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What is the KaBOOM! community-build model?
For over twenty years KaBOOM! has supported community building in neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country through our community-build model. At the heart of this model is a one-day playground build that represents an achievable win for a community on a defined time line. Community-build play spaces engage your larger community: residents, parents, neighbors, youth, local business, and your municipality to design, plan, and execute your Build Day. This process creates an environment that enables people to share their strengths and helps communities identify assets, as well as identifying other local companies and community groups that have important resources to contribute. The Build Day is the outcome of all your hard work throughout the planning process, however the true outcome is the long-term impact of the community-building work that you do. The KaBOOM! community-build model is successful if those that are involved learn new skills and are able to use them to continue to make a difference in your community after project completion.
Do KaBOOM! playgrounds meet the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines?
Yes. All KaBOOM! playgrounds and surfacing meet or exceed the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. KaBOOM! believes in the importance of inclusive play and strives to design its playgrounds to provide access to children of all abilities.
What safety surfacing does KaBOOM! use?
Build it with KaBOOM!
For the majority of Build it with KaBOOM! projects, the safety surfacing used is Engineered Wood Fiber, which is an ADA approved playground surfacing (for wheelchair accessibility). It is safe for all children, cost effective, easy to install and maintain, and volunteer-friendly. Applicants may choose to pay for an alternative surfacing.
Build it Yourself
Those awarded Build it Yourself grants must agree to purchase only surfacing that meets ADA Accessibility Guidelines, is IPEMA (International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association) certified and meets and/or exceeds the standards set forth by ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) and CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Please contact a KaBOOM! preferred vendor to discuss safety surfacing if you have additional questions.
Can the same organization apply for more than one site?
Yes! Organizations can be considered for more than one site. To apply for additional sites, please log in to your account and select “Add a Submission” to be considered for additional opportunities.
If I have a question regarding the KaBOOM! grant opportunities, the application process or need technical assistance, who should I contact?
Please email all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your full name, organization, city/state and a brief description of your question. All emails will be answered in the order that they were received.
After I submit my initial application to KaBOOM!, what happens next?
The initial application is Round One of the application process. After submitting your application, the KaBOOM! team will review to understand if it is a match for one of the grant opportunities that are currently offered. If you are eligible, you will be notified via email or by phone with next steps. Round Two may include submitting additional documentation as well as an initial logistics phone interview facilitated by a KaBOOM! Outreach Team Member. Round Two is meant for KaBOOM! to learn more about your site and vision for your community space.
KaBOOM! does not follow typical grant cycles, so KaBOOM! cannot provide a specific timelines for when you may receive funding. Funding may be available within a few weeks or up to one year. If you have not heard back from KaBOOM! within 4 weeks of your application, please email email@example.com and include your name, organization, and date of application.
The application asks us to provide a main point of contact. Can a staff member be the main point of contact for a KaBOOM! project?
Yes, a Staff Member can be the main point of contact, but please ensure that parents and non-staff members from your community are active members in the entire process. Community engagement is an essential part of every KaBOOM! project and will make your application more competitive and will ultimately create a project that is more meaningful, dynamic and successful.
Are organizations who do not serve low-income families eligible to apply?
KaBOOM! strives to work in communities with the most need. Sites in communities that are low-income have more of a competitive advantage. KaBOOM! also focuses on organizations that serve children with special needs as well as communities who may have been impacted by a disaster. At times, your site may be in an area that is not considered low-income by census data, but you may serve children from areas outside of your site location. KaBOOM! encourages organizations to apply, so that the team can review and learn more.
How does KaBOOM! define “low-income” when evaluating eligibility?
KaBOOM! takes into account various criteria, including Median Household Income as well as the percentage of students at a public school who receive Free & Reduced Price Lunches (FRPL). You will be guided in your application with instructions for how to find this information. While numbers alone can never tell a full story, they can serve as a guide. There is no absolute number KaBOOM! would or would not consider, but the most competitive applications come from communities where the FRPL program is 70% or higher and the children living in the community have a Median Household Income that is at or below the poverty level.
Are private daycare facilities eligible for a KaBOOM! grant opportunity?
Strong applicants are from 501(c)3 organizations. Applications from for-profit groups will be less competitive and most likely will not be eligible for funding. If you are ineligible, you may also learn more about additional grant opportunities available outside of KaBOOM!.
If an organization cannot open the playground to the public for liability reasons, can they still be considered for a KaBOOM! grant opportunity?
Yes. KaBOOM! understands that operating a public playground may not be possible for all community partners, and this is why it is not a requirement. KaBOOM! encourages all organizations that provide services to families and youth to submit an application.
If an organization does not allow volunteers to install the playground, can we still have a Build Day without volunteers?
No. The mission of KaBOOM! is to create great playgrounds through the participation and leadership of communities. Community volunteerism is a cornerstone of our mission.
Are there fundraising requirements for KaBOOM! grant opportunities? What happens if my organization has difficulty with this?
Yes, there are additional funding requirements for the community partner who is awarded a KaBOOM! grant. While KaBOOM! has dedicated funding partners that provide financial support for each project, each community will be responsible for additional fundraising. The contribution can be from current funds, direct fundraising or additional grant money that you have received. This investment by the community is important to ensure that your community will take ownership of the community space and will be responsible for long-term care and maintenance. KaBOOM! offers additional resources to help you with your playground planning. To learn more, please visit the Build a Playground Toolkit.
Build it with KaBOOM!
