According to the Stewardship Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to land conservation in California, improving the lives of young people by encouraging them to get outside and play is a growing concern, and grants for playground equipment are relatively common. All grants require applicants to meet certain criteria for funding which include targeting the correct population, being the correct type of organization, and correctly completing the grant application. Most grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, or municipalities. Grants for playground equipment obviously target children and some focus on serving low-income or underserved populations.
Let's Play Construction Grants
Dr. Pepper and Snapple offer a $15,000 grant for playground equipment to organizations that use the KaBOOM community-build model, which requires collaboration in planning and construction of playgrounds. Grantees are expected to plan their project and share their success and best practices with others on the KaBOOM website. Applicants must purchase equipment from a KaBOOM-preferred vendor and must possess the land on which they wish to build or have a long-term lease with permission from the owner. Eligible applicants include nonprofit organizations or a subdivision of a government entity. Matching funds are required for this grant because the total equipment purchase must range from $24,000 to $40,000.
Playful Cities USA
KaBOOM, Dr. Pepper and Snapple also collaborate on the Playful Cities USA grants, which will award more than $2 million total to cities and towns starting in 2011. Awards will range from $15,000 to $30,000 and are available for collaborative community projects.
Tony Hawk Foundation
The Tony Hawk Foundation awards grant for construction of high-quality skateboard parks. Grant funds can go toward design, development, construction and operation of skateboard parks in low-income areas across the United States. Parks must be built by qualified skateboard park contractors with input from the youths who will use the facility. The grant requires that skaters do not need to sign safety waivers or pay a fee to use the park, because these requirements limit youth access. Awards range from $1,000 to $25,000.
Stewarship Council Grants
The Stewardship Council “is dedicated to investing in efforts to improve the lives of young people through connections with the outdoors.” More than $2 million will be awarded to grantees for construction of playgrounds, nature trails, and other facilities encouraging outdoor play.
Do Something Mini-Grants
Do Something targets youths in order to encourage them to become involved actively in their community. They offer a $500 seed grant to jump start youth ideas for community projects such as playgrounds, or to further develop projects that are already in the works. Do Something makes awards weekly throughout the year.