When the first zoo opened in Philadelphia in 1874, many people had never seen animals such as tigers, elephants, or lions. The zoo was used to both entertain and educate the public, while also placing an emphasis on conservation and more natural habitats. The same is still true today. Supporting zoos is a challenge because of the high levels needed to keep animals happy and safe. Zoos have several ways of earning income such as admission, merchandise, and city aid, but tend to primarily rely on private donors. Fundraising is a pivotal point in keeping zoos functioning and properly supporting the staff who make the wild experience worth it.  

Luckily due to their nature, zoos have many opportunities for events and unique ways of fundraising. From galas to “adopting” an animal, the possibilities are endless for zoo fundraising. With such a variety of options to fundraise, it’s important your software can support all your efforts.  

When searching for fundraising software, be sure to look out for the following features: 

Give online and on-the-go 

Save your donors time by creating a way for them to donate online or through text-to-give technology. Zoos should search for online donation sites available all year to collect donations, conduct a digital pledge at an event, and initiate text-to-donate campaigns. One impactful benefit of online giving is the elimination of manual donor receipt and calling upon donors to collect payment. Another positive aspect to utilizing online giving software is the ability to use features such as text-to-give and thermometer visuals to keep donors involved in the moment. Donating becomes as easy as making an online purchase.  

Seamless event management 

From ticketing to post-event thank you letters, your software should have you covered. Enhance your donors’ experience with seamless integration of registration upon ticket purchase. Software that includes donor receipts, ticket receipts, and itemized auction receipts customized and automatically generated when a purchase is complete. Welcome messages, thank you notes, and any other messaging should be able to be written and deployed at the leisure of organizations to groups or individuals. These small touches create an unforgettable experience for guests and influence their continued support.  

Safely store and track donor data  

With scams and threats throughout the internet, it’s necessary that your donors feel safe donating to your cause. Find software that uses a secure ticketing portal on your fundraising site and guests will only need to input their payment and contact information once. Online integrated credit card processing makes for easy checkout and collection for every event and campaign. By utilizing intuitive software, your donors can pay via phone and skip the line. Once your guests are checked-in track donors, guests, invitees, and sponsors for your event in the enhanced reporting where you can assess bidding behaviors and identify newer supporters or donors willing to give more. Use the reporting tool to import data into your donor database and save for future follow-ups. 



See a free tutorial of GiveSmart’s software here.

Kelsey Woodworth
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