KaBOOM! has dedicated funding partners who will cover the majority of the cost for the overall project. KaBOOM! requires that the community partner who is awarded the grant contribute funding towards the project. Typically, the community’s contribution is $8,500. This can change for uniquely sized projects. The funds are to be paid directly to KaBOOM! within 30 days of the Build Day.
Build it Yourself
The $15,000 grant you are awarded will be used towards the purchase of playground equipment from a KaBOOM! preferred vendor of your choosing:
The total value of the playground equipment (including the $15,000 grant) must be a minimum of $24,000 and a maximum of $40,000. That means, to meet the minimum requirement, your group will have to fundraise at least $9,000 towards playground equipment. Additionally, the community partner is responsible for the cost of safety surfacing, freight, site preparation, installation supervision and any other non-playground equipment items.
If an organization has construction work taking place at the proposed playground site, could a Build Day happen before the site is open?
Due to safety and logistical challenges, KaBOOM! cannot host a Build Day event when there is construction in progress on the playground site. In addition, KaBOOM! will only build a playground that will be open to use (and play!) by children at least two weeks following the installation.
My group is applying to become a 501(c)3 non-profit. Are we eligible to apply before we secure this status?
Yes. If your organization is in the process of applying for non- profit status, KaBOOM! will still consider your application.
I do not think that a full playground "build" is a good fit for my organization. Are there other ways KaBOOM! can help me?
Yes, please sign up for KaBOOM! Grant Alerts in order to stay up to date for all future opportunities. In the meantime, KaBOOM! would still like to support you in pursuing your dreams of play and offers a number of other resources to assist organizations with bringing play to their community. Here is a list of a few of them:
If an organization has a short-term lease for the proposed playground site, can they still be considered for a KaBOOM! grant opportunity?
KaBOOM! requires that the organization that is applying either be the landowner (or have landowner permission). If the applicant has a lease, it must be a long-term. If the lease is not a long-term lease, the community organization must have demonstrated proof that the landowner intends for them to stay for the long-term. This will ensure that the play space will be maintained for many years to come!
If an organization does not own the land for the proposed playground site, can they still be considered for a KaBOOM! grant opportunity?
Yes. In order to build with an organization that does not own the land of the proposed playground site, KaBOOM! will need written consent from the landowner. Applicants should be prepared to answer questions regarding who owns the land and with whom to speak to in order to get consent to build when submitting an application.
Who insures and takes liability for the playground or Creative Play product?
The community partner who is applying for the grant will be the sole owner of the playground once the playground project is complete or the Creative Play product is received. As the owner, the community partner must have liability insurance and provide long-term care and maintenance to ensure that the space or product is safe for years to come.
Can an organization still apply if they cannot provide insurance?
Yes. An organization can still apply as it is possible for two or more partners in the community to work together to provide insurance coverage.
The application states that approximately 2,500 square feet of space is needed for the playground, but if an organization does not have that requirement, can they still be considered for a KaBOOM! grant opportunity?
Build it with KaBOOM!
While 2,500 square feet is the standard space for a KaBOOM! playground, smaller and larger spaces can be considered as budget and space allows. Your site information, including photos and dimensions will be part of the Round One application and is critical for KaBOOM! to have these details in order to review.
Build it Yourself
2,500 square feet is not a set requirement, and you can have a smaller (or larger) space.
If a proposed site has two separate areas that equal 2,500 square feet, can they be combined and have two play structures?
If there are two separate areas, the spaces should be directly next to one another or be able to connect.
Build It with KaBOOM! Questions
What are the age ranges for Build it with KaBOOM! playgrounds?
Build it with KaBOOM! playgrounds offer playground designs that reflect the following age ranges: 2–5, 2–12 or 5–12 years old.
On a case by case basis, KaBOOM! can work with organizations interested in exploring equipment for children under the age of two. Interest in infant/toddler equipment should be shared on your application.
How many Build it with KaBOOM! grant opportunities are available each year?
KaBOOM! looks to bring brand new playspaces to 175–200 communities across North America, annually.
What playground equipment vendor is used for the Build it with KaBOOM! grant opportunity?
Those awarded a Build it with KaBOOM! grant are required to use Playworld, Inc.
Build It Yourself Questions
Why are community partners selected for Build it Yourself grants required to work with a KaBOOM! preferred playground vendor?
All preferred vendors have been screened to ensure that they meet all of the criteria required by KaBOOM! and are able to provide the $6,000 discount as part of the $15,000 grant.
Are Build it Yourself community partners allowed to apply for and accept other grant funding outside KaBOOM! funding?
Yes, KaBOOM! encourages community partners to apply for and accept additional grants in order to meet your fundraising goals. Please note that community partners would not be eligible if you are accepting funding from a competitor of Dr Pepper Snapple Group. Please detail additional grants you may receive toward this project on your application or when working with a KaBOOM! Grants Manager (after awarded).
Creative Play Questions
How do I apply for a Creative Play product grant?
After creating an account on our grant application site, you will select “Creative Play products” on your application in order to receive the questions for Creative Play.
After submitting my initial application (Round One) for Creative Play, what will I have to do for Round Two?
Once you complete the first round of the application, you will automatically receive an email invitation to complete the second round of your application titled, “Creative Play Application Form”. KaBOOM! offers Creative Play grant opportunities at various times throughout the year. KaBOOM! will be in touch if you are eligible when funding is available.
Are there additional fundraising requirements for Creative Play grant opportunities?
At times, Imagination Playground grant opportunities require the community partner to pay for shipping the Imagination Playground (estimated $1,000–$2,000). KaBOOM! will contact all applicants when they are being considered for Creative Play grants to discuss additional costs. Rigamajig grants do not require any additional funds.