What are Grants for Playgrounds?
Grants are money given for specific projects such as playgrounds. These grants can come from many sources, including:
- National grants. This form of financing is available to playgrounds across the country.
- Corporate grants. Some businesses support communities by offering money for playground equipment. These are private grants.
- Government grants. Government agencies offer to fund many community and school projects, including playgrounds.
- Regional grants. Your county, municipality or other local government may have programs and grants in place to encourage community development or programs for children. In some cases, this funding can be used for playgrounds.
Check out our grant guide! Eligibility requirements vary widely, depending on the grant. Some are only for non-profit organizations or require you to show how your playground will help your community.View Grant Guide
Corporate and Foundation Grant Opportunities Across the United States
To secure government grants for playground equipment, consult the agencies, resources and programs in your community, county and state. Your local community foundation may have information on additional grant opportunities in your area.
The following is a list of corporate and foundation grant opportunities across the U.S.:
- American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and FitLot
- Aegon Transamerica Foundation
- Bank of America Charitable Foundation
- Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway Foundation
- Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
- Citizens Bank
- The Coca-Cola Foundation
- The Conagra Brands Foundation
- Costco Foundation
- The Darden Foundation
- The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
- The Enterline Foundation
- Foresters Financial™
- Ford Motor Company Fund
- Fuel Up to Play 60
- General Motors
- Google Ad Grants
- The H & R Block Foundation
- The Home Depot Foundation
- The Humana Foundation
- The JPMorgan Chase Foundation
- KABOOM! grants
- The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust
- Morgan Stanley Foundation
- National Education Association (NEA)
- Network for Good
- Norfolk Southern (NS) Foundation
- Project Fit America
- Shell Oil Company Foundation
- Surdna Foundation
- TJX Companies, Inc.
- U.S. Bank Foundation
- Walmart Foundation
- Wells Fargo Foundation
- W.K. Kellogg Foundation
How to Build Relationships With Your Donors
When you want to secure a grant for playground equipment, the relationships you build with your donors are key. Try to:
- Bolster your personal and organizational credibility with your donor before you ask for funding.
- Get your donor on the phone instead of simply leaving a voicemail.
- Mention any pre-existing relationships you have with employees from corporations.
- Write out the first 20 to 30 seconds of your elevator pitch, and anticipate and answer any questions the prospect might ask.
- Lead with an impassioned, emotional appeal to convince donors to identify with your cause.
How Can I Determine if a Donor Is a Match for My Playground Grant Project?
By examining each donor pool — individuals, foundations, governments and corporations — you can identify all donor prospects that align most closely with your project. Evaluate each prospect across three categories:
- Giving interests
- Capacity to give
Resources to Help Identify Donors for Playground Grants
There are several private and public resources you can use to identify donors for your playground grant project. Employ these four methods to cover each donor pool:
- Determine who donated to the last big playground or recreational project in your community.
- Pull some names off the local business park down the road. You can also research “top 40 under 40,” or “top up-and-coming businesses” in your area.
- Find out if any charities in your region provide free access to their database under certain conditions. There are several fee-based donor prospect research databases on the market that can unlock foundation and corporate opportunities.
- Identify potential funding programs with state databases or list-based resources. All federal grant opportunities can be identified on the Grants.gov database.
- Start at your community’s city hall website to find any government opportunities and grant programs related to your playground project.
The Primary Attributes of a Successful Fundraising Campaign
Timing and organizational commitment are crucial in any successful fundraising campaign for your school or community playground. You will want to consider:
- When to launch.
- The length of your campaign.
- Any leadership gifts.
- Where you can cast a wide net.
- How to encourage active engagement.
Tips for Getting Funding for Playground Equipment
- Start early: Start seeking funding as soon as you start planning. Applying for grants can take time.
- Apply for every grant for which you are eligible: Continue to apply, especially since you may need to combine funding resources to cover the whole cost of your playground.
- Write the best applications possible: Lots of organizations compete for grants, so always work with the strongest writer you have and follow the instructions on grant applications very closely.