Seek Non-monetary Donations
Dollars are critical in any project, however many other things can be sought for donation. For example, if you are building or altering a play area, equipment or portions of the play surface may be donated by vendors or manufacturers. In addition, the use of volunteers instead of paid laborers can save a great deal of money.
Volunteers offer a valuable service through the donation of their time. Organizations such as Americorps and TelecomPioneers are sources of volunteers. Each of their websites provides contact information for various regional chapters all over the country. Forming relationships with local chapters of these types of service organizations are an excellent way of having ongoing volunteer support. In addition, another source of volunteers is students. In particular, college students in certain majors are often required to have service hours to complete their degree. For example, for Therapeutic Recreation majors volunteer work is required. Contacting the advisor for recreation students at the local university can be an effective method of attracting volunteers.
Local retailers are a good source of specific materials and possibly labor as well. For example, home improvement stores such as Home Depot (Home Depot Foundation Link) and Lowe's may be willing to donate materials and workers to build a ramp. Home Depot offers corporate grants through the Home Depot Foundation in addition to donating 7,000,000 hours of volunteer time in 2002. Other goods and services might be available through chain corporations such as Wal-mart, Target (Target Corporation Link), K Mart, or even your locally owned hardware store. Target also offers grants and has the Target Volunteers who are involved in many community projects all over the country.