grants and funding
How to get funding for your playground project
What is a playground grant?
A grant is financial aid from different types of organisations that allocate funds for playground projects in the community. Grants are a great way to realise a playground project or an outdoor fitness site because not only will a grant boost the overall budget and help your project immensely, the money allocated is for free and must not be repaid. Playground grants can come from different pools, such as:
Corporate or business grants
Applying for funding and grants may seem like a big hill to climb, as many stakeholders are involved. Our teams of experts are here to help you in the application process. We are happy to help you right from the start of your funding journey.
Who can apply for a playground grant?
Whether you are looking to fund a playground as a school, kindergarten, municipality, or non-profit organisation, funding opportunities through grants are available for all! Remember that specific grants require specific projects, and different stakeholders will be relevant depending on your project. To give you an overview, we take you through:
How to start your search for funding
How approach the grants application process
How to write a grants application that will help realise your project
How do I know if the donor is a match for my playground grant application?
1. Local Prospects
Start by searching for what’s available on a local level. Local grants often provide more value to your local project as they support something within the local community. They also don’t always require the funds to be matched. Starting the search in the largest city in your area is a good place to start.
2. National Prospects
Follow up by applying for national funds. They tend to come with larger budgets and provide significant support - keep in mind that these types of grants may require fund-matching, which indicates requirements on how big your budget needs to be. This is why you’ll want to acquire national grants to supplement your local funding opportunities.
Apply for additional funds with a fundraising campaign as a viable opportunity. Local people, local family funds, entrepreneurs, and businesses often favour fundraising. Beyond the ability to support their local community, they may see an added value in contributing to a specific part of the playground, such as a small plaque or sponsored section.
Playground grant application process
1. Get the Experts on Board
We recommend that you get your local KOMPAN playground consultant involved as early in the process as possible. We have a vast knowledge of the grant application process and can often guide you in the right direction. We can assist you with the fundamentals of the application, such as visualising your project and break down of costs. We also recommend involving the true play experts, the children and getting their input.
2. Set the Application Team
Having a team around you to support you in the application process is highly recommendable. If you are applying for a playground grant for schools, getting your parent-teacher organisation involved as the core team can be beneficial. We know from experience that nonprofit organisations are often more likely to get funding. Therefore, they are often a vital asset in the application process.
3. Agree on Budget and Design
Together, we agree on a budget and the design of your project. Your playground consultant will help you determine a realistic budget, as the budget is a vital criterion of any application. You want the budget to be ambitious enough for your dream outdoor activity area. Many funds would like to see the playground project design and a breakdown of costs. We are here to help you with both.
4. Start Networking
Networking is a great way to form business relationships to identify and create business opportunities, such as applying for a playground grant. More stakeholders than you know can help fund your project, especially within your local community. Get in touch with local business associations or families and parent groups in the area: as they can all participate in the grant process.
5. Sign-off and Apply
Once you have decided on a budget and have the scope and details in place, the playground project is ready to be presented to the stakeholders for the final sign-off. And then, you can start applying for grants. Make sure to go for multiple kinds of funds, as both the size and requirements of the grants will vary.
6. Receive grant money - Let’s go
Applying multiple times for grants is not uncommon, but all good things come to those who wait. Having thoroughly researched the application process, a playground grant should be on the way to your project and community so you can realise the playground of your dreams.
Six tips for writing a playground grant application
No playground grant application is the same, but there are some common tips on how to write the best application possible and making the process go smoothly. We have collected our best tips for you here:
Start early: The application process takes time, and there is much of preparation before sending out applications. So, start early to ensure you have time to gather all the necessary information.
Know the fund you’re applying for: Ensure you follow the grant requirements thoroughly. This includes ensuring that the fund is willing to give grants to playground projects and that the grant is eligible in your district.
Align your cause to their cause: In continuation of no. 2, align your cause with the funds. If they want to create healthier communities or enhance the community’s outdoor activity areas, highlight and discuss that specifically in relation to your project. Promote your story about how the playground will benefit your local community so stakeholders know how their engagement is beneficial.
Know your audience and their needs: What does your own community/school/kindergarten need? Knowing and answering these questions is a vital part of the application - highlight that people in your local community support the project.
Be specific and know your details: Write clearly and professionally and learn the details of your project; Include visuals of the layout, breakdown of costs and the timeline for the project. When the fundraising process begins, donations for a specific playground product might be more straightforward, therefore we recommend including a list with product prices within the overall budget.
Proofread – and read again: It’s a good idea to ask someone unfamiliar with the project to read through the application before applying. Typos can occur and ruin what could be an amazing application.
Remember - You have a good cause. Playgrounds help children become more active and encourage healthier lifestyles.
Got questions about how to plan a playground?
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