Numerous organizations help schools and neighborhoods build safe playgrounds for children. Corporations with foundations that give back to the communities where they have a presence are a great place to start your grant search. Determine whether you’ll use the funds for equipment, renovating an existing playground or starting a new one from scratch before you start looking.
Miracle Recreation Equipment Company
In 2011, this company had a $5 million grant fund for creating playgrounds, according to its website. Along with funding and playground equipment, the program features free installation of equipment. The company doesn’t list specific award amounts; rather, it requires applicants to state the budget of their project.
Kaboom! sometimes offers grants for children’s play areas. While Kaboom! specifies that it is not a grant-making foundation, it does receive funding through other organizations, and makes these opportunities known on its website as they become available. Grant amounts vary depending on available funds.
Home Depot Foundation Building Healthy Communities
Through this program, the Home Depot Foundation sometimes makes grants to support the creation of playgrounds, planting of native trees and construction of inexpensive housing.
Baseball Tomorrow Fund
This organization provides funds for constructing baseball fields and purchasing baseball equipment. School districts and local nonprofits may apply. Award amounts vary based on project needs and available funds, and funded programs are located across the U.S.
Carol M. White Physical Education Program
This program provides grants that can aid in purchasing equipment that will help kids stay physically active. Schools as well as community nonprofits may apply.
Lego Children's Fund
The Lego Children’s Fund awards grants for initiatives that promote creativity in young children. A school playground, particularly a creatively designed one, easily falls into this category. As the Peaceful Playgrounds website says, a playground can be more than a big open space. It can have permanent games and activity stations painted or built on its surface, in addition to spaces for free-play. In 2011, grants from this program ranged from $500 to $5,000.
Hasbro Children's Foundation
Hasbro/Playskool has established the Hasbro National Children’s Foundation to fund construction of “Boundless Playgrounds,” spaces where differently-abled children can play. The foundation focuses on establishing these playgrounds in disadvantaged communities where children with disabilities may not have access to safe and inclusive play areas. In 2011, grant amounts varied, with one totaling $300,000, according to the company website. This program is a partnership with the Boundless Playgrounds program, which channels funding from contributing foundations to communities that need it.
- playground equipment image by Kathy Burns from Fotolia.com