Grant Opportunities for Playground Projects

List of playground grants available:

Carol M. White Physical Education Program (aka PEP Grant)

US Department of Education
The Carol M. White Physical Education Program provides grants to LEAs and community-based organizations (CBOs) to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting state standards.

NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants

Grants for educators to support new ideas and practices to strengthen teaching and learning. The goal is to fund and share successful strategies to educate and prepare students for bright and rewarding futures.

Gates Family Foundation Capital Grants

The Gates Family Foundation invests in Colorado-based projects and organizations primarily through capital grants which have meaningful impact and enhance the quality of life for those visiting, working and living in the state. The Foundation seeks to promote self-sufficiency, excellence and innovation in education, healthy lifestyles, community enrichment, connection to nature and stewardship of the state's natural inheritance.

Lego Children’s Fund

The Foundation awards grants to qualified tax-exempt organizations with specific, identifiable needs primarily in these areas of early childhood education and development that is directly related to creativity, and technology and communication projects that advance learning opportunities. Typical awards range from $500 - $5,000 and are awarded quarterly.

NFL Keep Gym In School Grant

NFL Network's Keep Gym in School program’s mission is to boost fitness and physical education across the country. Currently in its fifth year, nominations are due by October and grant submissions are due in March for the April awarding each year.

Head Start Body Start Play Space Grants

National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play Grants are available for Head Start and Early Head Start Programs to bring underutilized outdoor spaces to life

The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation Grants

This Foundation directs its resources to organizations that relieve suffering, meet basic human needs, promote self-sufficiency, and enrich the quality of life. Within these four main mission categories, areas of particular interest are community and social services, education, youth, health, civic and culture, and seniors. Application deadlines are March 1 for the summer meeting and September 1 for the winter meeting.

L.L.Bean Conservation and Outdoor recreation Grants

Given our rich outdoor heritage, we focus giving on national and local outdoor conservation and recreation organizations that are qualified, federal tax-exempt organizations and fit the parameters of Conservation and Outdoor Recreation, Health and Human Services, Education, and Culture and the Arts.

American Medical Association Healthy Living Grant Program

The Healthy Living Grant Program supports grassroots health education programs to develop school and community-based solutions to behavioral health challenges. Grant opportunities for the 2013 year will be posted in mid-May.

General Mills Youth Nutrition and Fitness Grant

Through the Champions for Healthy Kids program, the General Mills Foundation will award 50 grants of $10,000 to nonprofit organizations working to improve nutrition and physical fitness behaviors for youth. Each year the grant is available online in October, due in December and awards are announced in May of the following year

Recreational Trails Program

U.S. Department of Transportation – Federal Highway Administration The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) provides funds to states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both nonmotorized and motorized recreational trail uses. Federal transportation fund benefit recration including hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, equestrian use, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, or using other off-road motorized vehicles.

The Home Depot

Community Impact Grants Grants, up to $5,000, are available to registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, public schools, or tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Applications accepted February 13 – August 13, 2013.

Shade Structure Grant Program

American Academy of Dermatology The shade structure grant program awards grants up to $8,000 each for the purchase of permanent shade structures designed to provide shade and ultraviolet (UV) ray protection for outdoor areas.

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Quality of Life Grants The Reeve Foundation Quality of Life Grants Program awards grants to non-profit organizations that provide services to individuals with paralysis.

GreenWorks Grants

GreenWorks! is a service-learning, community action grant program for partners, educators, students, and communities to undertake environmental neighborhood improvement projects. Taking environmental education from the classroom to action strengthens students' understanding of complex environmental issues. Annual application deadline is September 30.

Community Entitlement Grant (Housing and Urban Development)

HUD awards grants to entitlement community grantees to carry out a wide range of community development activities directed toward revitalizing neighborhoods, economic development, and providing improved community facilities and services.

National Environmental Education Foundation

A variety of grant opportunities based on environmental themes


The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is dedicated to improving the communities we serve through support of public education and community improvement projects. The Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation (LCEF) contributes to grassroots community projects. LCEF awards millions annually to diverse organizations across the United States.
Primary philanthropic focus areas are:
Community improvement projects
Public Education, priority is given to K-12 public schools
Charitable and Educational Foundation Grants:
Toolbox for Education grants:

American Honda Foundation

This foundation engages in grant making to non-profit charitable organizations that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. They support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM(science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment.

Here's how it works: public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on Requests range from pencils for a poetry writing unit, to violins for a school recital, to microscope slides for a biology class. Then, you can browse project requests and give any amount to the one that inspires you. Once a project reaches its funding goal, materials are delivered to the school.

