(This post is Part 1 of a 2-Part Response to a Submitted Question)
When I think of playground fundraising, I picture swings, a set of see-saws, a jungle gym, and various other pieces of equipment; and, I see multiple opportunities to raise money.
There are many ways to raise money, but I can only address the method that is the most effective at raising significant dollars — people asking other people to write checks.
Naming Opportunities are where donors get to have their names (or those of others being memorialized and/or honored) posted on a space or affixed to a piece of equipment/furniture.
In the case of a playground, the entire facility and each piece of equipment could be named after individual donors. Understand, there is no relationship between the cost of (the elements of) the project and what is “charged” for the honor of naming….
The “charge” for a naming opportunity is based on what the market will bear. If it will cost $250,000 to build a playground, but you have a donor who is willing to write a check for $300,000 to see his/her name over the entrance to the facility, then $300,000 is what it will “cost” for that naming opportunity. Realistically, that doesn’t happen too often.
What does happen, what must happen, is the work that goes into determining what the “cost” of each naming opportunity will be.
The process begins at two ends and works towards the middle. One of the two first steps is to make a list of everything in the playground that could possibly be named: each see-saw in the set (and the entire set), each swing (and the swing set), the shock-absorbing ground cover, anything you can think of. [The total “cost” of all the naming opportunities” typically exceeds the total cost of the finished project, and rarely are all the naming opportunities actually sold.]
The other “first step,” and the rest of the process, will be addressed in Part 2 of this posting.
Have a comment or a question about starting, evaluating, or expanding your fundraising program? With over 30 years of counseling in major gifts, capital campaigns, bequest programs, and the planning studies to precede these three, I’ll be pleased to answer your questions. Contact me at AskHank@Major-Capital-Giving.com
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