Play It Forward Raleigh

Last updated Jul. 10, 2019 - 1:50 pm
Play It Forward Raleigh

The City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department strives to ensure that no one is denied the benefits of public recreation due to the inability to pay. Throughout the past 25 years the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Department has provided assistance to families and individuals who desire to participate in departmental programs but for financial reasons cannot always afford to. In 1993, the department held its first employee auction to help raise funds for this purpose. Funds to honor these requests come from donations, employee charitable contributions, outside agencies, and generated revenue.

The Financial Assistance Program provides assistance on a sliding scale based on income and other financial circumstances. Financial assistance is not guaranteed and is approved based upon need, program space, and fund availability.

How to Donate

Play It Forward Stats

You can make the difference in someone's life by giving a tax-deductible donation to the Raleigh Parks scholarship program.

  • A $10 donation will enable a family to make a deposit to secure a camp.
  • A $20 donation will empower a child by participating in youth sports programs or art classes.
  • A $50 donation will help an older adult increase mobility through an adult fitness swim class.
  • A $100 donation will allow a teen to attend a weeklong summer camp.

100% of your donations go directly to the Play It Forward Raleigh Financial Assistance Program to provide affordable, accessible programs that bring children, individuals, and families into our parks and give them great reasons to play for a lifetime.

There are two ways to make a tax-deductible donation:

  • Donate online via RecLink and search the unique barcodes for each donation amount
    • $10 donation (code #248298)
    • $20 donation (code #248299)
    • $50 donation (code #248300)
    • $100 donation (code #248301)
  • Mail a completed form to:
    • City of Raleigh
      Financial Assistance Program – 6107
      P.O. Box 590 Raleigh, NC 27602
      City of Raleigh tax ID number: 56-6000236

Download Donation Form


All applicants who wish to register for programs provided by the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department are eligible to apply for financial assistance. Financial assistance is not available for programs that cost less than $15, specialty camps, organizations, adult teams, special events, trips, or rentals. It may take up to ten business days to receive a status update on your application.

Financial Assistance Options

  1. Fee Reduction: This option reduces the amount due for those unable to pay the full program fee. Approved applicants will receive financial assistance to cover a percentage of the registration fee. Fee reduction will not cover the entire cost of programs. Applicants will be notified of final payment amount and payment due date by email or phone.
  2. Payment Plan: Alternative payment schedule to allow installment payments over a specified time period. Installments are calculated based on the program fee, number of payments, and specified time period.
  3. Fee Reduction and Payment Plan: This is a combination of options 1 and 2 to help make a program affordable for the participant. This option is geared toward school programs and camps.

How to Apply

  1. Download a financial assistance application.
  2. Complete your application, and attach your last two pay stubs and your most current 1040 tax information a minimum of three weeks prior to the start of the activity.
  3. Submit the application by mailing it in, faxing it, or scheduling an appointment with the Financial Assistance Program Administrator.
  • Schedule an Appointment: call the Financial Assistance Program Administrator at 919-996-4839 or email
  • Mail to:
    City Of Raleigh
    Financial Assistance Program - 6107
    P.O. Box 590
    Raleigh, N.C. 27602
  • FAX to: 919-996-7016

Download Application (English / Inglés)
Download Application (Spanish / Español)

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to fill out a separate application for each family participant?
No. Only one application is needed per family. Make sure to list all family members living in the household in the space provided. We cannot approve an application that is not complete, so be sure to fill out all required information and submit required documentation (Copy of 1040-Tax returns and copies of 2 most recent pay stubs

My application was approved last year. Do I need to fill out another one?
Yes, your application is only good for one fiscal year, July 1 – June 30. Memberships and classes purchased prior to approval are not retroactive and will not be discounted or refunded.

Who should I include as family members supported by my household income?
You must include all people living in your household, related or not, who share in the income of the household. You must include yourself and all children living with you.

What should I do if I do not have my taxes or do not file taxes?
An IRS transcript can be submitted with your application. If you did not file taxes, you need to submit a Verification of Non-Filing to show that no transcript exists.

Directions for obtaining IRS Transcript

Do I need to pay any money at the time of registration?
Yes. You are required to pay 20% of the cost of the program to secure your spot while your application is being processed. If you are unable to pay the 20% deposit, you will need to contact the Financial Assistance Program Administrator.

Is financial assistance guaranteed?
No, it will be awarded based on the need substantiated by the information that is provided on the application by each individual.

Will financial assistance cover the entire cost of the program?
No. Financial assistance will not cover the entire cost of the program. You will be notified of your final payment amount and payment due date by email and/or by mail.

Am I required to notify you of any changes?
Yes. If your situation changes during the calendar year it is your responsibility to notify the Program Administrator.

Will my information be kept confidential?
Yes, staff will not discuss confidential matters or personal information with anyone outside of the department or with unauthorized individuals. All confidential forms received will be kept in a secure location.

If I do not qualify now, may I apply later?
Yes, you may apply any time during the calendar year. For example, if a parent or guardian becomes unemployed during the year, you may become eligible.

How will I be notified?
You will be notified by email within 2 weeks of when the application is received. Please ensure that your email is correct on the form. If you have not received any information after 2 weeks, please contact the Program Administrator.

What if I still cannot afford the reduced program fee?
If you are awarded assistance and you are still not able to afford the program registration fee, please contact the Financial Assistance Program Administrator.

How can I get in contact with the Financial Assistance Program Administrator?
You may contact the Financial Assistance Program Administrator by emailing or calling 919-996-4839.

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