skip to Main Content


Henry Vilas Zoo

Help us make a change in the lives of animals.


Types of Support

Henry Vilas Zoo

Your zoo needs you and there are many ways that you and your family can support the Henry Vilas Zoo. We welcome our friends’ generosity and donations and are proud to provide a special place that brings community, conservation, and education to the forefront. Whether your interest is to become a member to receive exclusive zoo benefits, memorialize or honor a loved one through our named gift opportunities, or contribute to animal conservation, these options and more are available to you. Learn about these and other ways to support your Henry Vilas Zoo below.

Memorials and Honorary Gifts

The Henry Vilas Zoo has many ways to publicly recognize charitable giving in support of the zoo. If you would like to honor a friend, memorialize a loved one, or show your or your company’s support of the zoo, please consider one of the zoo’s naming opportunities or a general honorary gift recognized by a card sent to the recipient of your choice.

Naming Opportunities at the Zoo
Naming a feature on the grounds of the Henry Vilas Zoo allows us to recognize you for your contribution to the zoo in a special way that can be seen and visited here at the zoo. Naming opportunities also can also be used to honor a loved one in our special setting by creating a lasting public tribute.

Inscriptions are personalized to your specifications and your donation is a fully tax-deductible contribution to Henry Vilas Zoological Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your donation assists The Henry Vilas Zoo in its mission to conservation, preservation of the species, and teaching: locally, nationally & internationally. Naming opportunities are available for donations of $500 or more and include:

  • Honorary Bench
  • Carousel Tiles
  • Capital Campaign Naming Opportunities (when available)

For more information about specific naming opportunities, please contact Henry Vilas Zoological Society:

Henry Vilas Zoological Society
606 S. Randall Ave.
Madison, WI 53715-1665
(608) 258-9490
FAX: (608) 258-1490

Other Memorials or Honorary Gifts
To make a donation to the zoo of less than $500 in honor of a loved one, please use our secure online giving page, call us at (608) 258-9490 or mail a check to Henry Vilas Zoological Society at the address above with a note specifying that it is a memorial gift. For donations of $25 or more, we are happy to send a card notifying the person of your gift along with a gift message (donation amount will not be listed).

Membership Renewal

Being a member of the Henry Vilas Zoological Society is a jungle of fun!

Members help the zoo:

  • Provide education about the animal world
  • Support conservation of animals and their native habitat
  • Acquire animals and create and improve exhibits
  • Keep the zoo sustainable and admission-free for everyone to enjoy

To thank you for your support, you’ll also receive some great membership benefits, such as free admission to other zoos and aquariums, discounts and specials, entrance to Member Appreciation Night, and much more. Higher membership levels come with free train and carousel rides, a Friends of the Zoo t-shirt, and maybe even an up-close animal encounter!

Become a member today and join us in support of our community’s beautiful Henry Vilas Zoo!

If giving a membership as a gift, please select “Make This Donation a Tribute.”

You can also join or renew by printing out a membership form, available for download here or by calling (608) 258-9490 (M-F 8:30-5). Please mail completed forms toHenry Vilas Zoological Society, 606 S. Randall Ave. Madison, WI 53715.

Planned Giving

Protect the Future of Our Community-Supported Zoo
By including the Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society (also known as Friends of Henry Vilas Zoo) in your estate planning, you can realize a host of tax advantages while helping ensure that the Henry Vilas Zoo continues to thrive for generations to come.

For all donations, bequests, and charitable gifts in support of the Henry Vilas Zoo, the proper legal designation is as follows:

Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society
606 South Randall Avenue
Madison, WI 53715

Tax Identification Number 39-6077008.

Four easy ways to include the Henry Vilas Zoo in your estate

A simple way to make a planned gift is to include the Zoological Society in your will or estate plans. If you chose this option you can use the following language: “I give and bequeath the sum of $___ to the Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society.” Or “I give and bequeath ___ percent of my residuary state to the Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society.”

Designate your 401K
Change your beneficiary designation information to include the Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society to receive a percentage of your choosing. Your company’s human resources department should be able to provide you with a form to complete and return.

Designate an IRA or life insurance policy
Consider adding the Henry Vilas Park Zoological Society as a beneficiary of part or all of any annuity (insurance policy, IRA). Your insurance or financial agent can provide you with the proper beneficiary change form.

Give through the Madison Community Foundation
The Henry Vilas Zoological Society has an established endowment fund through the Madison Community Foundation. There are several ways to give to the endowment including charitable gift annuities that allow you to make a gift to the Zoological Society. You keep the income for your life, and the balance will support the zoo at your death.

For More Information
Thank you for considering a planned gift to help the zoo continue to provide great care to the animals, connect people to the natural world, and inspire the next generation to take action through conservation. Please contact the Henry Vilas Zoological Society office at (608)258-9490 or for any additional information you need.

Adopt an Animal

Animals available for adoption:

Flamingo, Seal, Polar Bear, Orangutan, Giraffe, Tree Frog, Otter, Lion, Penguin, Red Panda

Henry Vilas Zoo Adopt an Animal

E-dopt an Animal – $35

  • An email notification for the gift
  • Email includes a photo of the animal and cool animal facts
  • Conserves resources: know that you helped the animals in a sustainable way
  • If giving as a gift, can include a personal message
Henry Vilas Zoo Adopt an Animal

Sponsor an Animal – $50

  • An official ‘Sponsor an Animal’ Certificate
  • Information about your animal
  • Zoo window cling
  • If giving as a gift, can include a personal message
Henry Vilas Zoo Adopt an Animal

Adopt an Animal – $100

  • An official ‘Adopt an Animal’ Certificate
  • Information about your animal
  • Zoo window cling
  • If giving as a gift, can include a personal message
  • A stuffed plush of your chosen animal

Corporate and Matching Gifts

Corporate gifts help to keep the Henry Vilas Zoo free and forever accessible to almost 1 million visitors annually. Not only does this support allow guests the chance to visit the zoo at no cost, but also affords them with the opportunities to participate in daily animal enrichment, educational activities and leave with additional gained knowledge, while enhancing the cultural vitality of our community. Learn more about how your company gift can make a positive impact on our community, conservation, and education below.

Corporate Partnerships
A partnership that can grow your business! Team up with HVZ and show your company’s continued support. Enjoy exclusive benefits with your investment in our community zoo all year round!

Community Benefits:

  • Increase company’s visibility throughout the community
  • Enhance employee, client, and community relations
  • Support a community gem and inspire memories for generations to come

Conservation Benefits:

  • Serve as a community leader through support of the preservation of wildlife on a local, national, and global scope
  • Participate in HVZ conservation efforts through special events
  • Learn about animal welfare and conservation statuses of animals that call HVZ home

Educational Benefits:

  • Serve as a leader in conservation and animal welfare education to the community and region
  • Partner as a community resource for visitors from all walks of life to learn more about AZA-accredited zoos’ efforts and educational programming

Event Sponsorship
Event Sponsorships are a great way to reach a large audience while providing essential financial support for the Henry Vilas Zoo. Our events offer catering to multiple types of audiences to offer something for everyone to enjoy! To learn more about our Event Sponsorships, please contact us.

Matching Gifts
Make the impact of your gift go twice as far! A Matching Gift is a great way to not only support an organization that you care about, but to also get your employer involved in what you are passionate about as well.

Many employers sponsor matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions made by their employees. Find out if your company has a matching gift policy today!


Any Questions?

With any questions about donating to the zoo, membership renewal, monthly donations, honorary gifts, adopting an animal, planned giving, corporate sponsorships, or volunteering, please contact us at (608) 258-9490 or

Back To Top