Building Community Spirit- A How-To Guide for Community Funded Playgrounds - Playtopia, Inc.

Building Community Spirit- A How-To Guide for Community Funded Playgrounds

Jennie Hall


Community playgrounds serve as vibrant hubs for children and families, providing a safe space for play, exercise, and social interaction. However, funding new playgrounds or refurbishing old ones can often be a hurdle. Community-funded projects offer a solution, not only in gathering necessary financial resources but also in strengthening community bonds. Here’s a guide on how communities can come together to create these vital play spaces.

Step 1: Form a Planning Committee

Start by forming a committee comprised of enthusiastic and committed community members. This group should include parents, local business owners, representatives from schools, and anyone else who is interested in the project. It may be helpful to consider different industry leaders you know (contractors, landscapers, etc.). This committee will lead the project, from planning to execution. It may also be helpful to designate a leader! 

Step 2: Assess Community Needs

Before jumping into action, it’s crucial to understand what the community needs. Does the local park need a new playground? Or does an existing one need upgrades? Conduct surveys, hold town hall meetings, and invite feedback through social media to gauge what the community wants and needs in a playground. It is important to consider who will use the playground most as different age groups require different play structures and surfacing. Don’t forget bathroom access and parking!


Giggle Grove Playscape-School-Age Playgrounds

Step 3: Design the Playground

Engage local children in the design process. After all, they are the primary users. Workshops where children can draw or describe their ideal playground can provide valuable insights and promote a sense of ownership. You may be able to consult with area schools to get input that way. Don’t forget elements such as ADA accessibility or sensory play. Simultaneously, consult with playground designers to ensure that the plans are safe, inclusive, and feasible. There are a lot of moving parts. We typically do designs specifically suited to your playground needs for free! Give us a call for more information- 844-KID-PLAY (844-543-7529)

Step 4: Set a Budget

Once the design is set, calculate the budget. Include costs for materials, labor, surfacing, insurance, and maintenance. It’s essential to be as detailed as possible to avoid unexpected expenses. At this stage, you might also want to consult with a professional fundraiser or financial advisor. It is also helpful to gather bids from playground manufacturers to see how much will need to be raised.

Step 5: Fundraising

Fundraising is often the most challenging step. Here are a few strategies:

  • Local Business Sponsorships: Approach local businesses to sponsor the playground. Offer promotional benefits like having their names on plaques or signage at the playground.
  • Grant Applications: Look for grants from government bodies, nonprofits, and foundations that support community development or children’s welfare.
  • Community Events: Organize bake sales, fun runs, charity auctions, or concerts. These events can raise significant funds and also bring the community together.
  • Online Crowdfunding: Utilize platforms like GoFundMe to reach out to a broader audience. This method can be particularly effective if combined with compelling storytelling and regular updates.
  • Social Media: Utilize your social media to promote any auctions, concerts, or other fundraising. Even better- start a social media account specifically for your project. Don’t forget to update your followers!

Step 6: Build the Playground

Once the funds are secured, it's time to build. Depending on the project's scope, you might need professional help. However, community build days can reduce labor costs and enhance community spirit. Ensure you comply with all safety standards and have proper supervision and equipment. We love fostering community involvement so ask us if this is possible on your project. Our designs include detailed instructions to make the installation easier.

Step 7: Maintain and Celebrate

After the playground is built, plan for its maintenance to ensure safety and longevity. Set up a maintenance fund or schedule volunteer days for upkeep. Finally, organize a grand opening celebration. This event can serve as a thank you to all contributors and a fun day for the community. Call your local media (newspaper, tv, etc.) and influencers to your grand opening!


Community-funded playgrounds do more than provide a play space; they build a sense of pride and ownership among residents, fostering stronger community ties. Through careful planning, enthusiastic fundraising, and inclusive participation, these projects can transform an ordinary space into a cornerstone of community life. Let’s build not just playgrounds, but stronger communities for our children.


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