Many companies and organizations are eager to assist initiatives that benefit the community – particularly the children. A few playground companies will donate equipment, but most organizations involved in this type of effort tend to donate the funds necessary to purchase the playground equipment. When it comes to seeking these grants or donations, you will usually need to apply to the organization’s grant department and provide information on your project.
KaBOOM! (kaboom.org) is a national non-profit organization with a vision for providing children with playgrounds within walking distance of their homes. KaBOOM! teams up with local community organizations to build playgrounds and skate parks. Generally, KaBOOM! works with other organizations dedicated to serving children. KaBOOM! has also worked with organizations because they can mobilize the volunteer effort, such as neighborhood coalitions and schools. If KaBOOM! selects your community for one of its project locations, you can expect for the costs of the project to be substantially but not completely covered. Thus, KaBOOM! selects its partners based on their ability to raise the additional funds.
Play Mart Inc.
Play Mart Inc. (playmart.com) is a playground equipment company that specializes in playground equipment made from recycled milk jugs. The company has also played a role in developing environmental education groups. In addition to its green stance on reusing materials, Play Mart includes in its mission statement the goal of donating playground equipment to worthy causes. Play Mart has donated playgrounds to orphanages and schools across the world as well as sponsoring local initiatives.
When you are searching for partners in your playground project, do not neglect the possibly of corporate donors. For example, companies like Walmart and Lowe’s give significant amounts of funds to local community initiatives. The "Walmart Good Works" community involvement effort has donated $150 million on the local level for community enrichment projects. Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation donates to local 501(c)(3) organizations for community improvement projects such as parks. Corporate sponsors such as Walmart and Lowe’s usually donate funds to projects in the same city as a local store location. Contact your local company to apply for a community grant.
Insurance Companies within Communities
Local insurance agents have a vested interest in their clients and in their community. Many insurance companies provide funding for local community improvements. For example, the Allstate Foundation provides Safe Communities, Economic Empowerment & Tolerance Grants to revitalize neighborhoods and bring communities together. Safeco is an insurance company that also partners with non-profit organizations to strengthen America’s neighborhoods through grants and volunteer hours. Safeco’s mission is to promote neighborliness and gathering spaces like playgrounds. Successful applicants for these grants are usually from cities and neighborhoods where the insurance companies’ employees live and work.
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