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$5,000. However, in most cases, successful grants will be in the region of NZD$2,000 - $4,000. The amount applied for through the programme should represent a minimum of 25% of the project's overall budget.

Auckland Zoo is pleased to invite applications for our next round of the Conservation Fund Small Grants Programme. The focus of this round is the coastal zone where the ocean interacts with land – this dynamic and diverse environment presents unique challenges to both the wildlife which calls it home and to those committed to protecting it. ​Projects in New Zealand and the Pacific that have direct conservation benefits to coastal flora and fauna are eligible, provided they meet the criteria outlined in our FAQs.

Applications close on Sunday 30 June 2024.

Small Grant Application Form

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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 well-known, international conservation organisation or the relevant IUCN specialist group (e.g. IUCN/SSC Primate Specialist Group).

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 including hourly rates for labour associated with the project. 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 must provide organisational/institutional email addresses for your referees rather than personal email addresses (e.g. not Hotmail and Gmail email 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 for 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)
  • Be aligned with the geographic or taxonomic scope of the current small grants round (if applicable). From time to time our Small Grants Programme is focussed on a particular region of the world (e.g the South Pacific) or a particular group of species (e.g. Invertebrates). 

General items not considered eligible:

  • Projects based in non-developing countries (except New Zealand)
  • Projects not aligned with the geographic or taxonomic focus of the current round of grants (if applicable)
  • Pure research (i.e. research projects must demonstrate applied benefit to conservation and/or target an identified conservation need)
  • The applicant's attendance at 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​​
  • Include an assessment of how well the project achieved its conservation objectives

Grants of up to NZD $5,000 are available. However, in most cases, successful grants will be between NZD $2,000 and NZD $4,000.

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

  • The application must be completed on the standard Auckland Zoo 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:

Auckland Zoo staff will review all applications received by the submission deadline, including assessing references and other details (e.g. budgets, financial contributions from other sources).

A short-list of applications will then be forwarded for consideration to the Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund Committee, which will decide which projects will be funded

The Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund Committee meet to evaluate shortlisted applications approximately 4 weeks following each Small Grants Programme closing date. We will attempt to inform applicants of outcomes by email within six weeks of the closing date.

Following notification of your successful application, Auckland Zoo will require the following:

  • Pre-printed deposit slip or certified bank statement (i.e. certified means signed and stamped by bank official) or if appropriate, letter on organisation letterhead stating the bank account you want the payment to go into and signed by the director or finance person with their name and position stated
  • For US accounts we require a SORT code
  • For European accounts we require an IBAN number