Many in the SchoolGrants community are seeking assistance for purchasing playground equipment. Listed on this page are sources that we have come across. If any of you who know of additional funding sources and/or have suggestions for raising funds, I would appreciate you letting me know so I can add them here.
(Links on SchoolGrants always open in their own windows so you will always be able to return to your spot on this site.)
The Funding Factory
The FundingFactory helps schools can earn leading edge technology, sports and recreation equipment (including playground equipment) by recycling empty printer cartridges and used cell phones. It's simple! Schools collect empty printer cartridges and used cell phones and send them to The FundingFactory. Over 20% of US schools currently participate in the program that is the recognized gold standard for innovative fundraising. Help save the environment while raising cash for your school!
It's easy and FREE to get started! FundFactory provides all the shipping cartons and labels you need at no cost at all to your school. They even provide posters you can display at your school to help get the word out about your program. What do you have to lose? Sign up now by clicking here. Please be sure to mention that you learned about the program through SchoolGrants!
We have had some good discussions on the “Bring Home the Bacon” listserv about finding funding for playground equipment. Some of the ideas are listed below. Keep in mind - it is very important to know what the funder's guidelines are before submitting a request!!!
Hasbro Children's Foundation
32 W. 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010
Nike P.L.A.Y. Foundation
Public Affairs Dept.
One Bowerman Dr.
Beaverton, OR 97005
Geoffrey Gund Foundation
8075 Leesburg Pike
Vienna, VA 22182
2213 M Street, NW
Washington, DC 20037
Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation
Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation supports projects that enhance the natural environment and/or increase community involvement - including playground renovations. It is recommended that you contact the manager at your local Lowe's store prior to submitting a formal proposal to the Foundation. There are no deadlines.
Other information about playgrounds can be found at: http://www.uni.edu/coe/hpels/_research/
You may wish also contact your local community foundation (The Grantsmanship Center is a great resource for locating community foundations), the Junior League, Jaycees, Kiwanis, and Lions Clubs. Local businesses and industries may also be willing to donate toward playground development and/or renovation.
Playground safety is a major concern for many schools and parents. Take time to visit the National Program for Playground Safety when planning and designing your playground program.
A Guide to Playground Safety for Kids from AAA State of Play has some great information and is a valuable resource.
A pamphlet on Community-Built Playgrounds that explains how to raise funds and gather help to install a playground by community groups is available through Landscape Structures, Inc. It appears that many of the planning documents are not available unless you meet with company representatives.
PTOtoday.com recognizes both the fact that funding is difficult to find and that there is a big need across the country for playground improvement. They have a Web page that is devoted to providing a one stop resource for everything you need to know about playgrounds that is found athttp://www.ptotoday.com/playground.html.
You may wish to conduct a capital campaign to obtain funding for playground equipment and/or renovation. Community support is important to any project and raising funds through a capital campaign is an excellent way to get local businesses, corporations, and individuals involved in your project. A good resource for learning more about capital campaigns is the Capital Quest site.
Your capital campaign may or may not include applying for grants from foundations and corporations. If you do expect to request grant funds to supplement the funds raised from community support, wait until you have begun to raise money from the local community. It is critical that you show the potential grantor that the community supports your project through volunteer-time and donations - cash and/or materials.
Requesting Funds for Playgrounds
When requesting funding for the playground equipment, whether through a grant proposal or a capital campaign request, focus on the needs of the students and/or community. Yes, you need the money to replace old, broken, dangerous equipment - but what benefits accrue to the students by the replacement?
In other words, replacing or adding playground equipment may:
create a safe and healthy environment for the students,
assure physical fitness, and/or
provide the community with a safe place to play and gather as an alternative to constructing a city park.
Creating a safe, healthy environment is especially important in today's world and is directly related to children's ability to understand and learn. Physically-fit students are more likely to do well in their studies than those who are lethargic and out-of-shape.
Creating a safe haven for the community expands your boundaries beyond the students in your school. More children and families will reap the benefits of the updated and safe playground than just your students.
West Parish Elementary in Gloucester, MA recognized the need for a great playground for their children while also realizing that the children would benefit from hands-on science instruction. See how they met both needs in the form of an incredible playground by visitinghttp://www.ptotoday.com/1004incredible.html
Nancy Morosohk shares this information for California folks who are looking for playground funding:
If you are in Alameda County in Northern California, you can apply to the Quality Assessment and Improvement Grant by the Child Care Fund. You can apply for money for Classroom Assessment or Improvements, Playground Inspection or Improvements or Family and/or staff Needs Assessment or Improvements. In order to apply, you must provide services to one of the
- early childhood education, infants, school-age care,
- special needs,
- specialized care (i.e sick children),
- extended care (after hours)
- or low income and/or CalWORKS families.
The deadline to apply for this grant was August 30, 2002. It might be worthwhile to research whether a similar opportunity currently exists.
For info, contact the Child Care Fund, a Program of Every Child Counts at (510)667-3074.
(Nancy, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge with SchoolGrants!)