Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Playground Grants

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Wed, Feb 28, 2018 @ 08:02 AM

3540071656_af5abb05a6_m.jpgWe get a tremendous number of requests from municipalities for help finding grants that fund playground upgrades. Such grants are highly sought-after and thus extremely competitive.  If you seek to create or refurbish playground equipment in your community, we can help you put your best foot forward. Below are a few grant opportunities to get you started.


There are two grant opportunities for funding from Lowe’s, depending on your need.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education: Now in its 12th year of helping build better schools and communities, the Lowe's Toolbox for Education program has provided over $54 million to more than 12,000 schools across the country. There are four focus areas this year, including facility renovations. Any public/charter K-12 school or non-profit parent group associated with such a school is eligible to apply. Grant awards of between $2,000 and $5,000 per school are available. A Toolbox grant can be used as part of a large-scale project, like a playground, as long as the grant will be used to complete a phase of the project that can be finished within the year of the award. The next cycle for the Toolbox for Education program opens on Aug. 6, with a deadline of Sept. 28.

Community Partners Grants: For those schools needing larger grant awards, Lowe’s also provides Community Partners Grants. Non-profit parent-teacher organizations would need to apply on behalf of schools for this program. Grounds improvements and building renovations/upgrades are fundable projects. These grants range from $2,000-$100,000. The spring grant cycle is currently open until May 11. The fall cycle will be from July 2-Aug. 24.

Voices for Healthy Kids

Playgrounds can be funded by grants that promote healthy living or aim to reduce childhood obesity. The American Heart Association and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have partnered to create the Voices for Healthy Kids grant program. This program promotes physical activity and physical education by funding more frequent, effective physical education in schools--including funding for recess and playgrounds. Awards of up to $125,000 are available. Applications will open on June 4, with a deadline of July 13.

American Academy of Dermatology

Is your playground lacking shade? The American Academy of Dermatology offers grants of up to $8,000 to public schools for installing permanent shade structures for outdoor locations that are not protected from the sun. Since its inception in 2000, the Shade Structure Grant Program has funded 324 shade structures. A member of the AAD must recommend your school for receipt of the grant. The website has an easy search tool to find an AAD member in your area to contact. The 2018 application period has passed. Next year’s program should open in September 2018.

Not seeing a grant you are interested in? We can help fill your specific needs with any of our numerous services or a free phone consultation. Contact us today to get started.


Photo Credit: Steve Langguth

Topics: grants for a school playground, school playground grant, playground grants, grants for playgrounds, school playground grants, grant opportunity, grants for child obesity, child obesity grants, shade structure grant, grant for shade structure

Grants to Keep Kids Active and Healthy

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 @ 09:01 AM

6930829900_1c319e7c2e_m.jpgThe holidays are over and hopefully so is the over-eating, sitting in the car driving from party to party, and school break. It’s time to get back to eating right and exercising. Most important in this effort are children. Below we have selected four grants that are aimed at keeping kids healthy and also supporting physical education efforts in schools.

Michael and Susan Dell Foundation

This private foundation puts a focus on increasing access to health, building demand for healthy choices, and promoting healthy behaviors, especially in low-income, disadvantaged children. Non-profit organizations located in the United States are eligible to apply. Fundable programs include those that employ strategies that support wellness instead of treating disease and promote wellness in a wide variety of settings. In the past, the foundation has awarded grants ranging from $500 to several million dollars. As a guideline, the foundation generally will not fund more than 25 percent of a project’s budget or more than 10 percent of an organization’s total annual operating expenses. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.

American Heart Association/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

These two entities have joined together to keep kids healthy. The Voices for Healthy Kids Initiative aims to engage, organize, and mobilize people dedicated to ensuring children grow up at a healthy weight. Efforts are focused on schools, communities, out-of-school time/early care and education. There are 16 different “policy levers,” grantable categories. These range from healthy food procurement to physical education in schools to early care and education and out-of-school time policy changes. There are four different types of grants, each funding their own initiatives. All initiatives are a different way to keep kids healthy, and grant funding ranges from $15,000-$100,000. The next open call for applications will be March 1 with a deadline of April 1.

Good Sports Equipment Grants

Keeping kids active can start in the schools and a Good Sports Equipment Grant can help make sure schools have the equipment necessary. Schools must serve economically disadvantaged children aged 3-18. Approved applications will receive access to the Good Sports catalog of available inventory, which displays the equipment, apparel, and footwear that is available at the current time. Grantees will then be able to use up to six total donation requests over a two-year period, with a maximum of three donation requests per year. Shipping and handling costs are the responsibility of the grant winner and always equal 10% of the retail value of the donated items. In November, Good Sports partnered with Target to hand out P.E. and recess boxes filled with foam balls, jump ropes, soccer balls, and more to 200 schools in 20 cities across the country.

WUFOO Fun Run Grant

Keeping kids active can be a fun endeavor. WUFOO funds grants to help equip schools with materials to host a race, walk-a-thon, or fun-run event. The package includes a set of numbered race bibs, a finish line banner, wristbands for student participants, a Bluetooth speaker, an airhorn and a gift card to purchase healthy snacks like fruit and water. Priority will be given to applicants who plan to use the Fun Run Grant to complement and support the activities of a school walk/run club. Up to 50 Fun Run Grants will be awarded. Preference will be given to spring 2017 events, yet applications for fall 2017 events will also be considered. The deadline for applications is Feb. 15. Winners will be determined and grant packages will be shipped no later than March 15. To be eligible, schools must enroll in the Billion Mile Race at and then fill out a simple form on the WUFOO Fun Run Grant webpage linked above.

