How Fundraising is Often Part of the Facility Manager's Role

Minnesota Zoo needed millions of dollars to help build a walkway, and relied on a project manager to help with the efforts.   August 18, 2023

By Dave Lubach, Executive Editor

Facility managers are adept at finding ways to conserve energy and water in their institutional and commercial facilities, and they can communicate with upper management about the budgetary and staffing needs required to keep their buildings operating at efficient levels. 

But sometimes, those same managers are asked to contribute to fundraising efforts. It isn’t always easy to ask people to donate their hard-earned money to projects, even if the finished result will benefit the community and contribute to the enjoyment of many people. 

Such was the case with Thomas Root, the project management director for the Minnesota Zoo. The zoo recently unveiled a 1.25-mile-long walking path, the Treetop Trail, that rises 32 feet off the ground in some areas and takes zoo visitors over animal exhibits and through the zoo.  

Root played a significant role in helping generate the $39 million needed for the project. In this video, he talks with Dave Lubach, executive editor, facility market, about the challenges associated with fundraising. 

To read more about the Treetop Trail, click here.  

Here’s what you’ll learn from this video: 

How facilities teams can help donors see the benefits of contributing to a project, 1:27. 

How facility managers can feel comfortable “stepping outside their box” to show benefits of projects to government officials and the public, 2:49. 

Check out our other videos: 

How to Prevent Cybersecurity Attacks in Facility Management 

How to Keep Up with Emergency Preparedness 


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