Teaching Case - Give and Take: Philanthropy and the Central Park Children's Zoo

Give and Take: Philanthropy and the Central Park Children's Zoo


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  • Product Description

    This case tells the story of one of the most difficult situations which a non-profit organization's management can face: the withdrawal, by its donor, of what had appeared to be a major gift. At issue here is the Wildlife Conservation Society handling of a $3 million gift by the Everett Foundation to rebuild the Central Park Children's Zoo. Negotiation over terms, credit and timetable ultimately leads to a series of charges and counter-charges and the ultimate withdrawal of the gift.

    Learning Objective:
    The case examines the actions and statements of fundraising officers, board members and the donors themselves. The case does not fix blame for a debacle which attracted much attention in the New York tabloids. It does, however, seek to raise the factors which may have played a role and which could figure in similar situations in other philanthropic contexts. These factors may have included misunderstanding of donor intent; appropriate or inappropriate credit; obligations to previous donors; social and personal rivalries and a mismatch between the interests of the donor and those of the receiving organization.

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 14, 2000
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 1555.0
    Case Author: Susan Rosegrant
    Faculty Lead: Peter Frumkin
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 12
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Hauser Center for Nonprofit Management
    _year: 2000-2009
    _pages: 1-15
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/1555.0.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/1555_2.pdf