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Zoo Fund-Raising Ideas Needed!

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  • Heath, Lois C.
    Anna: There are so many ideas, but remember to take your clientele and area into account. These are going to be ideas that most everyone can use or consider.
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 31, 2009
      Anna:  There are so many ideas, but remember to take your clientele and area into account.  These are going to be ideas that most everyone can use or consider.  Love the ones already submitted.
      (By the name I thought you were up in Sequoia (inland), but then looked you up and realized you are in Eureka!  Even better for the opportunities!) 
      According to the website, there are memberships, memorial benches, Keeper Care, and ZIP programs (Zoo-Improvement Program).
      Use the Rotary, Elks, Kiwanis, Better Business Bureau, Historical Society, and such in the area and get to know other businesses.  See if they would be willing to partnership or have consignment items in a gift shop at your site.
      Be sure that there are community service announcements submitted to KWPT, KXGO, 95.5 and Jenny 99.1 as well as a continual feed of information to the Times-Standard.  These are your supporters and they need your feedback as well as reaching a larger audience.  This is an ongoing project which needs to have monthly announcements.  Locally (San Diego, a large market area), the zoo has 'ambassadors' that go to the local TV stations once a week with an animal.  Instead, have an animal featured each month.  Be sure to get the most outlandish and interesting facts ready (like Binturongs smelling like popcorn!) as these are the things that are interesting, catchy, and kids hold on to in their memory banks!
      Get posters or flyers for Coast Central Credit Union, Cloney's Pharmacy, and the others. 
      See if the Garbage Company or Ray Wolfe Construction will put a painting of the zoo on their trucks (they call them envelopes, I think).
      Throw a bash!  I see that there is a Zoo-Tini tomorrow.  The auctions should be great as long as the prizes are varied and distinctive - not all the same stuff, some high end some lower.
      See about putting flyers in the local "adventure" racks in motels, hotels, and other tourist areas.  Sometimes these are maintained by the establishment and others are maintained by an advertising group.  Get them in the racks as far as Brookings, and Grants Pass as well as Orick, Crescent City, Ferndale, and down south to Ukiah, Santa Rosa, and Petaluma!  Even at Scotia sawmill and those shops.
      Based on your locale, remember that Eureka is a main stop for Redwoods and other coastal tourists as well as those for Humboldt State and the woodworking school (I can't remember if it is in Eureka or up the road (Arcata or McKinleyville).  
      See if there is a student organization at the University to promote the zoo or spark interest from the students.  Have one day in the month / quarter when students get a senior discount with their current school id.  Or even group sales where you have a party of 15 (or another number) and receive a free ticket (the Padres do that with baseball). 
      Don't make the mistake of only thinking of LARGE events and BIG supporters.  There are plenty of people who would be willing to provide support if the emphasis was placed at their level. 
      The San Diego Zoo has various membership levels and each year we get invited to "add to our current donation and become the ... next level ... member) at about the six month mark.  For some people (example), the $10 membership is indeed increased by $10 for those six months and in another six months, the zoo has a $20 member with all those additional perks.  In SD Zoo case, it is more free entry passes; 2-4-1 bus tours; free parking; limited invitation parties.  You might be amazed at the numbers of people who actually attend the "special event" functions and only get hot dogs for dinner, just because they were on an 'exclusive' invitation listing for being a member at an advanced level!
      Be sure that the staff is aware of upcoming events and promotes them during their walks and talks within the zoo.  "I really enjoyed talking with you, did you know about the .... coming up?  You can get more information at the front office / ticket booth / gift shop.  We'd love to have you back."  Even if you just caught their undisciplined children climbing on the structures!   In the case of unruly children, suggest a VIP tour - sometimes they are just bored of the adults they have an need that individual attention.  Note, I didn't say where the VIP tour would take them! :)
      A real VIP tour could include up-close encounters and premier or reserved seating at any shows.  Maybe a hot dog!   :)
      A higher level than the VIP tour is a Keeper-For-A-Day ticket.  Get them to pay for working for you!  Get them to visit and tag along helping with those early morning "feed and weed" runs to clean the habitats and prep the mealy worms! 
      Sleep-overs and photo-tours (caravans here) are making the rounds as popular items.  Accommodations, space, security, and staffing would be considerations.  One of our local spots has a guest cottage for rent. 
      Of course there are the cookie sales, brick sales, memorial plaques, raffles, and such.  Most times, it isn't even the out-of-the-box thinking that gets it, but the continued variety of information.
      Check out what other groups are doing - steal - I mean let that be a jump start for you!   Sometimes it is the interest and involvement of the families of the staff that spark the most creative and worthwhile thoughts and feedback.  Tap into them!
      Out Of Africa Wildlife Park member (and mom) - Camp Verde, Arizona 
      San Diego Zoological Society - San Diego and Escondido, California         
      Shambala - Los Angeles area, California
      Lions, Tigers, and Bears - Alpine, California
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