Dozens of organizations offer grant funding for communities and schools that want to build playgrounds for their children. Outdoor play spaces that are safe and fun for kids are vital to their physical and social development. These are especially important in areas where children’s outdoor activities are limited due to lack of open land or safe neighborhoods.
The KaBOOM! organization from time to time administers challenge grants to individuals and non-profit groups to raise money for playgrounds, although it is not a grant-giving organization. These challenge grants come from funding partners, and they offer money for every dollar earned through local fundraising campaigns to build playgrounds. As of March 2011, no challenge grants were being awarded, but it is a good idea to check the KaBOOM! website occasionally to check for updates.
The American Academy of Dermatology offers grants for $8,000 to put up permanent sunshade structures over playgrounds. These grants are used to promote the awareness of sun safety and skin cancer. Recipients have to have had a sun safety / skin cancer awareness program in place at least a year before applying for the grant.
In 2010, the Home Depot offered grants of up to $2,500 in the form of gift cards to the Home Depot for the purchase of supplies and tools through its Build Healthy Communities Grant Program. This program provides funds to communities who use volunteers to build better communities. For 2011, the Home Depot is undergoing a strategic review of the program. Check the Home Depot’s website in early spring for updates to the program for 2011.
Kinetic Recreation Design, LLC has a form on its website you can fill out to see if you are eligible for funding from its Kinetic Kids initiative. This program is available only in Indiana. The initiative has over $1 million to award. Its grants come in the form of up to 30 percent savings on playground equipment.
Toolbox for Education
The Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program provides grants of up to $5,000 to schools across the country. Although the program is not specifically geared toward building playgrounds, Lowe’s has funded outdoor play spaces for children in the past.
Miracle's Recreation Grant
Miracle’s Recreation Grant provides access to the Miracle Recreation Equipment Company’s $5 million in grant money available to schools to build playgrounds. The grant includes installation of the equipment as well. An application and brochure about the program are available on the Miracle website.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.