Playground funding opportunity needs a Seattle community partner

Home » Playground funding opportunity needs a Seattle community partner

Earlier this week, Mayor McGinn announced the creation of an online portal that organizes citywide funding opportunities in the forms of grants and other programs that support community projects. By visiting one site, you can evaluate eligibility, timelines, workshops, and other aspects of every funding opportunity the City of Seattle provides.

Opportunities outside of City funding continue to be available, but it takes some work to track them down. In the spirit of our parks and playareas, I’d like to share one opportunity that’s available immediately.

a KaBOOM! project in Grand Prairie, Texas. Photo credit to KaBoom!

KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in North America, and they’ve built 2,000 play areas over the last fifteen year. They currently have a funding opportunity here in Seattle and are accepting applications from non-profits for consideration.

If a nonprofit is selected, the children and adults in the community would be able to create a customized playground based on their needs and wants. The organization is encouraging immediate applications with intent to build in September of this year.

Apply for a KaBOOM! playground today and your community will have a new place to play in 2011!

KaBOOM! brings together parents, community leaders and corporate partners to facilitate the planning and design of new community playspaces. Our goal is to not only build a new playspace but use the project to strengthen existing support networks and build new community relationships.

We currently have potential Funding Partners that will cover the majority of the funding as well as provide volunteers to help build playgrounds and we are currently accepting applications from nonprofit, child serving organizations and schools that would benefit from and embrace the process of a community built playspace partnership.

An organization must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Serve a low-income/high-need community – we look at the median income number of the area where we would be building the playground and the number of students on free or reduced price lunches.
  • Have nonprofit 501(c)3 status (government entities may partner up with nonprofit organizations to be eligible)
  • Have no playground or have need to replace an existing playground – we say the typical “lifespan” of  a playground is 15 years. The community partner would be responsible for taking out any old equipment and providing a flat, dirt surface to build on.
  • Fundraise $8,500 USD towards the cost of equipment, due 30 days before the build. We offer online webinars to assist with fundraising ideas. This $8,500 is approximately 15-20% of the value of the playground equipment you would be receiving.
  • Provide at least 2500 sq. feet in available land and complete any needed site preparation, i.e. removing old equipment, asphalt, grading the land.
  • Provide additional in kind responsibilities such as breakfast and lunch for Build Day, tools, restroom facilities, and a dumpster.
  • Recruit approximately 75 volunteers for Build Day and recruit parents who are excited about serving on planning committees for an 8-10 week period leading up to Build Day.
  • Accept ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the playspace upon completion.

In return, your organization will:

  • Receive a new custom designed playground!
  • Establish an ongoing relationship with a Funding Partner throughout the planning process and for years after who is interested in having an impact on your community.
  • Bring community members together as they work toward this common goal.
  • Participate in a planning process that will teach you about fundraising, community building, media relations, etc. that can be used during future community projects.

The approximate 8-10 week planning process kicks off with a Design Day where children literally design their dream playgrounds, and culminates on Build Day where volunteers build the new playground. We encourage you to forward this information to any others who may benefit.

Chicago's Namaste Playground project. Photo credit to KaBoom!

KaBOOM’s Sara Fry is eager to speak with interested parties and can be contacted at or via (202) 464-6411.