The Conservation Fund supports conservation efforts in the wild.

Zoo staff established the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund in 2000 to support conservation efforts in the wild, in New Zealand and overseas.

Funds are raised from fundraising events and initiatives, proceeds from conservation product purchases, visitor admissions, experiences, donations, and sponsorship. Without your support, none of this work would be possible - so thank you!

To date, the fund has raised over $2,000,000 to support a wide variety of conservation projects aligned with the work of Auckland Zoo.

We support our own staff to develop or utilise their specialist skills and participate in field conservation initiatives. These can be projects led by Auckland Zoo or by other conservation partners. In the past year 64 staff worked on 24 conservation projects in 22 locations around New Zealand. They spent 457 days outside the Zoo contributing 3,202 hours of fieldwork to conserve wildlife and wild habitat.

We provide financial resources for external organisations and individuals to carry out vital field conservation work in New Zealand and overseas.

Small Grants Programme

The Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund Small Grants Programme exists to help provide relatively small levels of funding for ongoing projects or pilot programmes with clear conservation value.

​Small grants will be awarded up to a maximum of NZD$5000. However, in most cases, successful grants will be in the region of NZD$1000 - $3000. The amount applied for through the programme should represent a minimum of 25% of the project's overall budget.


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Before completing an Auckland Zoo Small Grant application and to give your application the best chance for consideration please consider the following:

The intent of this programme is to help provide relatively small levels of funding for ongoing projects or pilot programmes with clear conservation value – please make sure your project qualifies. Many applications are rejected at this first hurdle because their project has a value greater than NZD $20,000.

We have noticed a particularly high number of applications with a very similar format of providing community workshops, meetings and /or events as a mechanism to promote conservation. While we remain open to this approach, generally these applications will not be considered unless:

  1. They are providing a targeted approach to a specific issue.
  2. Results are able to be measured.
  3. And have the support of a known NGO.

Many applications are rejected due to inaccurate or too brief budgets. We recommend you put time into properly preparing your budgets including detailed breakdown of costs and if appropriate copies of quotes. It also helps if you have checked your figures – we believe the quality and accuracy of an application will be reflected in the delivery of a project.

It is also worth noting the that deadlines are New Zealand time, which means you might have to submit your application a day earlier in later time zones. We try and be flexible on this but with increasing number of applications to process you run the risk of your application being rejected for simply not being submitted before the deadline.

If you are providing professional references you should provide the official contact details of referees and not personal Gmail or Hotmail addresses.

Please take the time to fill out our application form completely and don't be too brief in descriptions or answers. Remember this is a competitive process, so make your application compelling and don't be afraid to include pictures or additional support documents.

You can also ask our team from help or advice by emailing:

Eligible projects must:

  • Have a clear conservation value
  • Be based in New Zealand or in a developing country (although applicants can be based anywhere in the world)

General items not considered eligible:

  • Projects based in non-developing countries (except New Zealand)
  • Pure research (i.e. research projects must demonstrate applied benefit to conservation and/or target an identified conservation need)
  • A conference, seminar, workshop or meeting

​​Specific examples of items not eligible within an application:

  • Thesis production costs
  • Retrospective costs
  • Prize money
  • Entertainment costs
  • Social or networking functions
  • Fundraising or general income-growth purposes
  • Debt servicing or financial costs
  • Office equipment (unless an essential element in completing field work)
  • Internships and volunteer programmes (unless benefiting an identified conservation need.)​​​​​​​

Project applications will score more highly during the selection process if they:

  • Are likely to have a direct conservation impact
  • Are collaborative and involve a local conservation organisation
  • Are logistically feasible, and fiscally and scientifically sound​​
  • Download the Small Grants Programme application form.

The latest funding round has just closed, please check back in early 2018 for the next funding round deadline.

Grants of up to NZD $5000 are available. However, in most cases, successful grants will be between NZD $1000 and NZD $3000.

The application must represent a minimum of 25% of the project's overall budget. This means that the maximum budget a project applying for a Category 3 grant can be is $20,000.


  • The application must be completed on the standard Auckland Zoo form (link to application form) and saved in Microsoft Word format
  • The application must be submitted electronically. Hard copy submissions are not accepted. All application materials must be attached to a single email sent to:
  • The subject line in the email must be the project name

Auckland Zoo staff on the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund Working Group Committee will review all applications received by each submission deadline. It will be scored against Auckland Zoo's standard project application review criteria.

A short-list of high scoring applications will then be forwarded for consideration to Auckland Zoo's Conservation Fund Committee. All grant awards will be made by the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund Committee.

The Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund Committee meet to evaluate shortlisted applications approximately 4 weeks following each deadline. We will attempt to inform applicants of outcomes by email within 6 weeks of each deadline.

Following notification of your successful application, Auckland Zoo will require a pre-printed deposit slip or certified bank statement (note: certified means signed by a bank official) or a letter from your organisation signed by the person with verifiable financial authority on the organisation's letterhead and stating the name, address and bank account details to where the grant should be sent.

Please note if you are unable to provide this documentation your grant offer may be withdrawn.​​

Before you make an application, please read all the content on this webpage and the Small Grants Programme application form.