While fundraising isn't an exact science, you should develop a monetary goal for your project to cover all costs. While you may get donations for food and water during the build, in kind services, material donations and other budget items; these should initially be considered as part of the over all budget and included in what is needed to reach you funding goals.
While building a playground using the community build model, typically some items that may cost an additional amount above the cost of the play equipment are as follows:
Concrete. Usually bags of concrete, such as Quikrete. Ready mixed concrete is fine also, however, weekend deliveries can present a challenge. Bags of concrete allow volunteers the ability to concrete items in place as the build day moves along. Your installation supervisor should be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of how much concrete will be required.
Excavation. (If required) This may be something that you will need to pay a local contractor to provide. Until you have a donation of this service, it should be considered a line item in your budget.
Drainage Considerations. Discuss the site location and drainage issues with your installation supervisor (the play equipment representative) to determine if drainage stone and/or other materials should be considered. Again, until these materials and the placement of these materials are donated, they may need to be considered in your budget. A typical situation could include additional excavation, trenching, perforated pipes, geo-textile fabric, and drainage stone. Post Hole Excavation. Many times you can find a volunteer that has access to a machine with an auger, however, you may need to pay a local contractor (or a playground installer) to provide this for a fee. Ask your representative for pricing for this service from his experienced installers so that you have an idea of what this might cost for your project. In most cases you would need a 12" or 14" diameter auger mounted on a bob cat, tractor other machine. Your local municipality or school district may have this equipment available as well as an operator.
Barrier Fencing or Temporary Fencing. In order the keep curious children (and adults) safe, some type of protection of the area should be considered. There may be open holes, uncured concrete and not-yet-installed playground parts that need protection during construction. Caution tape should be used as well. Protect the area until the entire playground is built, the safety surfacing is in place and the area is ready for children to play.
Dumpster. If the facility does not have a means of disposal, you should consider having a dumpster available to discard packaging materials and pallets. Playground Safety Surfacing. There are many options for safety surfacing, however, surfacing is imperative and required. Therefore, after discussions about costs and options, you should designate a portion of the budget to safety surfacing. Discuss with your play equipment representative what surfacing options may be able to be installed by volunteers on build day and which options need to be installed by professional installers. Playground Borders. (If required) The playground may need a border system in order to retain any safety surfacing materials. These could be plastic timbers available from the play equipment manufacturer, wooden timbers, rubber curbs or concrete curbs. The borders may need to be considered into the budget.
Landscaping/Accessible Pathways. Determine if a new or widened pathway will be required in order for children and adults of all abilities to gain access to the playground. Often, some additional landscaping or plantings can make the area more appealing. If these items are planned, then include some budget amount for them.
Refreshments/Lunch during Build Day. While the cost of food and water can often be covered by donations from local businesses, until you have donation commitments, you will want to figure some amount of the budget for this line item.
Grant Signage/Site Plans/Drainage Plans. Some state grants may require specific signage and/or that a site plan and drainage plan to be created to meet the the grant requirements. These usually need to be provided by a design professional and could be an additional expense to the project.
If your school or municipality is planning on purchasing play equipment, we have a number of State and National Purchasing Contracts that may be utilized to save time and money, while avoiding the local bidding process.