Community Support

Community Support

Community Support

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, a non-profit organization, prides itself on its contributions to the surrounding communities. In an effort to give back, the Zoo is willing to consider requests from the local community. With multiple philanthropic commitments and limited charitable resources, we will do what we can to satisfy all requests.

Special Passes

Special Pass Membership Eligibility

SAFETY PROCEDURES UPDATE:

Special Pass Memberships are able to visit again as of late August 2020. However, due to continued capacity restrictions at the Zoo, these memberships can only be used for visits from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Special Passes can be used any day of the week, as long as your membership is active for the 2020 season. To read the current safety procedures in place, please click here.

Special Pass memberships are provided to non-profit agencies meeting Omaha’s Zoo and Aquarium criteria. To be eligible for a Special Pass Membership, your organization or facility must meet all of the following standards:

  • Organization or facility must be located in the state of Nebraska or Iowa.
  • Organization or facility must be a non-profit organization with a Federal non-profit tax ID number.
  • Organization or facility must provide services specifically for populations that typically cannot afford a personal trip to the Zoo due to physical, financial or other demonstrated restrictions.
    • Programs or services should be provided specifically for one or more of the following populations:
      • Special Needs Adults (over 18 years)
      • Special Needs Children (under 18 years)
      • Healthcare Patients of a Hospital or Other Medical Care Provider
      • Family Housing Group Residents
      • Foster Care Families and Children
      • Poverty-Stricken Families and Children
      • At-Risk Children and Adults
      • Residents of a Non-Profit Elderly Care Facility
      • Or Other Demonstrated Underserved Groups                      
  • Organization or facility must promote local community access initiatives to its participants.
  • Organization or facility can describe how the Zoo membership will be used with constituents to advance the organization’s service mission and show that visiting the Zoo directly enhances or supports its mission.
  • Organization or facility must have a website and mission statement that match the standards above.

Groups that Do Not Qualify for a Special Pass

  • For-Profit Organizations
  • Politically Affiliated Organizations
  • Formal Education Programs (example: 7th Grade class trip to the Zoo)
  • Employee Benefit Programs
  • Library Programs
  • Day Cares, After-School Clubs, YMCA, Church Youth Groups or similar programs that serve generic youth populations
    • Groups like those listed in the above bullet point or that serve generic youth populations should visit www.omahazoo.com/field-trips to request a discount for school group field trip pricing.
  • Special Pass Memberships are NOT offered as donations for local fundraisers or as gifts to individuals.

New program guidelines are now in effect for the 2020 season. Please click the button below to renew or apply for a Special Pass Membership.

2020 Special Pass Application

Please Note: Special Passes are NOT offered as donations to local fundraisers. Please see the Donations section below. 

Donations

The community donation program has temporarily been suspended for the remainder of the 2020 year. No requests for donations will be accepted at this time.

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is happy to support community organizations. As a non-profit, our mission is: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium inspires, educates, and engages people to serve as life-long stewards for animals, their habitats, and their conservation. 

As of April 2018, only donations from Nebraska and Iowa will be accepted. Community donation requests will only be accepted if the donation will be used to directly raise funds for an organization. Requests for door prizes or free raffles will not be accepted.

To qualify for a community donation you must fall under one of the following criteria:

  • School fundraisers
  • Animal related events and fundraisers
  • Community fundraisers for local hospitals, volunteer fire and EMT departments and summer reading programs through local libraries
  • Medical expenses fundraisers for individuals who are suffering from cancer, an accident, etc.
  • American Cancer Society, Red Cross or America Heart Association fundraisers
  • 501C3 non-profit organizations: a staff member from the organization must submit the donation request
  • Donation requests must be received at least four weeks prior to the fundraiser

Things that would not qualify:

  • Music programs
  • Sports programs
  • Monetary donations
  • Field trip fundraisers
  • Construction projects
  • Post proms
  • Programs fundraising to attend a competition/conference/camp/pay for travel expenses
  • Political fundraisers
  • Church fundraiser or events
  • Door prizes or prizes 
  • Multiple donations to the same organization within the same year 

Should you qualify for a community donation, in continuation with our conservation efforts, we ask that you submit your request online via the link below (link removed temporarily until the program is unsuspended). Phone calls or mailed requests will not be accepted. 

If you do not receive an approval email two weeks prior to your event, we were unable to fulfill your request. Please contact the Special Requests Department with any questions at donations@omahazoo.com.

Wish Requests

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has partnered with local wish granting organizations to accommodate individuals of all ages. If you or someone you know would like to request a special Zoo experience, please contact one of the following organizations directly:

Dreamweaver Foundation
Dreamweaver Foundation serves terminally ill seniors by providing them with an incredible experience.

Make-A-Wish Nebraska
Make-A-Wish grants the one true wish of children age 2½-18 diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The Zoo works through this local chapter on the wishes of kids throughout the US.

Memories for Kids
Memories for Kids focuses on creating a memory for the children of a parent with stage IV or terminal cancer.