The John Ball Zoological Garden is owned and operated by the County of Kent. The John Ball Zoological Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation serving as a private support organization for the John Ball Zoo. The Zoo Society incorporated in 1950 and has been working in partnership with the Zoo since that time.
The Society operates a membership program, food services and the Gift Shop, coordinates publicity and promotions, and conducts fund-raising operations. The Zoo Society contributions include funds for promotions, events, marketing, advertising, animal purchases, a portion of the education budget, and all capital exhibit construction.