Join the Herd

Fundraising plays an important role for Elmwood Park Zoo, and the community has always played an important role in our fundraising.  We have come to rely upon – but never take for granted – the support that has been shown to us.  The Join the Herd program is a community fundraising network, where by #joiningtheherd you can host your own fundraising activities to support the daily care of the zoo’s animals, the creation of new exhibits, and our growing operations.

Fundraiser Examples

A lemonade stand can be a great way to raise funds for the zoo – on your own or as part of a group effort. Set up a stand in front of your home, at the beginning of a large neighborhood, or at a safe intersection. You can even sell other items like iced tea, cookies, and other sweets. Set a price for your items or allow people to donate as they wish. Don’t forget to mention to your customer what you are raising the money for! 

Most of us have items tucked away in our attics, storage spaces, or garage that we don’t need any longer. A perfect fundraising option is to set up a yard sale to sell these items. Yard sales work best on weekends during the early morning. You can benefit the zoo by donating your proceeds or a percentage to the zoo. If you decide to host a community yard sale, you can charge supporters for a table, an entry fee, or ask participants to donate proceeds to the zoo. You can also try selling items on retail websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace (make sure to have an adults help and permission).

If you have any unsold items, make sure to donate them to a shelter or community clothing box, this way another cause or charity can benefit from the items.

Ask a local gas station, store, or other place of business if they would allow you to host a car wash for donations (locations with a lot of traffic work best). Prepare a team of volunteers that can help you to direct cars with signs, wash cars, and collect money. Make sure to let drivers know what you are raising money for and be sure to thank them for attending.

Hold a dine and donate event at a local restaurant or cafe. Many eateries already offer this option on their website like Panera Bread, Chipotle, Chili’s, Max and Erma’s, and more! You can also reach out to local restaurants and cafes to see if they are willing to host a dine to donate event. Supporters will pay for their meal and a certain percentage will get donated back to the zoo. It is best to advertise your dine to donate event by posting it as a Facebook event, handing out flyers during the event (if allowed), and by telling family and friends.

Hold a happy hour at a bar which can include drink specials, wine-tasting, and discounted food. Make your happy hour one to remember with games like trivia. Reach out to bars around the area to see if a portion of your parties bill can be donated back to the zoo.

Host a special bar night event where your supporters pay a certain amount at the door to eat, drink, be entertained, and have the proceeds donated to the zoo. Many successful events include food, drinks, bands, comedians, silent auctions, live auctions, and games!

Charity donations in lieu of gifts can be a great alternative route for birthday parties, showers, or weddings. Making a mention of why you chose Elmwood Park Zoo is a great way to get everyone on board. You can include messaging along the lines of: “We’ve recently been asked for gift suggestions by family and friends. Please know that your presence on the day is enough, but for those who have expressed an interest, we’ve love for you to make a donation to Elmwood Park Zoo. A contribution would be most appreciated in lieu of a gift.

Many employers participate in “matching” the donations made by their employees. Your donation to a non-profit organization such as the Elmwood Park Zoo could garner an additional donation by your employer for up to 100% of your original gift. Most donations to the Elmwood Park Zoo can be matched, however gifts that return tangible benefits to you, such as a zoo membership, may not be eligible. Click here for more information.

Meet a few members of the herd

Thank you to the newest member of the zoo’s Herd Mackenzie, who — by hosting several fundraisers over the summer — raised enough money to buy a Platinum Red Panda Adoption Package, which will help keep Slash the red panda happy and well fed in the cold winter months ahead! Thank you again Mackenzie!

 Gavin (7), came up with the idea on how to sell lemonade to his neighbors in a socially distant and responsible way, in hopes that he could raise money for Elmwood Park Zoo. Gavin and his family advertised their efforts on a neighborhood Facebook page. He raised a total of $138 through his efforts. Thank you Olff Family!

Thank you to the members of St. Helena Knights of Columbus Council #14210 for their generous donation of $500 through their “Leave No Neighbor Behind” initiative. “Leave No Neighbor Behind” aims to help individuals and communities severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

And a special thanks to Isabella who helped the zoo raise money for the animals by setting up her lemonade stand and putting out a donation bin for the zoo! Thanks again from all the people and animals at the zoo, Isabella! 


Beverly’s Pastry Shop donated $6 per every dozen cupcakes purchased and $3 per every half dozen purchased. Beverly’s Pastry Shop offers plenty of tasty treats including dairy free, nut free, and vegan options!  Thank you for making #jointheherd extra sweet!

Throughout September Corropolese and EPZ launched Red Pies for Red Pandas. They donated a portion of each pie purchase back to the zoo — and by the end of the month, they raised nearly $4,300! Thank you Corropolese!

Thank you to Norristown’s Five Saints Distilling for allowing 10% of their premium hand-crafted spirits purchases to be donated to the zoo! 


Current #JointheHerd Offers

Deon-Barbone Beverage, located in East Norriton is matching dollar for dollar every donation put into the zoo’s jar at the checkout counter.  Help us reach our $2,500 goal  by visiting them for all your brew needs!

Conshy Girls joined the herd by providing specialty drinks at two locations. Enjoy an  Autumn Spiced Tonic called Piper’s Punch at Gypsy Saloon or a Noah’s” Ol Fashion at Southern Cross Kitchen. $2 from each animal-themed beverage is donated back to Elmwood Park Zoo. Thank you for joining the herd!

Interested in Joining the Herd? Contact uS!