Join the pack! The Zoological Society of New Jersey invites you to join our #ZOOANDYOU Campaign to support Turtle Back Zoo’s animal welfare and the New Jersey Pandemic Relief Fund. In a time of social distancing, this campaign intends to UNITE us in support of vital causes to keep both animals and humans safe, healthy, and happy. For the last 57 years, Essex County Turtle Back Zoo has brought people together – most recently as New Jersey’s largest tourist attraction. Today, we intend to leverage this unique ability to inspire our communities in a definitive time of need.

Joining is easy! Participants will be asked to contribute or raise $25 to register for the challenge. Once registration is completed, participants will record daily step counts to achieve a goal of their choice to be completed by the end of the campaign. These goals range from a virtual 10k to an ultra-marathon completed over the life of the campaign. Steps are calculated by integrations with today’s most popular smartphones, watches, and apps. Participants are encouraged to raise funds in association with challenge achievements.

#STAYATHOME but Keep Moving! In addition to our fundraising goals, the #ZOOANDYOU challenge aims to keep our participants moving and active by stepping in place. Each year, millions of animals take part in a great migration that extends 800km through eastern Africa. While certainly not to that scale, our participants will be rewarded for step challenges of their own design. Our collective goal is to virtually traverse the perimeter of New Jersey (480 miles) multiple times.

Individual Incentives Include:

Motivation is always best in groups! Start your own pack by creating a fundraising team. Register your family, school, class, business, friends’ group, or organization and enlist your connections to participate. There are added incentives for team achievements. Round up your squad for a great cause.

Team Incentives Include:

The Biggest Fundraising Team (largest amount of money raised, excludes registration fee) will receive a private reception for your team members after hours at Turtle Back Zoo. Followed by a private evening to stroll the Zoo from 6 to 8pm on a mutually agreed upon date.

The Largest Team (greatest number of steps for team participants) each member will receive an animal adoption of choice which includes a digital photo of the animal, digital personalized certificate and digital animal fact sheet.
COMPLETED: 23,738,620 steps
TARGET: 1,000,000 steps
RAISED: $ 6,065
TARGET: $ 50,000
You must go on adventures to find out where you truly belong. ~ Sue Fitzmaurice
Come join us and leave your footprints by walking around New Jersey!
Register for the campaign and set your fitness & fundraising targets.
Share your story and raise funds & awareness.
Track workouts anywhere & anytime and complete goal.
Conserve. Educate. Inspire.

Read more about the organization >>

How Your Participation Helps
Instituted by the Community Foundation of New Jersey, the Pandemic Relief Fund (NJPRF) is marshaling resources across the state to identify critical needs and fight the economic and social impact of COVID-19 on New Jersey’s vulnerable communities. Proceeds will be used to support organizations that provide essential services and aiding those on the front line of the pandemic.

The Zoological Society of New Jersey is the non-profit arm of Essex County Turtle Back Zoo. Proceeds will be instrumental in retaining staff and resources to ensure leading animal welfare and conservation efforts in a time where admission revenue is non-existent.
What is Charity Footprints?

Charity Footprints is a social enterprise that connects fitness and charitable giving. We empower people just like you, to get fit & give back.

Our Virtual Races allow non-profits to challenge their patrons to run, walk or ride and raise funds just as they would in a fundraising walkathon. The best part - charities save over 45% in event and logistical costs. So, the dollars that you pay to register or fundraise, go farther.

What is the campaign registration fee?

Campaign registration fee is the amount that you'll need to pay to enroll in this virtual race. This fee (less transaction charges) will go to the non-profit running this campaign as a donation.

The registration fee along with the funds raised through your individual fundraising page will enable the non-profit to fund various programs and pursue their organization's mission.

How can I create my fundraising page?

Well, you wouldn't have to create a separate fundraising page. Once you register for this campaign, we'll give you the link to your fundraising page.

How will I track my distance?

You can track your workouts by setting up your devices (Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch, Google Fit, Misfit, Strava), or download the Charity Footprints' iOS or Android app and track your workouts toward this campaign.

If you workout indoors (treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike etc.), you can upload your workouts here.

How do I join a team on this campaign?

While registering for the campaign, select the team you'd like to join or create a new team and invite others to #GetFitGiveBack with you. If you want to join a team (or create your team) after registration, login to the campaign site and you would find a link to edit "My Team" in the menu under your profile in the header.

I am an international donor (non-US), what are my donation charges and tax-deductibility?

All donations are made in US dollars, so the donations may be levied an exchange rate fee via your bank. Donors will want to connect with their bank to determine exactly what that fee may be. Additionally, international donors will need to reach out to a tax professional to discuss if and how tax deductibility will apply to their donation.

Who can sponsor my fundraising efforts?

The short answer is - everyone. The fundraising research shows that the number one reason for people not donating is that they weren't asked to.

That said, there are things you can do to attract people to sponsor you. Adding a picture to your fundraising page, telling potential donors why this cause is so personal to you, sharing your fundraising page on social media, email, and chat groups.

Last, if your employer has a gift matching program, check with the human resources department to support your favorite cause as well.

Who can I contact if I need help?

You can contact us any time if you need help. We love hearing from our users so please don't hesitate to write to us about issues, suggestions, or to just say hi. You can also contact the non-profit administrator directly if you would like.

How do I change or switch my team?

If you want to join a team (or create your team) after registration, login to the campaign site and you would find a link to edit "My Team" in the menu under your profile in the header.