Kaboom culture - KaBOOM! News

August 06, 2012 KaBOOM!

Take a tour of our new headquarters

Our headquarters in DC has moved to bigger, brighter playground!

You may not believe it from the pictures, but we actually work really hard around here. Because of course, work is most productive when it incorporates lots of play.  

This exclusive photo tour of our new space is sure to make you jealous:

This uplifting photo greets you as you step off the elevator, and other images rotate on the TV monitor. For staff, it's a daily reminder of the pure joy of play!
As you approach the front desk, it quickly becomes clear that this is no 'ordinary' office.
On your left, you'll see our wall of 'Boomers,' as we at KaBOOM! fondly refer to ourselves. By tradition, each staff member receives a hand-drawn caricature on his or her second-year anniversary.
On your right, our lobby tire swing beckons. Around the corner, our kitchen cupboards double as office message boards and spaces for artistic expression.
Our kitchen, lovingly dubbed "Recess Ka-FE!", is a space to take a break, socialize, and enjoy some good eats! As always, our kitchen is stocked with PB&J, bananas, and other tasty snacks.
Next to the kitchen is the "Sandbox," our largest conference room, where some serious digging and creating takes place.
As you meander through the office, playful knick-knacks and treasures abound.
Forget drab, gray cubicles -- our office pods are anything but!
What is just as essential as a Xerox machine? Why, a foosball table, of course!

Photos by talented Boomers Frank Zhu and Lindsay Adeyiga.

We’re thrilled to announce that KaBOOM! has made The NonProfit Times' list of “50 Best Nonprofits to Work For”—for the second year in a row! We wholeheartedly agree. After all, how many offices have a tire swing in the lobby? Hopscotch in the hallways? Bottomless supplies of PB&J in the kitchen?

These little perks are just the tip of the iceberg.  In honor of making The NonProfit Times’ list yet again, we’d like to resurrect the “Top 10 reasons we love working at KaBOOM!” They are every bit as true today as they were a year ago:

KaBOOM! gear

Cool gear

All new Boomers are given a purple polo, a sweatshirt, a T-shirt and a backpack. Whether we’re building playground, going on a weekend hike or just heading to the office, we wear our gear with pride!

Office space

Office space

Forget the drab grays and browns that define most office spaces. Our offices are painted in our signature colors—orange and purple—and the walls themselves are enough to brighten even the gloomiest of days. We adorn our workspaces with colorful name tags that we draw ourselves on chalkboards, and we hold meetings in conference rooms with names like “Sunny,” “Babble On” and “Play Pen.”

Play equipment at KaBOOM! office

Play equipment

The first things to greet Washington, DC Boomers when they walk in the door each morning are a slide and a tire swing. Between our three offices, we also have Imagination Playground blocks, a foosball table, a ping pong table, kazoos and an abundance of arts and crafts materials. We all know children need to play, but that doesn’t mean that adults can’t play, too!

Culture Captain

Just having play equipment doesn’t mean it always gets utilized, so each month, two Boomers in each office are designated as Culture Captains. The Culture Captains are charged with planning a fun team-building activity or event that everyone can participate in. Past events have included musical chairs, pumpkin decorating contests, scavenger hunts and costume contests.

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

PB&J days

Because eating well and playing well are both essential to good health, each month, Boomers get a chance to take a break from their busy schedules and enjoy lunch together. The kitchen is turned into an a-la-carte deli with cheeses, meats, veggies, chips, salads and beverages set up for an elementary-school cafeteria feast! And of course, we don’t skimp on the PB&J—because there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich to reawaken your inner child.

Play Academy

Play Academy

Each year all KaBOOM! staff from all three offices get together for a multi-day retreat, where we do a lot of learning, a lot of planning and a lot of playing! Past Play Academy activities have included creating our own board games, acting in “Boomerpiece Theater” and singing karaoke. This past year we got our CEO and CFO up on the karaoke stage; if only we had video footage!


We not only take the time to appreciate and recognize other Boomers for a job well done—we do it playfully! When Boomers start at KaBOOM!, they get a sandbox bucket and a shovel notepad. The notepad is to write notes of appreciation for coworkers (called “giving sand”) and the sandbox is to collect notes from others. In 2006, an incredible 65% of Americans received no recognition in the workplace. Our deliberate sandbox practice ensures that 100% of Boomers are given credit where credit is due.

KaBOOM! staff 2010

Amazing coworkers

Not everyone has what it takes to be a Boomer. Our extensive, selective hiring process helps ensure that all Boomers have a “can do, will do” spirit and are always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty. While Boomers are an incredibly diverse bunch, we all share a commitment to service; a passion for children and communities; and an uncanny zest for life, work and play.

KaBOOM! volunteers

Amazing volunteers

Of course, we couldn’t do what we do without our dedicated and spirited volunteers! Any Boomer can tell you how gratifying it is to help recruit a community member to our cause, unleash their creativity, and then step back and watch them blossom! There’s only so much that our 80+ Boomers can do, and our volunteers enable, amplify and support our efforts.

KaBOOM! thank you card

Satisfaction of a job well done

At KaBOOM! we get results. Whether we’re calling clients, answering web queries or wielding a sledge hammer, all of us know that we are part of a collective effort with a measurable, positive impact on society. With nearly 2,000 playground builds under our belt, a vibrant and growing online community, and support from a long list of celebrities and sponsors, we can come to work each day knowing that we’re doing our part to strengthen communities and restore play in the lives of our nation’s children.