AZCF Small Grants Programme

Auckland Zoo Conservation Fund

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Next anticipated deadline: Oct 13, 2020

Later anticipated deadlines: Apr 15, 2021

Grant amount: Up to NZ $5,000

Fields of work: Environmental Conservation

Applicant type: Organizations, Individuals

Funding uses: Project / Program, Research

Location of project: Melanesia, Polynesia

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

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Conservation Fund

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 visitor admissions and donations.

To date, the fund has raised over $4,000,000 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. On average, the Zoo spends approximately 11,000 hours working on around 40 projects around New Zealand and overseas to conserve wildlife and wild habitat.

We also 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.

Auckland Zoo is pleased to announce that the next round of the small grants programme will focus on projects from the South Pacific. We therefore invite applications for up to NZ$5,000 for small projects (less than NZ$20,000 total cost) from Polynesia and Melanesia (excluding New Zealand and Papua New Guinea).

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • 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). 


  • 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


  • 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 applicatin'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.)​​​​​​​
  • 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:
      • They are providing a targeted approach to a specific issue.
      • Results are able to be measured.
      • 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.