November 13, 2017

Playground Funding 101: 10 Ways to Ask for Funding

Thank You!

This is the fourth and final part of our series on playground funding. Read parts one, two and three.

Saying please and thank you will take you far on your fundraising journey. Its simple relationship building with potential funders and volunteers is important to the success of your project. So use your manners!

The more personal and sincere you are with the people on your list, the quicker you will be able to make the ask. Talk with potential donors in layman terms. Make it accessible and understandable; clarity makes people trust your message more because you show that you have nothing to hide. Now that you’ve written out your grants, you can share details of where their money will be going and at what point of the project. When other people ask them about your project, they should be able to express your goals in a concise and convincing way.

Laura Fredrick’s book, “The Ask: How to Ask Anyone for Any Amount for Any Purpose,” offers “10 Guiding Principles for Any Ask.” We've adapted them for playground fundraising.

Here are our Ten Rules for Asking for Playground Funding:

  1. Be personal and sincere with the people you are talking to. It makes it quicker and easier to make the ask.
  2. Treat every potential funder separately and distinctly.
  3. Make your own gift before asking anyone else for a gift. 
  4. Ask for a specific amount for a specific purpose.
  5. Seek consistent givers. They can and will make larger gifts.
  6. Always use “we” instead of “I” in any ask. "We" means that the ask is being done with all the strength and backing of the organization.
  7. Coordinate your organization’s planned giving program with all other fundraising programs.
  8. Ask for a specific amount, with guidelines on how to fund the gift within a proposed time frame.
  9. At the initial ask, stay committed to the ask amount.
  10. Follow-through, or the ask will result in no gift.  


It’s also important to give recognition to the people who have contributed. Saying thank you and providing updates will keep funders engaged and focused on collective success. So thank them, thank them, thank them. Think of ways to make your thank you more personalized and relate to your donors whenever possible. There are a variety of inexpensive ways to do this like sending thank you letters or recognizing your donors at events.     


We have covered a multitude of topics in these blog posts, from figuring out if a playground is important for your community to the final steps of how to successfully gather monetary and voluntary support to make this dream a reality. When you can step alongside friends, families, and businesses to do just that, building this playground will become more manageable and something you can enjoy working on together!

Request a free copy of the Blueprint for Play toolkit to learn more about playground funding and planning!