How to Raise Money for Playground at Daycare?

Updated on June 06, 2012
J.C. asks from Erie, PA
13 answers

How can I raise $5,000 for the playground at my boys daycare. That is what they need for a rubber padded floor in the fenced in playground. They are unable to use the wood chips because the infants play in the same area. They tryed planting really strong grass.....this also did't work. They center priced for rubber flooring and it's $5,000. I really want to help them raise this money, but I dont know where to start. I just can't handle one more summer of picking the kids up with dusty dirt all over them. Any ideas?

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answers from New York on

This makes a huge difference... What type of daycare center is this? Is it a registered non-profit agency?

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Portland on

Five thousand is a very big chunk of change.

I would talk to companies which provide this sort of rubber flooring. When I worked at a nonprofit daycare, a large corporation 'sponsored' our playground's rubber flooring made with recycled sneaker soles.

If you are at a for-profit center, which usually costs more, consider a silent auction and encourage the other daycare parents to talk to their employers or see what they can offer.

Perhaps some other great fundraising mom will have some ideas.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

Get Sponsors.
If there is a community liaison person, they can try and get Sponsors, from the community who might want to donate $$ or donate materials or labor for it.
That is what one place in my city, did.

Have a fundraiser.

Is this a non-profit or for-profit?

Is this a covered playground or outdoors?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

The director of the daycare can research and apply for grants for such things. My sister is the director for a family-owned daycare that has a few centers in our area, and she has obtained grants for many different things for their centers. Especially helpful was the grant she got for their playground's new sunshade that has allowed them to give MUCH more outdoor time to the kids. In a time when everyone is talking about the need for active play for kids, there should be a few grants out there for needy programs.

The process is competitive, and grant writing is tedious work, but no more time consuming than organizing a fundraiser.



answers from Philadelphia on

Write a grant. I write grants for my School and I see a lot for day cares and pre schools. If you are in NJ check out the Geraldine Dondge foundation. Or just search educational grants. There's a lot of reading to see if you qualify. I just thought of one: channel 10 news Philadelphia deadline is August.



answers from Philadelphia on

the daycare my kids went to had fundraisers... selling pizzas, cookies, they had a family fun day with a raffle and parents donated baskets filled with items so all the money went to the daycare.
It took about 6 months to get all the money together but afterwards they got ALL new equipment


answers from San Francisco on

Here's a really easy way. Call whatever casino/card room is near you (assuming you have no pro poker player parents at your school - if you do, ask them). Set up a poker tournament fundraiser. Casinos/card rooms will usually have a program already set up where they take 20% of the proceeds (but you get to keep 80%!). If you know a pro poker player who already has the software, then this fundraiser is almost all profit.

So the way we have always done it is a buy-in of $60, with 2 re-buys of $40 (potentially $140 from each player, but at least $60 each). We limit the number of players to 100 (but it's up to you, depending on how much space you have). You take some of the entry fees and create prizes - usually $500 for first place, $250 for second, $100 for third, $50 for fourth, etc. (Note: some people get donations from businesses, but unless you can get something really great donated, like an iPad, people respond better to cold, hard cash prizes. Also, casinos will not allow you to have cash prizes, but this won't stop you from giving out a "starbucks gift card" with $500 tucked inside the envelope, if you get my drift...)

Anyway, at my daughters' preschool, they did poker tournaments every other month or so, and made TONS of money. If you get someone winning the tournament who really loves the school, often times they'll donate their prize back to the school (which then prompts the other winners to do so... peer pressure! LOL). Anyway, one poker tournament with decent turnout and you're all the way to your goal. Plus, it's way more fun and a lot less work than cookie dough. ;) It has the added benefit of drawing in bachelor uncles, grandparents, neighbors, co-workers - pretty much anyone who likes to play poker will go for this one, not just parents at the school.

Good luck!



answers from Dallas on

My daughters preschool does an Art Show fund raiser that I love. Each student does a nice painting on canvas (different styles for each class/age) and then the school has an Art Show one evening and displays all the students beautiful paintings. The parents then have the option of buying their child's painting for $50. It's a little high money wise, but I know the money is going to make my daughters school a better place and I love getting the artwork that my little one created.



answers from Oklahoma City on

When we did fund raisers for my child care center we had garage sales where we got donations from the public then had it on a weekend when the center was closed.

We had bake sales and sole the stuff at Walmart a couple of 2 hour spots. I think now they pretty much have to be non profit but you can ask other businesses.

