a playground with a slide

How to Get Grants For Playground Equipment

Having safe, attractive, and high-quality playground equipment for your local community is important. Unfortunately, building and maintaining a playground isn't free or cheap! Luckily, there are many organizations that offer grants for playground equipment all over the country. So, if you need a boost to your playground budget, we'll take you through the process of writing a grant and getting funding.

Funding for Playground Equipment

Generally, grants for playground equipment are provided by foundations, businesses, non-profit groups, and government agencies at all levels. These organizations provide funding because they see the ample benefits of having a brand new playground in their local community.

In many cases, the grant providers want to stimulate children's healthy development through outdoor play. Which is one of the most important tools in our fight against growing levels of child obesity, as a healthy way to have fun.

How to Write A Grant For Playground Equipment

While the process of receiving funding for playground equipment may differ, these are the typical steps:

  1. The organization that provides grants for playground equipment develops its specific funding program, in line with its mission. Then, they announce that they're open for applications, submitted according to their specific criteria.
  2. As a community organization that's interested in obtaining funding for playground equipment, you fill out your grant application and submit it before the deadline (if there is one). Depending on the application, the application could include everything from financial data and details on the proposed work to just the basic information about your organization.
  3. The process of completing your application for grants for playground equipment can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Once all applications have been submitted, a group of experts forms a panel and decides how the grant funds will be allocated.
  4. If you're among the recipients of the funding for playground equipment, you can begin working on your project.

Writing Your Playground Grant

Now we get down to the nuts and bolts of writing a grant. First, keep in mind that your proposal is more likely to receive funding if your organization is a great match for the grant-giving organization. Ideally, your project will align with the granting organization's overall mission. Therefore, it is critical to understand the granting organization's mission and values.

Typically, these are the sections included in grants for playground equipment:

  • Cover Letter — the cover letter is your first (and likely only) chance to grab the funder's attention and get them to take your application seriously
  • Your key objective for your cover letter is to make sure whoever reads it will read the rest of the application
  • Be direct - identify what you are asking for; explain why your organization should receive it; highlight benefits to the children and the community; clearly articulate your organization's alignment with the granting organization's mission and values
  • Summary — your first section provides a quick overview of your solution, expenses, and the rough timeline.
  • Briefly explain your organization, your project's goals, and why you should receive the funds, and when the project will be completed
  • Introduction — a brief background of your organization, the problem that your playground equipment would solve, and a brief description of the scope and purpose of the project
  • Briefly discuss your organization's background, mission, values, and leadership
  • Explain how play equipment would enhance your children's experience or add value to your community
  • Plan of work — a more detailed look at your solution, ideally with examples and statistics that back up your claims.
  • Include some measurable outcomes for your project, as well as a detailed timeline for its completion
  • You may need to include a detailed discussion of your problem and exactly how and why the play equipment would solve that problem
  • Budget — all of the expenses tied to the project should be described under this section in great detail. Naturally, all costs need to be directly related to the outcome of your project
  • Before putting your budget together, do your research!
  • Obtain a general understanding of play equipment and labor costs and consider obtaining multiple quotes and estimates
  • Consult with people on your time who have financial acumen
  • Experience and qualifications — where you describe the experience and relevant qualifications of your organization and its members
  • This is the place to brag on your team and your vendors
  • Explain the experience and accomplishment of your organization's leadership team and consider including successful projects that the team has championed
  • Describe the qualifications of the vendors that you are considering or have already chosen
  • Appendixes — any playground design drawings, photographs, charts, and other graphics that you haven't included in the body of the proposal go here.

Grants for Playground Equipment

The good news is that there are plenty of sources and programs for grant money as long as you know where to look. Corporations, non-profits, and government agencies all maintain various local, state, and federal programs that provide funding for playground equipment.

For instance, American Express has an extensive grant program across several divisions and one of them is dedicated to community service, so it's a great fit for playground installation funding.

Also, the US Department of Agriculture has grant programs that are supposed to eradicate childhood obesity which is the biggest nutrition-related issue in the country today. That's why their Childhood Obesity Prevention matching grant can be used to create safe and fun playgrounds that help our children become and stay healthy through their most important phases of development. Though, bear in mind that a matching grant means you'll have to find funding from other, non-federal sources as well to be eligible.

Also, huge retailers with plenty of franchises around the country such as Costco, frequently provide funding for projects focused on the education and health of children in their local communities. In this case, your organization needs to be in the vicinity of a Costco store to be eligible for a grant.

The same goes for Walmart, which provides funding through its State Giving Program to public organizations across all fifty states. The lowest grants are $25,000, but they go up to $200,000 if a project demonstrates a sufficient need for higher funding.

Contact Us

For more information about the commercial playground equipment offered at EcoPlay Structures, contact us by calling 470-280-7529 or email markm@ecoplaystructures.com today.

Call Us @ 470-280-7529

Let's begin a dialog about your needs for playground equipment or amenities. Then, we'll walk you through options for playgrounds that meet your budget, configuration, age group, and space requirements.

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