July 18, 2022

Step by Step Process for Raising Money for your Zoo

Step by Step Process for Raising Money for your Zoo

Who doesn't enjoy visiting the Zoo? Zoos and aquariums receive an estimated 700 million visitors globally each year. Since zoo visitors are your most devoted supporters, that represents a great fundraising opportunity.

Use these procedures the next time you need to raise money for a particular project at your zoo. Zoos are enjoyable, family-friendly, interesting, and adventurous; with a well-thought-out plan, you'll be able to generate the funds required to support your upcoming project. Our zoos give us so much and only request a small amount in return. However, to keep providing their experience year after year, the majority of zoos in the United States are constantly in need of funds. We developed this concise step-to-step guide for raising money for Zoo

Start Crowdfunding

Clarify your goals 

What endeavor are you attempting to fund? Do you have a tonne of projects that have been on your mind for a while? One of the most challenging but important concerns you, your staff, and your board will have to address before beginning your campaign is determining what your zoo needs right now. Make careful to consider your common vision over a long period as you are defining it. Ensure that your current decisions will be in line with your overall strategic strategy.

Think about obtaining support from your donors as well as your personnel and board. What types of initiatives or improvements would they like to see at your zoo? When you need to approach those prospects for donations, keeping them in mind and engaged before your campaign even begins will be helpful.Plan your budget 

You must take the time to analyze your budget before you can start to raise money for your zoo. What specifically are you hoping to raise money for? Do you just need to make a few minor improvements to your zoo, or does an entirely new animal exhibit need to be built?

You may determine exactly what costs you'll have to pay and, consequently, how much money needs to be generated by creating a budget for your project. You can create a successful fundraising plan with the correct marketing, advertising, and outreach approach if you are aware of the amount that has to be raised.

Find sponsors

A good option to raise money for your zoo's project is through corporate sponsorships. Zoos are open-plan, highly visible spaces where there are several opportunities for corporate logos and work to be seen by tens of thousands of zoo visitors.

When you have the chance to secure corporate funding for your project, turn to your current sponsors, but don't forget to look for new ones as well. Consider what your zoo needs, and target businesses whose goals are similar to yours. For instance, if you're trying to raise money for a new food court, contact major food companies that could put their name on the food court. Give big sponsors naming rights.

Set up a crowdfunding web page 

Though a huge number of people pool their tiny investments in your project, crowdfunding is a means to raise money. Campaigns for particular causes can be started by people, nonprofit organizations, and even businesses.

You can start a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for your construction projects or any other large-scale endeavor. Such projects typically have a set schedule and a sense of urgency. For them, crowdfunding is a miracle worker. All you require is a goal thermometer, an easy-to-use donation form, a tab for posting updates, and a means for supporters to share the campaign on social media.

For instance, one was developed to support a rhino recovery initiative by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo & Wildlife Research in Berlin. A nice campaign description, social networking buttons, a goal meter, a donor wall, an updates page, and other elements are all there to make it easier for them and the donors.

Build your contact list

First and foremost, consult your database of donors and current supporters. Prioritize who to call instead of contacting everyone on your contact list. Examine your major donors first. Has someone not given a sizable donation in a while? Is there anyone in particular who might have a stake in the particular project you're trying to fund?

Consider your top donors first, then divide your broad-based and mid-level donors. Consider these groups both from a donating perspective as well as based on their areas of interest. Are there any past-due contributors you may approach to donate to this cause? Who has donated to initiatives like these that you've run in the past? Make time to conduct some prospect research for potential new donors after you have a reliable set of people from your current database. If you can, use prospecting tools to find people who have donated to organizations like yours or who live close to your zoo and have a lot of money to give.

Make calls 

You've created a contact list and are now prepared to place some calls! Make phone calls with a plan in mind. Script your responses to any probable donation-related complaints and bring them with you when you speak to donors. Spend some time deciding who should be contacted first, and provide specific staff members with the task of contacting particular donors.

Make your phone calls enjoyable! To motivate your workers, think about holding an office "Phone-a-Thon" with refreshments and contests (e.g., who calls the most donors? who solicits the most money?). Keep in mind to call again after a week at most, especially if you left a voicemail for your potential donor.

Collect donations

There are numerous methods for obtaining donations. You can ask them to mail you a check or go to your website to make an online donation if you're spending time phoning donors.

Make a dedicated fundraising page for your campaign on your website so that donors may contribute virtually (and so that you can track which donations came in for this campaign, specifically). Be careful to include your mailing address and the information that your zoo takes Donor Advised Fund gifts (if it does) on all marketing materials, flyers, and emails sent in connection with this campaign as it is not always the case for nonprofits. Send donor receipts promptly to all donors so they can use them as tax deductions and for your convenience. 

Interview your donors 

Don't forget about your donors once they've contributed and the project is well underway! Keep your funders informed about every project development! Remind supporters frequently of the significant impact their animal fundraising is having on your zoo and its animals by sending and posting images and videos of the project's progress.

Contact donors, conduct interviews with them, and publish their comments on your social media accounts(if permitted). Ask donors in these interviews why they selected to support your cause, how they feel about the project's progress, how it is to work with your team, etc. - anything that will help the donor feel heard and valued. 

Complete your project 

Finish your project, then announce it to the world. Make personal phone calls to your top donors or those who appeared to have the most stake in your mission. Update all of your donors and organization supporters.

If you have the resources, have a party! Invite all employees, volunteers, and donors to the event so they may witness the incredible work that their contributions have made possible. The event can be as straightforward as a picnic next to an animal exhibit or in one of your zoo's plazas or green spaces.

Giving your supporters a sense of ownership and appreciation will encourage them to donate again and ensure the long-term success of your zoo.


Children, adults, people in their older years, single people, families, and everyone in between all adore zoos. Believe in and organize your initiative, get in touch with the people that matter most, make the request, and thank everyone for their support. You're well on your way to creating an AMAZING campaign to raise money for the zoo!

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