We had a car wash, a local car dealership volunteered his lot and water hoses. We didn't charge a lot per vehicle and we had lots and lots and lots of cars. Dealerships are usually in populated areas with lots of drive by traffic.

We did lots of different things to raise money. We always had posters that told specifically what we were raising money for and who the business was. I was not non profit either. It was a find raiser for a private business.

There are also grants, Lowes and other building supply stores have funds they use to donate but their funds are delegated for the next year by the end of Fall. You could start now a look up grants for playgrounds. Then look for organizations or businesses that have applications you can fill out. It must be an authorized person that fills these papers out.

I cannot solicit donations in your name for anything, nor can you solicit donations for a child care center in this way. You can find the funding but they must fill the paperwork out and pursue the grants.

This amount is pretty easy to raise in a few weeks or months. You can even get permission for parents to stand on the corners of the street and take cash donations, there are usually one or two of these kinds going on all the time in my town. They aren't even from my town either. One is the firemen of course but the others are usually some organization wanting to send missionaries overseas.

Things to check before doing any fund raisers. Make sure with the accountant about taxes and how much they'll need to with hold. Check with the city if you are going to have a garage sale, many of them require you to purchase a permit.

When having a sale of any sort make sure you promote it in the media if possible. If they are non profit they can get free advertising on local stations both radio and TV. The newspaper is a cheap way to run an add too.

If you do a bake sale find out from the health department if the food has to be baked at the center. It is a health inspector certified kitchen. Home kitchens are not. Therefore there may be regulations about selling any food that is not cooked in a clean/certified kitchen. You may think everyone is pretty clean and would have a clean kitchen but many many kitchens are pretty dirty and I would not want to eat anything cooked in them. This is why schools are not letting parents bring in any foods not from the store in a sealed package.


answers from Dover on

This may not be something you can raise in time to get it before "this summer" since really "this summer" is here. You can host a few events over the next 8-10 months such as car wash at the center (a few adults and the older kids can do this now while the weather is nice), spaghetti dinners (get other families to donate supplies and help sell tickets), bake sales (again, seek donations of baked goods from other daycare families), host a 50/50 raffle, and host a raffle for a weeks tuition (get daycare to donate that as the prize and sell tickets for $5 or $10 each).

If they did the car wash first (very little planning and prep required), a BBQ towards the end of Summer, a bake sale around Oct/Nov, one raffle in December, Spaghetti dinner in late Jan/Early Feb, and then the other raffle in March/April. You can also set up a collection jar in each classroom and have a reward for the class that collects the most.



answers from Bellingham on

My daycare are always fundraising for something or other. The most recent was a pyjama day where the kids wear their pyjamas to school and make a coin donation. The most popular one is to sell fundraising candy and chocolate. All the parents take a box home and sell them at work. They always sell like hot cakes.



answers from Philadelphia on

I can help you put together an Avon and Thirty-One Gifts fundraiser where you would get 15% of the proceeds back to the daycare. And- I have a ton of Thirty-One Gifts' Thermal Lunch Totes where $5.00 from each lunch bag ($18 retail) would go back to the organization.

Also, a Chinese Auction is another great way to raise money. You can ask local vendors and small businesses to donate an item or service. Then- you sell raffle tickets to win the various items. You could probably get a DJ or band to donate their time to add some entertainment to the event and possibly some donated food and drinks. Many businesses are more than willing to donate items/goods/services for the publicity.

I usually donate a gift certificate for 1-month of piano lessons (my main occupation). I live in Williamstown, NJ though... so that's a bit far from Erie... I could do an Avon and Thirty-One Gifts basket though...



answers from Los Angeles on

There are lots of ways to raise money, but to raise it and get the new surface installed quickly may be difficult. A few ideas:

Ask local restaurants to host a fundraising dinner. Most will donate 10-20% of the night's sales to the daycare. People usually need to bring in a flier to have their meal count towards the promotion.

Hold a trike a thon. Have children collect sponsors and then they ride their trikes around for fun. You can collect a flat amount or a fee for each lap (which requires them going back to collect they money after the event).

Look into Kaboom! They donate playgrounds to various organizations.

Have a raffle and silent auction. Get donations from local businesses, have a big fundraiser dinner (potluck to reduce costs) and you should be able to raise a lot of money. Try to get a big ticket item, like tickets to a local theme park and it will definitely help raise more cash. Allow children to sell tickets to people outside the daycare as well.

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