How to Get Grants to Fund a School Playground?

A playground is a must have for any school in the country. A playground is the place where the school children can interact best with each other. Their spontaneity reaches its apex in playgrounds and they also learn to explore and learn through games and activities.

School playgrounds equipped with swings, slides and other playing equipment enable children to harness their coordination and creativity. When children interact with each other in an open and unrestricted atmosphere of a school playground, they are able to develop better communication skills as well as make new friends.

However, many schools in the country struggle to offer this facility to its students due to lack of funds. For these schools, however, there is a silver lining in the form of grants for school playgrounds. A grant is a monetary award that is offered by various government agencies, private corporations, foundations and trusts or any other entity. A grant is awarded so that projects can be planned and implemented for the betterment of the society. In the case of schools, grants for school playground are available from various bodies that care about the future of our children.

It must be noted that not all the applied grants are approved. The primary reason for this is the lack of clarity on behalf of the school. There are schools that apply for grants before doing proper homework. We have listed below some of the points that need to be kept in mind when applying for grants for a school playground.

Prepare – Preparation is the key to applying for successful grants and many schools falter in this aspect. The preparation phase includes identifying needs, identifying whether you have the location in place and also following set patterns and protocols for grant applications. You must also include phases of the project like start date and end date of building the playground. Please remember that your school will receive the grant only if the grantors feel that you actually need the grant and you are going to make proper use of the money.

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Follow protocols of application – before you even apply for a grant, you must have approval from the administrative board, the School Board in this case. You must also have in place someone who will implement the project once the grant is approved. You must know that any school grant exceeding $5,000 can only be obtained upon approval from the school board.

If the grant amount is very high, the School Board should be kept in the know about the grant application. Most of the state and federal grant agencies require the superintendent of the School Board to authorize the grant application in the form of his or her signature. If you are not very sure about the exact details and procedures of the grant approval for your district, you can always connect with the District Assistant Superintendent or the grants office.

Identify sources – A very important part of applying for and succeeding in receiving grants is to identify proper sources. Initially, you should apply for small grant amounts from foundations and trusts. Once you have this grant then you should go ahead and apply for those large amounts of federal grants. You will find that the fund amounts typically range between amounts as low as $500 to amounts as large as $50,000. On an average, the grants for school playground range between $5,000 and $10,000.

There are many sources that approve grants. You can visit the websites of private grantors like Lowe’s Toolbox for Education (http://www.toolboxforeducation.com/), Miracle Recreation Equipment Company (http://www.miracle-recreation.com/) and All Kids Can (http://www.cvscaremarkallkidscan.com/). There are other agencies like Grant 4 Teachers (http://www.grants4teachers.com/) and Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/) that you may want to check out.

Know how to apply for successful grants – There are various websites that you can access to see examples of successful grants. When you search for school grants for playground in any of the major search engines, you will have a huge list of resources that not only give you information and insights on applying for successful grants but also give you templates that you can use to successfully apply for grants for your school playground.

If you visit some of the grant websites you will be able to see a list of successful grantees. You can download a sample successful grant or even call up the grantee and receive details about the application process.

Follow set patterns in writing grant applications – For receiving a successful grant for your school playground, there is generally a set pattern when you write the application. You must start off with introducing your organization and then follow it up with the description of the project. Your needs and the possible solutions also need to be included. The budget for the project and details of the project implementation should also be part of the application. At the end of the application, you must include measures that you are going to take to evaluate the performance of the project.

Use statistics – We have always known that evidence defeats doubt. So is the case when applying for grants for school playground. When you include stats, testimonials and facts, it makes it easier for you to express your need and also to tell the grantor why the grant should be awarded. You can include data like the number of students that you have, the amount of free time that they have and the amount of time they spend indoors. You can alter your stats as per the prevailing condition of your school.

Attend seminars and workshops if necessary – There are many organizations that offer seminars and workshops for people who apply for grants. Again you need to utilize the Internet and find out about these workshops and seminars that are planned in your locality. Attending seminars and workshops will help you brainstorm, interact and learn about successfully applying for grants.

Implement – Implementation of grants is a sure shot way of receiving further grants. If you have had a grant before, you must include details of the work that was done using the grant money. You must also include the details of the person who implemented the project and the impact the project had in your school.

Don’t go below or exceed the required amount – Many a times, grants are refused because the granter feels that the requested amount is far more than required. This can pose a problem for you. On the other hand, you will also be in trouble if you request less than what is required. You must look into areas of applicable taxes and so on. Please use a professional vendor that can calculate and tell you exactly how much you should ask as the grant amount.

Hope for the best – Finally, hope for the best that your applied grant will be sanctioned and you will be able to go ahead with your school playground project.

If you are planning on a school playground you are doing a great service to our future generation. We certainly wish you are successful in your endeavor. If you need grants for your school playground you must apply to the right grantors and follow the right way. This is a sure shot way to get your grant approved.

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