Strategic and Master Planning for Small Zoological Organizations

With our laser-like focus on your future, it's almost like we've got night vision.


what is a master plan?

Master Planning is a holistic process ultimately focused on creating a feasible plan for your physical facilities based on sound business strategy to support your institution in achieving its mission over the long-term. It is both an analytical and creative process, bringing your staff together with outside experts to create a plan with enthusiastic agreement!

The process is as valuable as a team building exercise as it is in creating a logical, realistic plan for you to implement over the next 10 to 25 years of your institution.

A successful plan includes short-term goals to get you over the hurdles you face today (like that failing perimeter fence), as well as long-term goals that increase attendance and revenues to allow further pursuance of your mission. Long-term goals may include new exhibits for new species, resolving parking limitations, adding a restaurant, or renovating existing exhibits to elevate animal wellness. We may also discuss non-physical attractions, such as special events and after-dark hours, as strategies to increase attendance. These may require some infrastructure improvements, which will be documented and planned for in the master plan budget.

A common result of a master plan is the ability of an institution to more successfully fundraise. Creating a strong plan, based on research and past performance, with exciting new attractions supporting and enhancing your mission, often elevates confidence in your institution’s ability to complete projects—which, in turn, makes donors comfortable in providing financial support.

To learn more about the value of master planning to institutions of all shapes and sizes, read “Why Master Plan.”


what is a mini-master plan?

Think of it as a strategic-stop gap. 

Sometimes you just aren’t ready for a full master plan. Are you overwhelmed by a multitude of deferred maintenance items, while also facing decreasing attendance? Are you already over-budget for the year, but really need some planning advice? Are you ready to think about your future, but simply just don’t know where to start? A mini-master plan may be just the thing for you. We’ll get you headed in the right direction for your immediate needs today, in order for you to get ready to think long-term.


Do you have an idea for a new exhibit or facility, and are ready to get moving now? We can create a beautiful concept design that captures your idea into a comprehensive and stunning package for use in fundraising and garnering community support. Concept Design typically includes a site plan, basic floor plan, project program, concept narrative, inspiration images, and artistic renderings. Full design services begin after Concept Design (starting with Schematic Design).

Felis Consulting does not offer full design services, but we can help you find an Architectural and Landscape Architectural firm to do so. We are also happy to offer consulting throughout the full design services process to ensure the design vision is achieved.

Felis Consulting is also available to join Architecture and Engineering teams as a Zoological Design Expert on full design services contracts. 


Because bigger isn’t always better.

As a small firm, we focus solely on you—taking on only one client at a time. This ensures our deepest understanding and creativity is directed towards your future, without distraction.

With a small firm, you get to work directly with the person who is creating your strategies. You get to shake my hand, look into my eyes, and trust that I’ll be with you from start to finish. Additional contracted team members answer directly to me—and only me. And I answer directly to you.