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About FONZ

Please 'bear' with us as we work quickly to build the new Smithsonian National Zoo Membership program! Membership purchases and member renewals will be available online soon.

Questions? Please see the Membership FAQs page for details.

If you would like to speak with someone, please email us at ZooMembership@si.edu or call 202-633-2922. Thank you for your patience and your support — together, we save species!

Friends of the National Zoo is the nonprofit partner of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. FONZ supports the Zoo's mission by providing educational and fun experiences, and inspiring members and guests.


FONZ member contributions support our work and the Zoo's work in animal care, research, education, and conservation by advocating for the Zoo and its species-saving mission, participating in events and educational programs, serving as committed volunteers, and providing critical funding. FONZ members enjoy special benefits, from discounts to early access and unique opportunities, for being our strongest champions of animal conservation and wildlife research. Discover the possibilities being a friend of the Zoo can offer.

If you have questions, please contact the Membership Office at 202-633-2922, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Educational Programs

FONZ creates multigenerational learning opportunities for individuals, students, families, and friend groups of all backgrounds and ages. In the spirit of inspiring future conservationists, FONZ offers a myriad of exciting classes and camps for students from preschool through adult, on everything from "Friendly Frogs and Terrific Turtles" to a class on Zoo nutrition. FONZ collaborates across the Smithsonian, the Zoo, SCBI, and the entire community to create educational events and festivals and facilitate field trip lessons at the Zoo and educational outreach experiences at SCBI. Please contact the FONZ Education Office at SCBI for booking information. See the many ways you, your family, and friends can learn about wildlife conservation.

Please contact the FONZ Education Department with any questions.


FONZ spearheads a number of fundraising efforts that span from selling merchandise through the Zoo gift shops, to hosting special fundraising events such as ZooFari and Boo at the Zoo. These popular events help boost the Zoo's visibility in the community and increase opportunities to provide educational- and conservation-oriented materials to the public. The proceeds we raise are used to support our work and the Zoo's world-leading conservation and animal care programs, here and around the globe.

Attend one of our events today and learn the ways you can help save species.


To ensure that every Zoo guest has the best possible experience in the park, FONZ supports operations at the Zoo in a number of different capacities from maintaining park cleanliness and staffing greeters and information aides, to managing the retail shops and helping to oversee the food locations. FONZ also operates park rides, guest shuttles, and ECV and stroller rentals, all to guarantee that the Zoo is always ready to welcome the roughly two and a half million visitors it receives yearly. 

See what the Zoo has to offer and plan your visit to the Zoo today.

Executive Office

The FONZ Executive Office, in conjunction with the Board of Directors, sets the strategic vision for the organization and oversees the planning and implementation of FONZ operations and initiatives.

Please contact the Executive Office with any question for the FONZ leadership team.