Fully accessible community playgrounds start at about $100,000 and may cost double or triple that amount, depending on the size of the project. Raising funds for a playground is a daunting task, but it is possible. Here are some tips and resources to help funding efforts.
Tips for Funding
- Create fundraisers in the community (e.g., annual wrapping paper drive, tickets to the city's fireworks show, live and silent auction events,). Be creative. Research what sells best and what is needed in the community. This approach will also provide a service to the community while raising funds.
- Ask parents and members of the community for possible connections that may lead to monetary help. Seek parents that have some expertise in construction, procurement, grant writing, or other areas that may be playground-related.
- Search, secure support for, write, and actively pursue applicable grants.
- Seek assistance from organizations that connect with possible donors. These organizations may already exist at the community level.
- Tell potential donors exactly how their gift will impact the project and focus on creating personal relationships with funders and potential donors.
- Contact local media. Based on who is creating the playground, ask community or school media representatives to write articles and create other promotional materials and media about the project.
- Apply for 501(c)(3) status. Consider making the playground group a legally-recognized nonprofit. While there is some initial expense to becoming a 501(c)(3) organization, it creates access to grant monies reserved for nonprofits.
- Designate a grant-writing position as part of the playground organization/team.
- Consider everyone and organization as a potential resource: community foundations, local philanthropists, school administrators, and elected officials might all provide connection to potential grants.
Tips for Resources
- Playground Grant Guide (Landscape Structures): for corporate and non-profit organizations, https://www.playlsi.com/en/contact-us
- Kaboom!: non-profit that provides playground grants to economically-disadvantaged communities, https://kaboom.org/
- Unlimited Play: non-profit that helps plan, design, and build fully accessible playgrounds, https://www.unlimitedplay.org/
- Inclusive Play Funding Sources Guide: http://www.inclusiveplaygrounds.org/contact