Raising It episode 7: Taronga Zoo

Raising It episode 7: Taronga Zoo

October 2022


Cameron Kerr AO, CEO, Taronga Conservation Society

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How Taronga Zoo raised over $100 million over 20 years for conservation.

Episode 7 – Taronga Zoo

This week’s episode centres around a most beloved Sydney attraction – Taronga Zoo. Behind the koala encounters and giraffe enclosures is a lesser-known story of extraordinary fundraising, which has seen the Zoo raise over $100 million for conservation over the last 20 years.

Melissa's key learnings from the story:

  1. Evolution of fundraising activities alongside Zoo’s vision for impact. Fundraising has evolved in step with the Zoo’s evolution of its vision for conservation. Fundraising has grown from a traditional tactical approach to a sophisticated strategic major gifts program to support strategic priorities such as the Institute of Science and Learning and now the Wildlife Hospital at Taronga Zoo Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
  2. Unique prospect & donor engagement offering. As part of its engagement and stewardship, the Zoo offers prospects and donors unique experiences, which help the Zoo stand apart within the context of a highly competitive fundraising environment. This is a good example of an organisation leveraging its strengths to engage donors and demonstrate the impact donors can have by supporting the organisation.
  3. CEO as a champion of fundraising. Cameron Kerr recently winning FIA’s Fundraising Champion Award is an important demonstration of the critical role of the CEO in successful fundraising, and what that looks like in practical terms – from donor engagement, stewardship, and negotiation, to embedding a culture of philanthropy in an organisation.