NES Grows Volunteers

We need your help! Can you lead a committee of volunteers? Become a coordinator! Or maybe you can help recruit volunteers for the build, or fundraise, or collecting tools… Please consider becoming a volunteer. Email to sign up!

Public relations coordinator: This coordinator has the very important task of building the community support that is vital to a successful project. It is also necessary to thank volunteers and supporters before, during and after construction, and generally give correct information about the project. Many projects maintain a website that is continuously updated with current information.

Donated materials coordinator: Ideally, someone who is willing to dig in with a creative approach and willingness to seek material donations regardless of the value of the items (not necessarily a person in the trades or even familiar with materials). The success of this individual’s efforts will have a direct impact on the project budget. And some of the lesser-value items increase the network and base of support throughout the community.

Tools coordinator: Play by Design will provide a list of the tools you’ll need to build your playground. This coordinator gathers the necessary tools, typically loaned by individuals, rental shops, and occasionally tool manufacturers. (From our experience, it is not uncommon for tool manufacturer’s reps to loan equipment for the duration of the build. Many companies have programs in place to support community-based volunteer projects.) The coordinator distributes equipment in safe working condition during the build and arranges for owners to pick up their tools in “check-in” condition at the end of the project. He or she is also responsible for ensuring construction electrical service. Later in this packet, we will give you detailed instructions on how to accomplish this.

Food coordinator: Secures donations from local restaurants, organizations, church groups, etc. to feed volunteers during construction. Play by Design provides an outline that includes the suggested number of lunches and dinners to provide per shift each day.

Childcare coordinator: Creates a structured program to provide supervision of children while parents are working on the playground site. Typically, this is a team of individuals, and experienced childcare providers are very helpful. Since the build will likely occur during school session numbers of children will increase after school hours.

Special-needs coordinator: This person, who may be the parent of a special-needs child, gathers input on the community’s accessibility needs and compliance.

Site coordinator: Responsible for preparing and staging the site for construction. This job begins around the time of the pre-construction visit, which the site coordinator must attend. He or she must be on site for the entire build.

Construction crew supervisors: Qualified volunteers who work alongside Play by Design’s consultants. They oversee and instruct crews and help maintain the quality of the project. Play by Design will let you know how many you’ll need, typically 5 to 15, again depending on the size of your playground. They must be on site for the entire build.

Children’s representatives: An organized group of elementary school children, representing several grade levels. They assist with design input and other committees (i.e., public relations, fundraising PSAs, and special features). Children are always enthusiastic about the new playground and are the best way to ensure that their parents come out to help build it. They may also work with curriculum (available from Play by Design) that is related to the playground project. High school students can help lead the younger children’s committee members.

The coordinator position has been filled for the following committees. We are currently searching for committee members!

Fundraising coordinator: Fundraising requires a dedicated team approach and a sensible action plan that combines grassroots fundraising, business donations, and possibly some grant seeking. Grassroots fundraising is a proven method of generating awareness, interest, and ultimately “buy in” that is so vital to the community-built process. Business donations are a great way for local businesses to gain recognition by sponsoring individual components of the play area. Play by Design provides a template full of great time-tested ideas for individual events. The fundraising coordinator will need to be fearless at delegating.   Success rates for obtaining grants vary and depend on available funds and the experience of the grant writer.

 Volunteers coordinator: Primarily responsible for recruiting individuals and group commitments to provide the labor to construct the project over a 3-or 6-day period (usually 5). Based on your final design, Play by Design will specify details for work schedules and number of volunteers required. This is also a position that is better shared by two people.

Art and special features coordinator: This committee works with Play by Design to help enhance and embellish playground components. This person works as a crew supervisor during the build. He or she may recruit artists and creative local people to help make the playground come to life.