General Recreation Can Help You Raise Money for a Playground

A playground with many pieces of modern equipment
Image via General Recreation

In today’s economic environment, playground fundraising can face financial obstacles to bring your playground project to life.

General Recreation Inc. in Newtown Square, a playground equipment provider and recreation space designer, can help with those fundraising issues.

There are fun, creative ways to raise money, or you can use more traditional routes to raise capital, like leasing options.

Playgrounds are an important aspect of any park or community, and General Recreation has information on the latest programs and finance options available to communities looking to improve their parks and recreation facilities.

Here are just a few ideas:


A new innovative playground or repairs and upgrades to an existing, potentially hazardous playground are great investments toward providing a safe and healthy place for children to stay active, improve their social skills and fight off childhood obesity, while strengthening families and communities.

Playground grants are one way you can get the funds you need to make your project happen.

For the most up-to-date grant information, contact General Recreation toll-free at 800-726-4793 for a grant guide.

Lease financing option

With lease-purchase options, you can build your playground today and fund it over time. This is a great way to get the options you want and still effectively manage your cash flow.

Other fundraising ideas

More than 70 percent of school playground fundraising is done through the efforts of PTO and PTA groups.  

These groups will need to think beyond the bake sale to really raise the money they need.

Think of unique ways to engage residents and businesses in your community. Make it worth their while to participate in your playground fundraising efforts. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Traditional fundraising

Recognition is a great way to get people motivated to contribute. For businesses, it’s a great way to get some good PR, and for residents, it’s a special way to honor a loved one or important event. Some ways to recognize donors include:

  • Putting their names on a custom sign at the playground;
  • Selling bricks that will be custom-engraved with their name and date
  • Recognizing donors in your press releases and other media contacts
  • Putting donor names in your playground grand opening program
  • Offering several levels of participation, such as Silver, Gold, or Platinum

Another idea is to let donors sponsor a certain area of the playground. In other words, let them choose if their donation goes toward a slide or a swing, or a freestanding climber. Allow them to choose their childhood favorite.

Silent auctions are usually very successful. It’s important to get great stuff to auction off, as well as lots of people to bid on them. Invite everyone.

Think beyond bath baskets…people may be willing to donate a week at a cabin, airplane rides, a home-cooked meal, pet-sitting services, and more. You may even be able to persuade a local celebrity to donate their time to have dinner with a high bidder.

Think about a nickel drive or a dime drive at your school or in the community. It’s amazing how fast those coins add up when everyone contributes. And the cost to set up the drive is minimal–just some jars with secure lids and signage.

There are always the old standbys, too, but you can add a twist.

 Instead of a bake sale, how about a baking contest? Everyone pays a small amount to enter. Then, customers can line up to buy all the award-winning goods!

And don’t forget, your local stores like Target, Albertson’s, and others will donate when customers designate their credit card purchases.

Remember, every little bit helps, and with some creativity, you will reach your goals in no time!

About General Recreation

General Recreation Inc. serves Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, and has helped hundreds of community leaders and organizations build playgrounds that are safe, aesthetically pleasing, and made to last.

General Recreation projects are supported by expert and trusted services, including site evaluation, playground design, installation and community build services.

Whether your playground will consist of an outdoor playground at a preschool or a large community playground, experienced commercial playground experts will help you every step of the way.

Find out more about the work of General Recreation.

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