Women's Board of the Chicago Zoological Society

The mission of the Women’s Board is to advance the Society’s mission by securing financial resources, providing services and programs, and extending the Society’s presence in the greater Chicago community.


Formally established in 1992, the Women’s Board of the Chicago Zoological Society is comprised of nearly 70 dynamic women leaders from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs with a shared passion for animal care and conservation. Women’s Board members are dedicated volunteers who play a vital role in helping the Society advance its mission by providing philanthropic and community support, engaging in outreach programs, and promoting animal care and conservation of the natural world.

Women’s Board Scholarships

The Women’s Board is proud to recognize and reward achievement in the pursuit of conservation leadership through its Women’s Board Scholarship for Environmental Studies. Up to four scholarships, in the amount of $2,500 each, are awarded annually to qualified students who have participated in the zoo’s King Conservation Scholars Program.


CZS was the first in its industry to establish an education program and this has evolved into our department of Conservation, Education, and Training. The Women’s Board Education and Outreach Committee supports this center of excellence through community outreach events designed to increase the social and economic diversity of the zoo audience and by expanding its funding base. The Committee’s meetings feature high level briefings on CZS education activities and programs.

Some of the programs that have received Women’s Board support include teacher training workshops with Chicago Public Schools, Zoo Pass Program, Regional Leadership Councils, zoo internships, Partnerships for Youth Job Training, King Conservation Scholars Program, and Roving Naturalists.


Each year on one of the last Saturday’s in April, more than 800 leaders from Chicago’s corporate and philanthropic communities gather at the zoo for the Whirl, the premier and highly anticipated black tie gala, which raises over $1.5 million dollars annually. The Whirl has helped to fund many projects, buildings, exhibits, and key programs since its inception in 1981.

In 2001, the Women’s Board introduced a second fundraiser—Wines in the Wild. This wine tasting and auction is held each fall at the zoo and benefits our Education and Conservation programs, including our Women’s Board Scholarships.


Membership is by invitation and is limited to 75 active members. For additional information, please call (708) 688-8393.

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Women's Board

Women's Board

Learn more about the Women’s Board and their efforts to advance the Society’s mission.