At Play & Park, we understand the need for public parks and their benefit to the local communities. We also understand how playgrounds can get expensive. That’s why we’ve built out a list of potential playground grant opportunities and fundraising ideas to help you find the capital for your playgrounds. We also don’t want money to stop you from bringing your playground to your community. If you need help applying for grants, fundraising, or even designing your park, please reach out. We always love to help!
When you’re researching grants, use our tool to find potential grants that are a good fit for your park. After you’ve found the grants that you think you’re a good match for, it’s time to build out a well written and intentional application. There are three main things to think about when writing your application:
1. Write a custom-tailored application for each grant
To stand out from the rest of the crowd, it’s important to tailor each application to the specific grant and person who is reading it. Going that extra mile to write it for one purpose will make the reader feel special and more willing to give you the grant
2. Write as you’ve already been awarded the grant money and you’re just explaining how you’re using it.
If you are very detailed in how the grant money is going to be spent, it will make the people giving you the grant more confident in awarding the grant to your playground project. We suggest to include which pieces of playground equipment and the style of surfacing you’re considering. If possible, you could also add pdf’s of the playground’s potential design to the application.
3. Make sure your grant meets all the grant requirements
The easiest way for your application to be denied is if you miss a step in the grant requirements. Take the extra time to check and confirm that your application is meeting all requirements before you submit it.
Sections to Include In Your Playground Grant Request
The Executive Summary is like a cover letter in a job application. It summarizes the entire application in a concise, uniform manner. It should quickly present the problem, your solution, and convince the reader why your grant should be funded. It should be less than a page and organized well. The important thing to remember when writing your executive summary is to not go into too much detail. It’s important to cover the highest level of information in a narrative, easily digestible way. You have the opportunity to expand into details later on in your application.
This is the start of your application. You should briefly introduce yourself and the playground project you’re applying for. This is also a good opportunity to add a couple of sentences on the community where the playground is going and who it will benefit.
Statement of Need
You were able to speak on the problem and your solution briefly in your executive summary. In the Statement of Need section, you can expand on the facts that back up the problem. Use this space to detail statistics, data and reports that defend your problem. This will present the problem in a measurable way and prepare the reader for how your solution will solve it.
Project Description / Plan of Work
Now that the reader has a clear understanding of the problem you’re wanting to solve, it is time to explain how your idea for a playground will fix it. In this section, you can present your plan of work and timeline to accomplishing it. This should be multiple pages long, showing the proposed location, playground designs, contact information for contractors, responsibilities of each team member, etc.
In this section write out a detailed analysis of the playground budget. You can learn more about how much your playground could cost through this link right here. Try and be as detailed as possible, showing exactly where the grant money will be used in your playground budget. By being as detailed as possible, showing where each dollar is going in your proposed plan, you’re gaining the grantor’s trust. They will be more confident in awarding you the playground grant if you can show exactly how it will be spent.
Background/Organizational Information and qualifications
Here you can explain how you and your team are experienced enough to undergo the playground build. List the team members working on the project and their respective jobs. Don’t worry if none of the team members have developed a playground before. Just make sure you mention the contractors you’re working and their individual roles to add authority to your project.
Here is your final chance to convince the granters that you should be awarded the grant. Repeat the main points of your application, the problem, how your project is solving it, and the benefits to the community. Here you can also thank the grantors for their time reading your application.
Include an appendix to list the sources you used in your application. You can add specific charts and online resources as well.
Again, be very detailed and thorough with your application. The more information you can give to the grantors, the higher the chance you have to be awarded the grant. Also if you are curious about how to buy and install playground equipment. Please contact us, we are more than happy to lead you through the entire playground development process.