Grants are Child’s Play When Nonprofits Team Up For Grants to Create Playgrounds and Purchase Playground Equipment

Play matters. All children need an opportunity to play, as do adults. Quite frequently at GrantWatch, we get calls from nonprofits looking for grants for playground equipment or to expand their athletic playing fields or stadiums. A number of grants are available on the database for grants around the United States and internationally for playground equipment. See two listed below and search on GrantWatch to find more.

Grantmakers, KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all children get a childhood filled with the balanced and active play they need to thrive, create playgrounds and larger scale recreational projects around the country. They look to fund projects in communities in need, often with in-kind grants, by creating partnerships working with schools, municipal agencies and corporate partners including the NFL, to transform underused open spaces, parks and existing playgrounds into safe, fun and beautiful spaces for children and their families to congregate and play.

They work in communities with the most need, so children and their families have a chance to spend time together outdoors in a safe, healthy environment.

“Play is disappearing at home, at school and in communities, particularly for the 14 million children living in poverty,” according to KaBOOM!.

Using a “community build model,” they devised, KaBOOM! works with city agencies to address challenges in education, youth engagement, and neighborhood revitalization, by building relationships with city leaders to assess playspace needs and identify priority sites that will both aid each city’s particular priorities and create new and improved playspaces, including playgrounds, multi-sport courts, temporary play installations, or mobile play opportunities where kids can benefit most. Their process culminates in a high-energy playground build day when they mobilize over 200 volunteers, planned and led by members of the community.

Many grants for playgrounds and playground equipment can be found on GrantWatch.

Creative Play Grants: In-Kind Donations of Playground Equipment to USA Municipalities, Schools, and Nonprofits in Eligible Regions: Deadline – Ongoing 

In-kind donations of specialty playground equipment to Iowa, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, and Texas municipalities, schools, and nonprofit organizations that serve children in eligible regions. Applicants are eligible to receive one of two different kinds of playground equipment that have custom-built, loose parts and that encourage creativity, communication, and collaboration in play.

In-Kind Grants to USA and Mexico City Nonprofits, Schools, and Municipalities to Create Outside Play Areas: Deadline – Ongoing

In-kind grants to USA and Mexico City nonprofit organizations, schools, and municipalities to design and build playgrounds and play areas for children. The funding source will facilitate and assist organizations in planning and building a safe, customized play space to meet community needs. Projects may involve landscaping, painting, play elements, seating and tables, shading, and other installations. Sites in communities that are low-income have more of a competitive advantage for KaBOOM! grants. They forge partnerships with public housing systems, city planning departments, school districts, and other local government organizations to better serve children in need in inner city and low-income areas such as Detriot, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Boston, and highly populated Mexico City.

KaBOOM! also focuses on organizations that serve children with special needs as well as communities who may have been impacted by a disaster. At times, the applicant’s site may be in an area that is not considered low-income by census data, but the applicant may serve children from areas outside of the site location. KaBOOM! encourages organizations to apply so that the team can review and learn more.

KaBOOM! and the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation are teaming up again this year to launch the second Play Everywhere Challenge. They will award $1 million to create lasting, scalable design installations that provide more opportunities to play for the kids who need it most.

Other programs they fund include Creative Play, Build it Yourself, Let’s Play Everywhere Challenges, Play 60, Play On – a partnership with the NFL Foundation and the 50 Fund in the San Francisco Bay Area to transform everyday spaces into places for play and Rebuild Texas. The Rebuild Texas Fund will assist communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Together with the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity and the Public Health Law & Policy, KaBOOM! has created a joint use toolkit, Playing Smart Maximizing the Potential of School and Community Property Through Joint Use Agreements, and made available full case studies on their website.

Having trouble finding grants for your school or community project? GrantWatch can help.’s database is updated daily with new local, statewide, national and international grants.

Libby Hikind

Libby Hikind is the founder and CEO of and the author of "The Queen of Grants: From Teacher to Grant Writer to CEO". Libby Hikind, began her grant writing career while working as a teacher in the New York City Department of Education. She wrote many grants for her classroom before raising millions for a Brooklyn school district. Throughout her professional career, she established her own grant writing agency in Staten Island with a fax newsletter for her clients of available grants. After retiring from teaching, Libby embraced the new technology and started GrantWatch. She then moved GrantWatch and her grant writing agency to Florida to enjoy her parents later years, and the rest is history. Today more than 230,000 people visit online, monthly.

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