Zoological Society of Milwaukee

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Zoological Society of Milwaukee
City & State:
South Milwaukee, 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

The mission of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) is to conserve wildlife and endangered species, educate people about the importance of wildlife and the environment, and support the Milwaukee County Zoo (Zoo).

Submission Information

Impact Essay

The Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) was established in 1910 as an informal group of community leaders who brought animals to and raised funds for the Milwaukee County Zoo (Zoo). Since then, the ZSM has grown to become one of the largest membership organizations in Wisconsin, with more than 52,000 member households. The ZSM is a non-profit 501(c)(3) with 58 employees who manage daily operations and programs. In addition to staff, 40+ interns, grantees, ad-hoc teachers, and conservation field employees help fulfill the mission of the ZSM. Together, the ZSM and the Zoo serve more than 1.3 million people annually. According to the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ independent survey of zoo attendance nationally, the Zoo drew the 14th largest attendance out of all U.S. zoos for the year 2007.

Managing an organization that serves as many people as ZSM, takes a great deal of organization and coordination. The ZSM operates on a Microsoft network and counts on that network to supply the synchronization needed to effectively provide our services to our members. Since the ZSM is a non-profit organization, we often rely on donations of services or equipment to complete certain projects. The projects listed below are no exception. Without the generosity of TechSoup we would not have been able to complete many of our technology upgrades.

In 2006, the ZSM received the donation of Exchange Server 2003 software from TechSoup. The addition of this technology has impacted the day to day internal and external operations of the ZSM in countless ways. Externally, the Exchange Server has allowed the ZSM to increase communication with our donors by allowing us to send email blasts to 30,000 households. These email blasts contain information ranging from notifications regarding new exhibit openings, donor surveys, and reminders outlining ways to donate to the ZSM. As a result of these email blasts we are able to:

  • advertise our new exhibits and our conservation and education programs to more people at one time than ever before
  • increase our ability to serve our donors in a more effective and pleasing way through the use of surveys
  • announce and market special campaigns and events in a more cost effective way
  • remind donors of our services and give them information regarding changes at the Zoo
  • Save printing and posting costs by sending e-mail renewal notices Not only has the number of recipients of these email blasts grown, but the number of email blasts has increased as well. Currently we are sending out email blasts about once a week to 30,000 recipients.

Internally, the Exchange Server has allowed the staff of the ZSM to communicate more effectively. Staff can now more easily schedule meetings and equipment use amongst each other and better manage programs and projects with the calendar function in Outlook. The Exchange Server also allows our systems administrator to better decrease the amount of spam mail that the ZSM employees receive. Through the use of Outlook Web Access and Exchange ActiveSync, ZSM employees are able to stay better connected and more productive while away from the office whether they are at a hotel or on their cell phone. The power of Exchange Server with Outlook and Entourage allow us to have a unified and integrated feel between departments including our creative department who utilize Mac computers.

The ZSM has also received Windows Server 2003 software from TechSoup. This technology has impacted the ZSM by providing a more stable server infrastructure which allows us to more quickly and easily manage our organization. With the upgrade from Windows 2000 to Windows 2003 we are now able to support over sixty employees. Windows 2003 also allows for more printer and file sharing and better active directory administration. Along with Exchange Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003, the ZSM has received Microsoft Office 2007 from TechSoup. Microsoft Office 2007 has enabled our staff to interact more easily with outside organizations. Prior to receiving Microsoft Office 2007, we would face difficulties in opening files from those that had already received the upgrade.

Submission Category
Stable and Secure Technology