Grant Services - Advice and Tips

Three Ways to Justify a Recreation Center Grant

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

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

Michelle Hansen

Written by Michelle Hansen

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