The NZP-CRC can provide a place where various alternative funding sources are explored, created and enhanced. Already more than 50 percent of its operating budget comes from sources other than the Institution's federal appropriation. It has developed research grants from foundations and other privately run organizations. It has charged tuition for many of its training programs. It has developed with the Zoo support group — Friends of the National Zoo — a source of private funding for its summer camp for youth. There are other possibilities.
Whether the Smithsonian Institution can maintain its depth, quality, accessibility and breadth in the future will depend on skillful development of alternative sources of financial support. The Zoo and the CRC — especially given its relative youth and flexibility — can usefully explore such sources.
By I. Michael Heyman