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Frequently Asked Questions


What is the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo?

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo (registered as The Calgary Zoological Society) is dedicated to taking and inspiring action to sustain wildlife and wild places. Our charitable registration number is 11882 4192 RR0001.

For over 90 years, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has operated a world-class zoological institution in Calgary, Alberta. We are recognized globally for our best-in-class animal care practices and habitat design, as well as for leading critical wildlife conservation work in Canada and around the world.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo adheres to the highest standards of animal wellbeing by providing appropriate habitats, nutrient-rich food, engaging enrichment activities, and knowledgeable animal care technicians to the creatures in our care. We also operate a leading zoo and wildlife hospital. As an accredited zoo, we participate in Species Survival Plans and Population Management Plans to protect the genetics of species-at-risk, ensuring their long-term viability as assurance populations against extinction.

We welcome 1.3 million visitors to the zoo annually to foster deep connections between people and nature that will inspire the next generation of conservationists. Approximately 65,000 school-age children take part in virtual and in-person educational experiences every year. We host day and week-long camps year-round, so young people can experience the wonders of our changing world in every season, as well as special events promoting youth conservation action.

What is the Wilder Institute?

The Wilder Institute is leading and collaborating on conservation programs to protect and restore over 30 species in Canada and around the world. The launch of our new brand presents an exciting opportunity to inspire more people to join us in taking action to sustain wildlife and wild places. To learn more about our groundbreaking conservation work, visit www.WilderInstitute.org.

Will I receive a charitable tax receipt for donating?

You will automatically receive a tax receipt for income tax purposes when you donate $10 or more. If you make your gift over the phone or by mail, your receipt will be sent through the mail. If you donate online, you will receive your tax receipt via email.

What are my giving options?

There are many ways to support wildlife conservation at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. To make a donation, monthly gift, or symbolically adopt a species, click here. To learn more about other ways to give, click here.

To make a donation by telephone, please call us at (403) 232-7774.

If you prefer to donate by cheque, please make the cheque payable to “The Calgary Zoological Society” and mail to:

Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo
1300 Zoo Road NE
Calgary, Alberta T2E 7V6

Can I make a gift via email?

To protect your security, we do not accept credit card information via email. However, our team can suggest other giving options over the phone at (403) 232-7774 or via email at Donations@CalgaryZoo.com.

Can I designate my gift to a specific area or program?

We encourage you to first consider an unrestricted donation, which gives us the flexibility to deploy funds in the areas of greatest need. However, if you would prefer to allocate your gift to a specific area, let us know so that we can ensure your gift is designated according to your wishes.

How can I include the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo in my will?

To learn more about gifts in your will, please click here.
For more information about planning a gift to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, please contact Sonia Law at (403) 294-7677 or SoniaL@CalgaryZoo.com.

What are other ways I can leave a meaningful gift to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo?

There are many other ways that you can support the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo and help us sustain wildlife and wild places:

  • A gift of publicly traded securities
  • A gift of RRSPs
  • A gift of life insurance
  • A gift to our conservation endowment fund

For more information about strategic giving options, please click here or contact Sonia Law at (403) 294-7677 or SoniaL@CalgaryZoo.com.

How can I update my personal information and/or communication preferences with the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo?

If you would like to update your name, address and/or phone number, or you would like to change how we communicate with you, please call us at (403) 232-7774 or email us at Donations@CalgaryZoo.com.

Who should I contact if I want to update my monthly donation?

If you would like to update your credit card or banking information for your monthly gift, update the amount of your monthly gift, or cancel your monthly donation, please call us at (403) 232-7774.

Does the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo engage in tele-fundraising? How do I know if a fundraiser is legitimate?

No, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo does not engage in tele-fundraising. However, we do make personalized phone calls to thank our supporters whenever possible. We will never ask for a gift or other personal information over the phone.

What are my rights as a donor?

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, in collaboration with the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and the Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Non-Profits developed a Donor Bill of Rights, which has been widely adopted as minimum best practices for the charitable sector. We aim to exceed these standards.

How can I volunteer with the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo?

For more information on volunteering, click here.