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Wildlife Conservation Society

CharityWatch report issued
October 2021

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Wildlife Conservation Society
2300 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, NY 10460

Other Names


Tax Status




Stated Mission

Saves wildlife & wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2020

Program Percentage: 86%

The percentage of Wildlife Conservation Society's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $12

How many dollars Wildlife Conservation Society spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

25% to 49%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Wildlife Conservation Society & Subsidiaries Audited Consolidated Financial Statements Multiple
Wildlife Conservation Society IRS Form 990 13-1740011
Entity: Wildlife Conservation Society & Subsidiaries
Document Type: Audited Consolidated Financial Statements
Tax ID: Multiple
Entity: Wildlife Conservation Society
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 13-1740011

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
Wildlife Conservation Society
meets governance benchmarks.
Wildlife Conservation Society
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy

  Name Title Compensation
1 Cristian Samper President/CEO $1,367,655
2 Robert Menzi Executive VP/COO $736,898
3 John G. Robinson Executive VP, Conservation $592,308
Name: Cristian Samper
Title: President/CEO
Compensation: $1,367,655
Name: Robert Menzi
Title: Executive VP/COO
Compensation: $736,898
Name: John G. Robinson
Title: Executive VP, Conservation
Compensation: $592,308

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

CharityWatch's rating of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) is based on the financial activities of its U.S. public charity entity (tax ID #13-1740011) and does not include the financial activities of the other WCS entities consolidated in the organization's fiscal 2020 audited financial statements. Most of these other entities are affiliates and wholly owned subsidiaries organized outside of the U.S., and some are not tax exempt. The U.S. public charity entity rated by CharityWatch accounts for more than 90% of the total revenue and expenses, respectively, of the consolidated Wildlife Conservation Society organization for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) consolidated audit of June 30, 2020 (Note 15 (a)-(c), Significant Event during the Fiscal Year):

"In January 2020, the World Health Organization recognized the novel strain of coronavirus, COVID-19, as a pandemic. Beginning March 16, 2020, all WCS's zoos and aquarium were temporarily closed to the public in accordance with New York State executive orders and guidance related to the pandemic. Outdoor exhibits at the Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo reopened to the public on July 24, 2020. Indoor exhibits at those facilities and outdoor and indoor exhibits at the New York Aquarium reopened to the public on August 24, 2020. The reopened facilities are operating in accordance with New York State safety guidance and directives, including attendance capacity limitations. The operations of WCS's Global Conservation programs were also affected by local governmental and other guidance and requirements, which in some cases disrupted planned programmatic activity. The incidence of COVID-19 has therefore negatively affected WCS's operating results. It is anticipated that the effects of COVID-19 may continue to negatively affect WCS's financial position, results of operations and cash flows of WCS. However, given the uncertainty of the pandemic's duration, severity, and economic impacts, the ultimate financial effects cannot be known at this time."

"WCS has applied for the employee retention credit for $1,290,372. The credit will be claimed against WCS payroll taxes for each calendar quarter, in an amount equal to 50 percent of qualified wages limited to $10,000 per quarter per employee."

"WCS has elected to defer applicable payroll taxes under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act from April 30, 2020 through June 30, 2020. The Act permits companies to defer paying their portion of applicable payroll taxes from the date the act was signed into law through December 31, 2020. The deferred amount of $922,541 has been accrued and will be due in two equal installments on December 31, 2021 and December 31, 2022."

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, WCS reports re: Compensation, Supplemental Information (IRS Form 990, Schedule J, Part III):

Regarding the payment or accrual of any compensation to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees contingent on the net earnings of the organization (Schedule J, Part I, Line 6a):

"...This column [Part II, column B(ii), Bonus & incentive compensation] reports [a] $31,116 incentive payment to Niko Radjenovic, Vice President for Business Services, for the previous fiscal year. As a condition of his employment, Mr. Radjenovic receives a portion of his compensation as a variable incentive payment determined by a formula based on net income results of certain auxiliary services departments in his division during the fiscal year. The reported $31,116 payment was made for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 and was reported as taxable income on Mr. Radjenovic's 2019 W-2."

[The reported total compensation for Niko Radjenovic in calendar year 2019 is $318,037 (Schedule J, Part II).]

Regarding any nonfixed payments to officers, directors, trustees, key employees and highest compensated employees (Schedule J, Part I, Line 7):

"One Vice President received [a] non-fixed payment in calendar year 2019, Patrick Thomas, Vice President and General Curator and Associate Director, Bronx Zoo, received $20,000. This was a one-time discretionary bonuses [sic] in recognition of extraordinary accomplishments during the prior year. The payment was reported as taxable income on the employee's 2019 W-2."

[The reported total compensation for Patrick Thomas in calendar year 2019 is $362,866 (Schedule J, Part II).]

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