The North of England Zoological Society (NEZS) is a registered conservation and education charity (No. 306077) with the mission of preventing extinction. NEZS is the organisation that runs Chester Zoo. We fundraise to generate the resources needed to make great conservation impact across the globe.

Chester Zoo is registered with the Fundraising Regulator and we use the Code of Fundraising Practice to shape how we conduct fundraising and how we look after our donors.

Donating to Chester Zoo: our promise to you

Chester Zoo relies on generous supporters to enable us to grow our vital conservation and research work and allow us to continue dramatically improving the future of endangered species.

We aspire to make our fundraising a fair, responsible and joyous experience for our supporters and we are committed to building and maintaining trust. We want people to feel connected to our work and understand the incredible impact their donations can make.

We do not undertake any fundraising that we deem to be intrusive or, put simply, irritating for those on the receiving end. We have taken the decision to totally eliminate the following fundraising activity:

  • Telephone fundraising (either in-house or third party)
  • Mass direct-mail postal fundraising campaigns
  • Wealth screening through third party organisations
  • Blanket direct ‘cold asks’ where there is no personal link or connection
  • Direct in-bound SMS fundraising campaigns

And we only work with third party fundraising organisations that share our values and practices, such as Just Giving and Virgin Money Giving.

As donors, you are HUGELY special to us!

Sometimes our projects change, so if you have made a donation over £50 intended to be used towards a specific project which is no longer happening, we will contact you to discuss alternatives. If you have made a donation under £50 which cannot be used for that specific purpose, then the donation will go to a similar project.

Thinking about leaving a large gift to the zoo?

For donors looking to give large gifts to the zoo we operate a ‘know your donor’ policy so we can ensure your gift is used in the way you feel fit, and to allow both parties the opportunity to make sure the relationship feels right. Do make sure you contact us on 01244 650 229 to discuss your intentions and allow us to help you make this philanthropic journey a wonderful experience.

Donation refunds and cancellations

If you have made a donation via our website, or via a contactless donation point, and would like to obtain a refund, please contact us directly either by emailing or calling 01244 650 229 and asking to speak to the Fundraising team. We will require details including your name, how you made the donation and an approximate time.

From this information we can either cancel the payment (if it’s still pending) or provide a refund. You have up to a week to change your mind regarding your donation, although we will look at refund requests on a case-by-case basis. Refunds will be issued on request for digital donations made in error, or if you have simply changed your mind. Refunds can take 3-14 working days from authorisation.

A refund for a cheque donation will not take place until the cheque has cleared and the money has appeared in our account. If you wish to cancel a direct debit at any time please notify us at and contact your own bank separately to confirm the cancellation.

Making a complaint about our fundraising

We recognise there could be times when we make mistakes, and if this happens we want to hear about it, because we take complaints, concerns or worries very seriously and treat them as a huge opportunity to improve our work and prevent those situations happening again. We’re always very grateful to hear your ideas about how we can do things better and ultimately provide you and all our valued supporters with exceptional service.

You’re in control of exactly how you want get in touch with us: you can call us on 01244 650 229 and speak directly to either Julie, Leri or Rose. Our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Outside of these hours you can always leave us a message and a contact number and one of us will return your call the next working day.

You can email us at

Or write to us at:

Fundraising Team
Chester Zoo

Please include your name, address and contact telephone number in your email or letter so that we can get back in touch with you easily. We will usually respond to you via the same method unless you instruct us otherwise and you will always get to speak to a real person. If you email us and don’t hear back, double check your junk or spam folder just in case we’ve ended up in there.

Your details will not be used any other way other than to contact you about your complaint. If you are already on our mailing list and wish to be removed, simply let us know when you speak to us.

How long will it take?

We endeavour to respond to you within 48 hours to let you know that we’ve received and logged your complaint and, if we can, we will outline what we intend to do to remedy it and the estimated time scales. If we need to investigate the matter, we will provide a more detailed response within ten working days, covering the actions we’ve already undertaken and the next steps.

Wherever possible we will deal with it more quickly, but we’ll be honest with you if we think it will take longer.

What we will do?

We rarely get complaints about our fundraising but when we do they go straight to the top of our priority list. Depending on the nature of the complaint, we’ll listen carefully to you, make an actions assessment and come back to you with the steps we’re going to take. We invite you to let us know your ideas about how it could be resolved. We will also ask if we can get in contact with you again to share final outcomes and make sure you’re happy with it.

A copy of our fundraising complaints process is readily available on request.

If your complaint isn’t about our fundraising we’ll make sure it goes to the right department. From time to time we receive complaints that do not relate to Chester Zoo, in which case we will try to point you in the direction of an alternative or more appropriate body.

On rare occasions we may choose not to respond to a complaint. These can include if someone unreasonably pursues a complaint that we have already responded to, when a complainant is abusive, prejudiced or offensive in manner and when a complaint is incoherent or illegible.

We cannot respond to anonymous complaints; however we will still make all the necessary investigative enquiries as per our standard complaints process and make suitable improvements

Who else can help?

We really hope that our personal approach and dedication will resolve your complaint in a satisfactory way. However if you are still unhappy then you can write directly to our Directorate team on the postal address above. Please outline the details of the complaint, why you have not been satisfied with our response and what you would like us to do to put things right.

We always try to resolve concerns but if you feel that more can be done then the Fundraising Regulator can investigate your complaint. You can forward your complaint within two months of our final response.

The Fundraising Regulator

Chester Zoo is wholly committed to good fundraising practice and as such we’re signed up with the Fundraising Regulator, an independent body who set and maintain the standards for charitable fundraising.

The role of the Fundraising Regulator is to:

  • Set and promote the standards for fundraising practice (‘the code’ and associated rulebooks) in consultation with the public, fundraising stakeholders and legislators
  • Investigate cases where fundraising practices have led to significant public concern
  • Adjudicate complaints from the public about fundraising practice, where these cannot be resolved by the charities themselves
  • Operate a fundraising preference service to enable individuals to manage their contact with charities
  • Where poor fundraising practice is judged to have taken place, recommend best practice guidance and take proportionate remedial action

Visit the Fundraising Regulator website to find out more or to use their online complaints form.

Tell us about the good stuff too!

We really hope you enjoy the ways you can get involved in fundraising for Chester Zoo, acting for wildlife across the globe. We also hope you find our processes simple and hassle-free. If you think we’re doing a great job, we’d love to hear about that too!

And if you have some great ideas of your own about how we can make our fundraising even more successful, email us on – we’d love to hear from you.

Want to find out more?

Visit the Fundraising section of the Chester Zoo website to find more about how we fundraise, what we fundraise for and how you can get involved. You’ll also find out how you can get in touch with us if you have ideas, comments or complaints about our fundraising that you’d like to tell us about.

The North of England Zoological Society is proud to be:

NOW is the time to ACT FOR WILDLIFE. Conservation is CRITICAL; species are under threat. TOGETHER we can make a BIG difference. Take action TODAY and join us in PREVENTING EXTINCTION.