|Public Release Date: September 9, 1994||No. 94-43|
The Minnesota Zoological Garden (Zoo) is a state agency supervised and controlled by the State Zoological Board. The Board has established three major purposes for its operations: conservation, education, and recreation. The Zoo opened in 1978 and has been drawing over one million visitors annually. Dr. Kathryn Roberts is the current General Director of the Zoo.
The Zoo delegated fundraising authority to the Minnesota Zoo Foundation (Foundation), an independent not-for-profit corporation. In the three years ended June 30, 1993, the Foundation contributed $3.1 million to the Zoo. We found that the Zoo properly accounted for the receipt and deposit of gifts and donations. However, we believe the relationship between the Zoo and the Foundation should be clarified. We also have concerns about the adequacy of controls over receipts and disbursements at the Foundation.
The Zoo collects receipts for admission fees, gift store sales, monorail fees and other supplemental accounts, and deposits the collections in the Special Revenue Fund. Revenue from admission fees for the three years ended June 30, 1993, totaled $8.9 million. Other Special Revenue Fund receipts totaled $7.6 million. We found that the Zoo properly accounted for these receipts and that controls over receipt processing are adequate.