Picking your perfect playground may just be the easy part, but finding the funding and financing to afford the play structure you want is where the challenge begins. Few schools, daycare centers, apartment communities, or municipalities have the capital to outright purchase a commercial quality playground; costs can average around $20,000 and up for everything, including installation and surfacing.
The first step for many organizations is to source partial funding through State or Municipal grants. Funding from grants can help reduce the financial burden but additional financial assistance after other methods are used (including private fundraising) can be found through affordable playground financing.
Why Should You Finance?
Most playground manufacturers and distributors use third party financing to provide optimized payment options for customers. If after sourcing grants and private fundraising there is a residual amount required, a flexible payment plan can provide the answer and expedite the playground project on schedule without lengthy funding delays.
There are a number of benefits to financing your playground which include:
- Get More for Your Money
You have the ability to finance any or all of the playground equipment. Has your organization saved enough capital to purchase the play structure, but need help with the surfacing, transportation, and install? Finance the remainder. Or, if you’ve planned for everything to put the play structure in, you can purchase more equipment, such as another structure, or a shade or shelter to cover it, or provide other site amenities, like benches, tables, trash cans, grills, bike racks, the whole nine yards!
- Preservation of Credit Lines and Non-Credit Liability
Having available credit on a credit line is best practice; why reduce the amount of available credit your organization may need for emergencies or contingency projects? By financing your playground you can preserve funds and retain peace of mind in the event of an unplanned financial need.
- Tax Benefits
Did you know that the interest you are charged through a formal finance plan is in most cases, tax deductible? While you will be paying a reasonable interest fee each month it presents a tax advantage at the end of the year for your group or non-profit organization. It is also easier to amortize your playground as a capital investment for accounting purposes over the useful life of your playground and warranty.
- Faster Installation (Less Money Up Front)
Waiting to raise all the money required for your playground project? That choice can result in lengthy delays. You can move ahead confidently with your project by financing the residual amount required instead of waiting.
- Flexible Payment Plans
Pick a payment plan for your playground that makes sense for your cash flow and budget. You can opt to pay monthly or even quarterly or annually depending on the financier and your loan arrangement. As an organization you understand your cash flow position best, and can schedule payments that are convenient for your needs.
**Note: Table is representative of financing options, may not be actual values.**
Remember that for private organizations such as a Home Owners Associations, the investment in playground equipment and outdoor recreation increases the property value for the community, and provides a substantial return on investment (ROI) in terms of amenities.
How Does Financing Work?
Financing is a fantastic way for daycare centers to improve their facilities without much affect on their initial overhead. Let’s take a look at the following example of how a daycare can budget for the cost of financing:
Most daycare centers at the beginning of the year will raise their weekly dues to justify inflation. Let's assume it's a $5 per week increase (which is not uncommon). If the daycare hosts a total 50 children, that's a monthly increase of $1,000 ($5 x 50 kids x 4 weeks). Which means, that if you go with a 60-month finance rate (the most common finance period for the industry), you can afford approximately $40,000 worth of equipment based on typical payment table provided above.
It is not hard to arrange playground financing, and we can provide third party finance options to our customers from trusted lenders. The finance options typically involve little to no down payment for qualified purchases with same-day approval in most cases.
Our financing partner is currently offering a “NO PAY UNTIL TAX DAY” special program. You can get your equipment now and *make no payments until April 15th, 2015*. Contact American Parks Company at 1-800-381-4491 to discuss your playground financing options.