care through top-notch medical, husbandry, and nutrition programs. In fact, animal care technologies developed at Brookfield Zoo are employed in 165 countries.

Discover the Bison Circle giving levels and associated privileges,
or call (708) 688-8667 for more information.

Bison Circle Explorer $2,000 - 2,999
    Free admission to all attractions and parking
    Invitation to participate in the new Bison Circle travel program
    Opportunity for a personalized Wild Encounters Animal Experience
    Opportunity for a Personal Animal Experience
    Priority Zoo Camp registration
    Listing in Annual Report
    Behind-the-scenes golf cart tour
    Discount in gift shops and zoo restaurants
    Monthly Zoo e-newsletter and immediate press release e-blasts
    Bison Circle access cards and 10 additional guest passes to all exhibits

Bison Circle Defender $3,000 - 4,999
    Invitation to new Lunch ‘n Learn presentations by CZS Zookeepers and Curators
    Plus all the benefits of the Explorer membership

Bison Circle Innovator $5,000 - 9,999
    Opportunity to participate in Sleepover Safari (overnight at the Zoo)
    Opportunity to participate in Sarasota Dolphin Survey Tour
    Plus all the benefits of the Defender membership

Bison Circle Researcher $10,000 - 24,999
    Lunch and behind-the-scenes tour with the President/CEO
    Plus all the benefits of the Innovator membership

Bison Circle Protector $25,000 or more
    Deckside with dolphins and participating in a training session
    Plus all the benefits of the Researcher membership

Don’t forget your employer’s matching gift program—make your support go even further!

Please note: Under IRS guidelines, the amount of your contribution that is deductible for federal income tax purposes is limited to the excess of your payment over the value of the goods or services provided by the Chicago Zoological Society.

  • For 2017 contributions, the value of goods or services received are considered of insubstantial value according to IRS guidelines.

  • For 2016 contributions, the estimated fair market value of goods or services received in return for this contribution is $55.54.

If you would prefer to send in a donation by mail please send to:

    Chicago Zoological Society
    Brookfield Zoo
    3300 Golf Road
    Brookfield, IL 60513

If you would prefer to talk to someone about making a donation please call:

Adopt an Animal

Adopt an Animal today

Share the care and adopt one of your favorite animals today.

Double Your Impact

Double Your Impact!

Find out if your company has a matching gift policy and double (or triple) the impact of your gift!

Women's Board

Women's Board

Learn more about the Women’s Board and their efforts to advance the Society’s mission.