Ing Unsung Heroes

Each year, 100 educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. (Deadline April 30, 2013)

Ing Run for Something Better

Because the ING RFSB school-based running program is so flexible, it's easy for elementary or middle schools to qualify. Start with at least 25 Kindergarten to eighth grade students ready to commit, and you're ready to go! The program can be as short as eight (8) weeks or as long as you want it to be. And it can happen in physical education class, during recess, before school, after school or any combination of these. Remember, the grant isn't meant to fund existing athletic programs; rather, it's all about reaching any and every child who wants to get active. (Deadline is May 15, 2013)

Kids in Need Foundation

Grants provide K-12 educators with funding to provide innovative learning opportunities for their students. The Kids In Need Foundation helps to engage students in the learning process by supporting our most creative and important educational resource — our nation's teachers.

Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation

The Foundation supports curricula that empower and encourage students to become involved in solving environmental and social problems as informed decision makers through the emphasis and application of basic ecological principles. Pre-proposals are due by September 13, 2013 and final proposals due by September 27, 2013.

Community Facilties Grant Program

Community Programs provides grants to assist in the development of essential community facilities in rural areas and towns of up to 20,000 in population.

National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is inviting applications from nonprofit organizations with current 501(c)3 status, as well as local governments and public agencies, for its National Trust Preservation Fund/NTPF grants. Matching grants from the NTPF are awarded annually in three competitive rounds – February 1, June 1, and October 1 – and may be used for a variety of preservation projects.

Finish Line Youth Foundation

Finish Line Youth Foundation focuses funding on organizations that provide opportunities for youth participation in community based programs addressing active lifestyle and team building skills, and established camps with an emphasis on sports and active lifestyle, especially programs serving disadvantaged and special needs kids.

Hasbro Childrens Fund Grants

Gifts of Hope are monetary grants from the Hasbro Children’s Fund. The Hasbro Children's Fund is the philanthropic grantmaking arm of Hasbro, Inc. and was established to help children in need triumph over critical life obstacles. They fund around three core principles: programs which provide hope to children who need it most, play for children who otherwise would not be able to experience that joy, and the empowerment of youth through service.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants

Believes it is important to walk alongside prospective grantees to accomplish goals of mutual interest and we are very interested in reviewing new and innovative ideas aimed at helping vulnerable children succeed. The website provides information on grants regarding the programming frameworks of: educated kids, healthy kids, secure families, racial equity, and civic engagement. Applications are submitted online at anytime.

Outdoor Classroom / Garden Grants:

Wild Ones Seeds for Education

Grants for School Gardens and Community Nature Areas The Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, and other non-profit and not-for-profit places of learning in the United States with a site available for a stewardship project. Successful non-school applicants often are a partnership between a youth group (scouts, 4-H, etc.) and a site owner. Libraries, government agencies and houses of worship are eligible subject to youth participation.

Annie's Grants for Gardens

Annie's offers a limited number of small grants to community gardens, school gardens, and other educational programs that connect children directly to gardening. These funds may be used to buy gardening tools, seeds, or other gardening supplies.

Kids Gardening

Suggestions for available funding and grants to develop gardens at school and in the community

The Herb Society of America Grants

Offering several grants opportunities for challenging individuals, groups or small businesses to develop and deliver learning experiences to the public. The grant recognizes innovative projects that enhance herbal education in school systems, in communities, or in any public forum (electronic or person-to-person). It requires learning goals and a mechanism to measure the educational outcomes.

Project Orange Thumb Grant

Since its inception, Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb provided over $1.3 million to 125 community groups and helped to complete nine garden makeovers in the U.S. and Canada. This year 10 applicants will receive $5000 in cash and tools to help support their goals in neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. You can apply online at the link above. Grant applications are closed for 2012 but check back in October, 2013 for the next grant cycle.

Mantis Awards

Mantis sponsors this award program in support of charitable and educational garden programs that enhance the quality of life in their host communities. NGA will select 25 gardens to receive a Mantis Tiller / Cultivator. We welcome applications from all nonprofits; past winners include community gardens, schools, ministries, colleges, master gardening groups, and hospices.

Grant Finding Resource Pages:


Great database that allows you to enter your demographic and categories to locate grants for your school.

Playground Grants

A comprehensive listing of grant opportunites and fund-raising ideas to help fund your playground

eSchool News

Great resource for ideas and suggestions in finding grants and funding. Additional links for ongoing and deadline grants.

A search engine that allows you to find government sponsored grant opportunities.

A comprehensive list of grant opportunities for schools organized by federal and state levels as well as by types of grants.

Peaceful Playgrounds

Peaceful Playgrounds is a cooperation building, social skills targeted program for recess. On their website the offer a tremendous amount of information about grant writing and qualifying for PEP grants.

Fund-Raising Ideas:

Do-It-Yourself fund raising ideas

10 free fund raising ideas

Unique fund raising ideas

Create a personalized thermometer image to track your fund raising progress on your website (free)

Fundraiser insight

 Church fund raising ideas

*This list was last updated on May 1, 2013 in an effort to assist possible customers of Play Mart in seeking funding for their play area projects. Not all grant opportunities are on-going, see individual web sites for details and deadlines.

List compiled by Jennifer VanWormer of Go Play, Inc.