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Four Steps to Finding Funds for Your Playground Project


If you're planning a new play and recreation project, one of the questions you might be asking is, "how can I raise money to build a playground?" Funding comes from creating relationships with people! Take a strategic approach to who you ask and how you ask for playground funding. This will increase your chances of reaching your funding goals.

Follow these steps to inform the public about your cause and inspire them to get on board!

1. Create a Funders' List

Make a list of potential funders. Include your personal and professional networks. Consider joining other community and civic groups to expand your reach.

Here is a list of questions to help you create a potential funders' list:

  • Who in the community would support a new playground?
  • Are there organizations or companies willing to donate?
  • Which community leaders will understand the benefits of a new playground?
  • How should you contact potential funders?
  • What kind of fundraisers will be most effective?
  • Are there fundraising restrictions/requirements?
  • Should we work with a professional grant writer?

2. Tell a Compelling Story

It's a good idea to share why a new playground is important. Sharing your story, and the stories of those who will benefit from a playground is an effective way to encourage people to donate to the cause. Make sure your talking points are meaningful and easy to understand.

As you think about the story you want to tell, thinking about WHY the playground is important:

  • Why now?
  • Why at all?
  • Why your potential funders will benefit?

3. Ask for Playground Funding

At some point, you'll have to ask people for money to build your new playground. For some people, asking for money feels uncomfortable, but it's an essential step to ensure the playground is built.

Here are some tips to making the ask:

  • Be direct.
  • Ask for a specific amount.
  • Inform the donor what they can expect in return for their donation.
  • Offer levels of giving so everyone can participate in some way.

4. Spread the Word

Let everyone know about your project. The more people who know about the need for a playground, the more likely you'll find donors. Here are some ideas to get the word out and encourage people to make a donation.

  • Gather friends and family for a letter-writing campaign to potential donors, community leaders, and local media
  • Email - make direct appeals to your contacts and local organizations that might be willing to donate
  • Post flyers in local businesses, physician offices, youth centers, faith organizations, etc.
  • Digital fundraising - consider online tools like GoFundMe
  • Websites - set up a webpage, Facebook group, or other online resources for people to learn about the project and make donations
  • Personal meetings and presentations - contact your local Chamber of Commerce and request opportunities to speak at chapter meetings
  • Promote sponsorships - allow others to fund the project through golf tournaments, 5k races, and other sponsored events

We're Here to Help

GameTime publishes a comprehensive playground funding guide. It provides national, regional, and local organizations that fund play and recreation projects. Request your free copy and get closer to your funding goals.

Our local play experts can also help you with ideas for reaching out to the community, hosting online and in-person community meetings and educational workshops to help people understand the need. To learn more, contact the local GameTime expert in your community.