We are full-service grant company that specializes in personalizing our services to your needs. Whether you are starting your search or need an extra set of eyes to look over a grant we can help. Get started today with a free consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers.

Topics: child obesity grants, grants for child obesity, physical education funding, grants for physical education, funding for physical education, grants for physical education in schools, keeping kids active, grants, grant opportunity

Three Ways to Justify a Recreation Center Grant

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 @ 10:12 AM

5035955763_a2afd9d27c_q.jpgWe often encourage our clients to explore a wide variety of grants when trying to find money. Thinking outside the box and not focusing on one single aspect of what you would like to have funded is important. Finding money for a recreation center is a great example to demonstrate several different ways to justify a grant application. Below are just three examples of possible funding categories.

  Insider Tip: Any benefit your organization provides is a potential basis for funding.  

Obesity/Healthy Living

Recreation centers are often hubs for fitness and exercise. Focusing on that aspect could be an angle for grant money. For example, The Children’s Obesity Fund offers grants to non-profits that support the goal of ending childhood obesity. If your recreation center offers programs that keep kids healthy, this grant could be a great fit. This organization has a simple online application, and a determination about grant awards is usually made in a week. Grant sizes vary on need, value of a program, and amount requested. An elementary school received money to hold a Stay Fit, Have Fun event, which featured healthy eating and exercise demonstrations as well as an appearance by a pro skateboarder.

The Aetna Foundation also supports healthier living initiatives through its grant program. A recreation center that features exercise programs, nutrition classes, or health lectures could receive grant money from this category. Non-profit entities that encourage healthy communities are eligible to apply. Mercy Housing Northwest received a grant from Aetna to help adults and children learn about healthy meals and encourage exercise like yoga and dance. Last year the grant application was due in April. No deadlines have been announced for 2017 yet. If you sign up for the foundation’s newsletter you can be kept abreast of grant announcements.


Ranging from youth sports to adult leagues to pick up games of basketball, recreation centers often feature a lot of sporting activities. Applying for a grant that supports sports needs like equipment, uniforms, or infrastructure would be another place to look for money for your center. The Lids Foundation supports non-profit organizations that engage youth in sports-related activities. This foundation supports both programming costs as well as scholarships to help ensure all children have an opportunity to play. Organizations with volunteer opportunities are favored. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Baseball for All is a past recipient of a grant award from The Lids Foundation. It’s goal is to foster, encourage, and provide opportunities for girls to play baseball.

General Community Improvement

Community officials know that people choose to move or stay in their communities because of schools and recreation opportunities. A recreation center is a vital community facility that can be a boon for new families. The Corning Incorporated Foundation, in its community priority, supports needs and priorities of local communities, funding programs that make a social or economic impact. Past recipients have included YMCAs, hospitals, hospices, community foundations, and more. Projects or programs that feature several partners are favored. Grants are accepted year-round and are available only to non-profit organizations.


If you are interested in any of these grant opportunities, or want to find out if there are more grants that can help your organization, please contact us today. The first consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers is always free!

Topics: recreation grant, parks and recreation, grants for recreation, youth recreation grants, grants for youth recreation, parks and recreation grants, grants for park and recreation, obesity grants, child obesity grants, recreation center, grants for recreation center, recreation center grants

Three Ways to Justify Grants for Parks

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Wed, Apr 27, 2016 @ 21:04 PM

As the weather turns warmer for many people across the country, thoughts are turning 14269749191_619bf621f5_q.jpgto updating and maintaining outside areas like community parks. A wide variety of secific grants are available for parks maintenance and creation. There are also several different ways to justify grants for park needs. Below we outline three different categories of grants that can be used to help update, maintain, or create your community park.

  1. Apply for Grants for Community Betterment

Corning Foundation

A community and its wellbeing are among the priorities of the Corning Foundation grant program. Revitalized, safe, and updated parks can be a large boon to a community. They can bring in new families thus creating new tax dollars and they can also be a gathering place for events. Past Corning Foundation grants have been made to non-profit organizations, youth organizations, and community groups. The Foundation makes grants totaling more than $5 million in giving annually. Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.


Insider Tip: The Corning Foundation values organizations working together, so any application featuring partners working together on a project will be favored.


     2. Look for Funding for Environmental Concerns

Keep America Beautiful Grant

This private environment-focused foundation provides community impact grants to organizations across the country. This year’s grant program focuses on increasing access to recycling in parks and green spaces. The Dr. Pepper Snapple Park Recycling Infrastructure Grants program will provide grants in the form of recycling containers that communities can use to establish or expand recycling in park settings such as neighborhood and urban parks, athletic fields, nature trails and public beaches. In addition to offering recycling bins, the grant program will also make additional funds available to grant recipients who commit to conducting a set of litter indexes in conjunction with the grant. Deadline for application is June 10.

     3. Use a Playground to Help Curb Childhood Obesity

Children’s Obesity Fund

Community playgrounds are a wonderful way to keep kids active, and active kids are healthy kids. So when you are looking for playground grants, keep an eye out for funding organizations that aim to curb childhood obesity. One example is the Children’s Obesity Fund, which hopes to improve children’s health one grant at a time. Any non-profit organization is eligible to apply. Typical grant amounts vary depending on the project scope, and grant applications are accepted at any time. This organization normally funds non-profit organizations yet they state on their website that any organization working toward children’s health may be funded. is a full service grant company that can help from the beginning to the end of a grant process. See a full list of our services. As always, you can always schedule a free consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers to get you started.


Photo Credit: TC Photography

Topics: parks and recreation grants, parks and recreation, recycling grants, nonprofit, non-profit, environment grant, child obesity grants, grants for community parks, grants for parks, community parks, parks, parks grants