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Being short of funds is a common problem faced by many schools around Australia that need a playground upgrade.
Upgrading school playground equipment is definitely worthwhile, but can sometimes be an expensive process. While this is unfortunate for many schools, as play is so important to children’s development and education, carefully planning how to raise funds and how to use them economically can help schools create their dream playground quicker and easier.
It may sound obvious, but if the school can allocate money from their school budget, that is a great start. Even if it is a small amount, having a starting point it is a great financial and psychological benefit.
The guide below gives several ideas that may help a school to upgrade a boring, old and unsafe playground effectively. This is by no means a complete list of ideas, but remember obtaining funds for your school may require doing something completely different to the initiatives you have used in the past. Additionally, many schools can’t just rely on one method of obtaining funds, it may require a combination of several methods. For example, some funds may come from a grant, some from student fundraising, and some a school budget allocation.
Fundraising is a popular way for schools to obtain the funds needed for school playground equipment. Fundraising can sometimes take time, so it is important to maintain commitment and motivation in the school community. Capturing the passion and energy students and parents have, and having clear communication are fundamental elements that are needed to help you raise funds.
Communication is a key element and includes ensuring that the community knows what the funds are being raised for and being updated with progress on the results. Using Social Media and sending letters home with the students is a great way to share concepts of the proposed playground and fundraising progress, and will help to maintain enthusiasm in the project.
If you are looking for fundraising ideas, simply Google ‘fundraising ideas for schools’ or check out the below sites:
There are numerous capital works grants available to schools that could contribute to funding a school playground, however, finding them and applying for them correctly can be difficult.
Visit the below sites for grant information and applications:
To understand how much the project is realistically going to cost, it is always a good idea to get a playground proposal before submitting your grant applications. Supporting information such as playground illustrations will improve your chances of a successful grant.
Where a school may have plans for a playground and only have funds for a section of the playground, the playground design can be staged. As many stages as necessary can be designed, with each stage specifically designed and constructed to allow the next stage to be easily added on in the future. This allows the playground to grow as the student numbers grow and as funds allow. The planning of a staged playground can sometimes take extra thought for the school, however, it is worth it!
Leasing is another option of financing for playground equipment. Some finance companies can provide funds for equipment up front, allowing the school to pay it off over a period of time.
adventure+ has been helping schools create playground equipment for over 30 years. Contact a friendly playground consultant to get advice for your playground project!