New program from BCI Burke makes raising money easier than ever before
The school playground in my neighborhood was a place to play before, during and after school. Although it didn’t have fancy equipment, the swings, monkey bars and slides provided hours of entertainment. It also had a merry-go-round, but there was one problem; the merry-go-round didn’t exactly ìgo-round.î It was more of a merry-go-stuck. This piece of equipment had rusted and seized up. We could no longer spin it around and I can tell you there was nothing “merry” about that. If you needed to rest, it provided you with a good place to sit, but you couldn’t do anything else with it. Needless to say, it was time for the merry-go-round to merrily-go-away. I don’t know if the concept of replacing it ever crossed the minds of the school officials. I’m almost certain it did, but my school probably didn’t have the funds to install a new piece of playground equipment.
Lack of funding for school playgrounds should no longer be a problem because many fundraising opportunities exist for schools to raise enough money to build a better play area for the child.
If your school has a playground that needs refurbishing, first take inventory of what needs to be done. Does the play area need a new slide, a new swingset or a new playground altogether? Your school should have an idea of what’s needed before beginning a fundraising campaign.
Moneyraising.com, a fundraising website, says schools should determine how much money they’ll need for the project because “it is much better to set a realistic goal and achieve it with one great project.” So how does your school establish how much money they’ll need? Again, it goes back to the type of equipment as well as how much the school needs. Once your school has contacted a playground manufacturer and knows the cost of the equipment needed, the time has come to raise funds.
One company that is helping to put the fun into fundraising is BCI Burke who has recently introduced a new and innovative fundraising program to assist parent groups and others in need of raising funds for playgrounds. The exciting Funds for Fun program is BCI Burke’s answer for overwhelmed and overworked volunteers who help schools, child care, religious organizations and other groups raise money for playground equipment. The exclusive program is not only easy-to-use but is self-contained, professional and completely customizable to each individual group’s project.
Fundraising for playgrounds has become increasingly essential over the last ten years. Money once earmarked by school districts for play structures has dwindled and parent groups and other volunteers have had to step up to the plate to provide safe play spaces for their children. In fact, 74 percent of all playground funds were raised through the efforts of school parent groups in 2004 according to a PTO Today Reader Qualification Survey.
The Funds for Fun Playkit is provided at no cost to customers after consulting with a Burke representative. The entire program is accessible from the Burke website. A passcode is assigned to access the Funds for Fun program that contains the complete kit. The uncomplicated document templates are simple to customize and allow for professional communication pieces to be created in little time. The documents are pre-written and designed for the customer; all they have to do is customize with project information and print.
“We saw the unfortunate reality of budget cutting among school districts and other groups needing high-quality playground equipment as an opportunity,” says Tim Ahern, president, and CEO of BCI Burke. “One of our customers had a vision of this sort of program and pleaded with us to design it for the many volunteer groups across the country who labor over raising money for fun, stimulating and safe playgrounds for their children,” Ahern adds.
“We live in a society that is demanding, hectic and at times, tiring. Creating and cultivating a playground fundraising program from the start can seem like a daunting task. We found in our discussions with parents and in research done on what motivates donors to give, that most people would rather give money to a cause and know the entire amount they pledge will be directed to the goal rather than 50 percent or less as in many other fundraising programs. In our unending pursuit to provide imaginative and innovative services to our customers, our goal with Funds for Fun was to provide a direct-donation plan that is an ‘Ask and you will receive approach’ to raising money,” Ahern says.
The Funds for Fun program provides a step-by-step Playkit that includes an easy-to-follow guide, “How to Plan, Organize and Execute Your Playground Fundraiser,” with twelve professionally written and customizable documents to complement it. The planning documents are divided into three areas for a user-friendly approach. There are also two additional playground planning documents available with the Funds for Fun Playkit. One is a guide on how to plan a playground and the other is fundraising ideas to supplement the Funds for Fun program.
Both seasoned and novice fundraisers will benefit from Funds for Fun as the program will help keep planners on track and maximize time spent. The Playkit will enhance the valuable time and effort of volunteers and assist in producing effective, professional and dynamic communication pieces with ease. The program is accessible from any computer with internet access, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“This is a great tool. The time we save using the Funds for Fun Playkit can be used to promote our playground fundraiser. It is so easy to customize the professional documents and start raising money,” says Teresa Krueger, a teacher, and parent of three young girls.
As the oldest playground company in the United States, BCI Burke’s team is committed to designing, engineering and building only the highest quality playground, park, and recreation equipment. Countless exciting projects are occurring that play up the Burke core values of affordable quality, ongoing customer service that is second to none, and child development and safety.
Burke is proud to provide the longest and strongest warranties in the playground industry including 100-year limited coverage on posts, clamps, fastening systems and hardware and 10-year limited warranty on fabrics.
Burke products meet or exceed the guidelines of the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) and the standards of ASTM International. In addition, Burke is a founding and active member of International Play Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (IPEMA.) Burke’s partnership with Slyde the Playground Hound and the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) fortifies Burke’s pledge to kid’s safe play.
For more information about the Funds for Fun Playkit or other innovative products and programs, contact a Burke representative at 800-266-1250 or visit the website at www.bciburke.com.