How Zoo Community Engagement Can Boost Zoo Membership

How Zoo Community Engagement Can Boost Zoo Membership

How Zoo Community Engagement Can Boost Zoo Membership

Zoos, like museums and other cultural institutions, are integral parts of a vibrant and rich community. Zoos help protect and preserve endangered species, provide opportunities for scientific research, educate the public on various wildlife related topics, and bring the community together around a shared love for animals and wildlife. 

With an all-ages approach, zoos can highlight what they do best by reaching out to their local communities and promoting their work through fun and educational engagement opportunities.

Let’s take a look at how zoos can engage their communities and turn community members into long-term zoo members. 

Educational engagement by zoos

Decades of involvement with K-12 schools and academia has cemented a place for zoos as an integral part of education. Whether they’re advancing scholarship, allowing researchers to study their animals, or opening their doors to schools for trips and tours, there are several ways zoos can engage with educational institutions and get closer to their communities.

Here are a few educational engagement ideas that zoos can start adopting today. 

  • School trips – Even with the COVID-19 pandemic looming over schools’ abilities to get out on school trips, zoos have a great opportunity to provide virtual tours, socially distant tours, and digital learning experiences. 
  • Informational tours and learning modules – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums offers several digital learning resources, including learning modules, animal management resources, and conservation education. Zoos can adopt similar models to help make informational resources more available to schools and the general public. 
  • Community partnerships – Community partnerships, like the Hammond Elementary Learning Garden, are excellent ways to come together with like-minded members of the community and promote learning, preservation, and community. 


Whichever path you go, it’s important to be a part of the community in some way. Zoos share a lot of mutual interests with community members, and being more active will lead to closer bonds and life-long memberships with visitors. 

Environmental engagement by zoos

Another natural engagement idea for zoos is to work with environmental groups. Conservation and preservation are two central pillars for zoos and environmental scientists, and coming together is a great way to effectively actualize each institutions’ mission statement while getting closer to the community. 

Zoos can engage with environmental groups by:

  • Inviting environmental scientists and college students to do field work in their zoo
  • Teaming up with other organizations to provide educational resources for schools
  • Promoting global environment/wildlife conservancy
  • Leading the community through sustainability advocacy events, like walkathons, fundraisers, or group hikes 
  • Getting together to create community gardens
  • Hosting film events that highlight environmentally relevant documentaries
  • Organizing city and park trash clean ups


There are several ways for zoos to get involved with other groups devoted to preserving the environment. With so many mutual interests between zoos and environmental groups, it’s up to zoos to get creative and find ways to build meaningful and lasting relationships by positively impacting their community. 

Engagement leads to membership

Community engagement is a win-win for everyone involved. Communities become enriched by the plethora of resources that zoos provide, zoos further advance their mission statement, and meaningful relationships are built that lead to memberships for zoos. 

By aligning themselves with other members of the community, like schools, universities, environmental organizations, and local restaurants and businesses, zoos can define their role in the community and contribute to their longevity as an organization. 

ACME helps build members

Aside from providing a flexible, scalable, and easy-to-use ticketing platform that your customers and staff will love, ACME ticketing will help you build members.

ACME’s advanced CRM allows you to understand who your visitors are and what they’re interested in. Identify visiting patterns and learn what’s resonating with your visitors so you can cater events to their interests. 

Effectively reach your visitors, encourage memberships with seamless benefits programs, and turn one-time visits into life-long relationships with ACME today. 

How can we help you?