Your first step in the planning process is setting up your Playground Ideas “Project Page.” Your “Project Page” is like your very own website for your playground project where you can save your favorite designs, fundraise and receive donations (100% fee-free), update donors, connect with other playground builders in your region, and share your work with the world. We really love seeing the amazing playgrounds our community builds so please upload lots of photos!
Setting up your page:
If you have not already done so, click here to create a Playground Ideas account.
Once you’re logged into your account dashboard click “Start a Project Page”
Enter your project details and you’re ready to go!
Fundraising on your project page:
During the sign-up process, you’ll be asked: “Do you want to receive crowdfunded donations for this project?” If you check “Yes” this will allow people to donate to your project directly on your page. For resources on effective playground fundraising, be sure to check out our “Playground Builder’s Handbook” and this blog post on 10 Tips for Crowdfunding Success.
After you submit your project page, you’ll be asked to enter your PayPal details which will allow direct donations to you from your friends and family. Rest assured that we won’t charge anything to your PayPal account. Ever. (We mean it when we say all our resources are free!) you need to add your PayPal account info so that PayPal knows where to send the money when someone makes a donation. No financial details are held with us and we cannot access your secure PayPal account.
All online transactions require the use of a credit card processor. We use Paypal to ensure any online donations are protected. Paypal charges a processing cost of 30 cents + 1.9% to 2.9% fee, depending on your country. This cost is added on top of a donation so that you receive the entire amount donated to you. So if your Aunt Dorothy donates $10 to your project, she’ll be charged about $10.49 (depending on what country she lives in) and you will receive the full $10.
Finding volunteers on your project page:
During the sign-up process you’ll also be asked, “Do you need volunteers for this project?” If you check “Yes” this will allow your project and contact information to appear when visitors to the site search for volunteer opportunities. Please note that Playground Ideas does not vet or screen volunteers and we advise you to do your own careful screening of potential volunteers.
Remember, if you have any problems or questions along the way we’re happy to help! Click here to contact us.
Crowdfunding is a great way to utilize your online social networks to help fund your project. Playground Ideas offers users a free crowdfunding platform where anyone can set up a page for their playground project, receive donations, and update donors along the way.
Crowdfunding is a great tool, but you’ll have to put in some work to make your crowdfunding campaign a success! Here are a few tips:
1. Optimize your project page. Make a good first impression with your page. project details, plenty of photos, and make sure your writing is clear, concise, and compelling. Communicate your timeline and plan for the project – What have you done so far? When do you plan to build
2. Build trust. Consider adding a breakdown of your budget to let donors know exactly how you’ll be using their money.
3. Tell a good story. Good stories drive action. What is your playground story? What has motivated you to do this project? What would a playground mean for this community? Engage people’s hearts and emotions in your project.
4. Add a video. Crowdfunding projects that include videos are proven to be more effective! Your video can be as simple as you sitting in front of your computer telling potential donors about your project and showing a few photos of the site.
5. Add rewards. Consider incentivizing donations by offering prizes for different contribution levels. For example, “if you donate $50 we’ll mail you a picture of the playground drawn by one of the kids at the school” or “if you donate $100 your name will be painted on the playground sign.”
6. Remember, donors are not looking for you. Don’t expect to just start a page, sit back, and let the donations roll in. YOU have got to get the word out about your project, so make a communication strategy before you start.
7. Utilize social media. The people most likely to donate to your project are your friends and family. After that, friends of friends. Utilizing your social media networks is a great way to reach these people. Post regularly about your project and ask them to share as well!
8. Share your victories and thank your donors along the way. Keep the momentum going with social media posts like
“Wow, we’ve reached over 50% of our fundraising goal in just one week! Let’s keep going and give these kids the playground of their dreams!”
“We’re only $100 away from reaching our fundraising goal! Will you share our page to help us get there?”
“Mary Cooper, thank you so much for your generous donation! We couldn’t build this playground without you! Join Mary and donate today to help us reach our fundraising goal.”
9. Email family and friends. Send out a few emails throughout your campaign updating your networks about your project and asking them to get involved by donating and sharing on social media.
10. Update your donors. Don’t forget your donors when you reach your goal! Show your gratitude for their contribution by continuing to update your page and sharing photos of what their money made possible.
Let us know if you are running a crowdfunding campaign for your playground.
Click here to contact us. We’d love to give you feedback, cheer you on along the way, and share your page to help you drum up donations!
Since 2007, Playground Ideas has supported over 1400 communities build playgrounds in 85 countries impacting over 700,000 children. We’ve built playgrounds of all shapes and sizes and developed a design library with over 150 kids playground equipment designs.
While we love all the designs in our library, a few stick out as our favorite, time-tested designs that we end up building over and over again. Check out our top eight low-cost kids playground equipment designs—all of which can be built from low-cost, local materials, tools, and skills. If you’re building a playground on a budget, these elements can’t be beat.
A rocking hammock is a corner of peace and calm on the playground. Kids will love swaying & chatting, or even taking a nap. Bonus – it can be built from a couple used truck tires and bolts, so it’s way cheaper than traditional swing sets.
Incorporate plenty of textures, colors, and smells into your playground with this simple garden structure. Gardens are a great way to incorporate the local community in the construction of the playground as parents, teachers, and community members can donate starts from their own gardens.
Vroom vroom! This imaginary play element is a hit with kids around the world. Imaginary play is incredibly important to children’s healthy development – it promotes creativity, social interaction, and even lays the foundation for early literacy skills. Make sure to incorporate elements that encourage imaginative play on your playground.
4. Shop Front
A market? Hair salon? Mechanic? You choose. Try painting it up to look like a real shop in your community. This element makes a great addition to a sandpit, where kids can mould and model things to sell in the shop.
A balance beam with a twist! These planks see-saw in a fun cause and effect movement. Unlike traditional see saws, this piece of kids playground equipment can accommodate many children at once.
Every playground should have hills! Add dramatic height and dimension to your space with this low cost feature.
Sand play is an essential part of any playground for young children – it provides hours of open-ended, tactile, creative play.
This element is easy to build and leaves itself open to children’s imagination. In no time they’ll be creating their own games and rules.
Get all eight of our top favorite kids playground equipment designs when you download our Playground Starter Kit, a beautiful, low-cost design scheme that inspires active, imaginative, social, creative, and open-ended play.
The site was designed with a small preschool in mind, but it’s adaptable to different ages and group sizes. In this design kit you’ll find the DIY step-by-step plans for each element, as well tips and advice for adapting the design to your own space and needs.