October 27, 2009

How do you start a playground project?

I get a lot of inquiries from folks who just want to know the basics: "How do I get a project off the ground? Where do I start?" The kaboom.org website is a veritable treasure trove of resources, and I know it can get a bit overwhelming at times. So let me break it down for you and give you some good places to check out.

  1. The very, very, very first thing I would do is to start a project on our Project Planner. This is the tool that guides you, chronologically, through the playspace-planning process, start to finish. Even if you're skittish, just getting a few details down "on paper," so to speak, can really get your project off to a good start.
  2. Next, I would check out the online Toolkit. This is where we break down the tasks involved in building a playspace by planning team (i.e. fundraising, PR, volunteer recruitment, etc.). Even if you don't have friends on board yet, it's good to get familiar with the tasks ahead.
  3. At this point you're probably wondering where you're going to find money for the project, so head on over to our one-stop fundraising shop, which compiles all our fundraising resources on one page. From grant writing tips to a wiki full of fundraising event ideas, you'll start to get an idea where all that money can come from. (It's also where you'll find a link to where you can apply for a KaBOOM!-led build.)
  4. Now you're probably going to want some more in-depth information on some specific subjects, like finding a location, choosing a vendor, and more. So run, don't walk, to our online training zone, where you can find both live and on-demand online training sessions on various topics, from safety surfacing to public relations.
  5. Finally, you're going to need some support through this process, so introduce yourself to the kaboom.org community on our message boards. Whatever challenges you're facing, someone on the boards has been through them before and would love to help you out.

Good luck!