GOLD2023

KABOOM!

Spaces to play. Sparks for change.

Bethsda, MD   |  http://kaboom.org

Mission

We unite with communities to build kid-designed playspaces that can spark joy and foster a sense of belonging for the kids who are often denied opportunities to thrive. Our mission: end playspace inequity for good.

Ruling year info

1996

CEO

Ms. Lysa Ratliff

Main address

7200 Wisconsin Ave Ste 400

Bethsda, MD 20814 USA

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EIN

52-1970904

NTEE code info

Parks and Playgrounds (N32)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (E01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

KABOOM! is a national nonprofit that works to achieve playspace equity, the ability for every kid to have access to an incredible place to play. Kids who don’t have access to play not only miss out on a key element of childhood but are also denied critical opportunities to build physical, social and emotional health. We team up with communities to build incredible playspaces that help give every kid the opportunity to thrive. Our goal is to end playspace inequity. For good.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

General Programs

Child-serving play focused projects including playspaces and community engagement.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Best NonProfits to Work For 2011

NonProfit Times

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

KABOOM! is a national nonprofit that works to achieve playspace equity. Playspace equity is the ability for every kid to have access to incredible places to play. We believe that kids and communities will benefit most when playspaces are built close to where they live and learn (access) and when those playspaces are created with kid and community engagement and offer features that kids and communities want (quality). To advance playspace equity, we must work to eliminate inequity in access to quality playspaces caused by historic disinvestment in communities, which has disproportionately affected kids and communities of color.

KABOOM! works with communities to build incredible, kid-designed playspaces that help give every kid the opportunity to thrive. Kids who don’t have access to play not only miss out on a key element of childhood but are also denied critical opportunities to strengthen their physical, social and emotional health. For more than two decades, we’ve teamed up with bold, inspiring partners and community members, starting with the kids themselves, to understand each neighborhood’s unique aspirations. Then we build incredible places to play, inspired by their design, courage and leadership.

This includes implementing the following strategies:

Community-Built Playgrounds: Our community playground projects generate tangible, achievable wins for communities that have experienced generations of disinvestment. Working in partnership with our corporate and philanthropic partners, we engage community organizations in a deliberate design and planning process that ensures the final playground reflects the history and preferences of the unique community.

Spaces for Teens: Many teens, especially in communities of color, must respond to and navigate challenges that force them to grow up too fast. All too often, they also lack access to positive outlets where they feel like they belong and can enjoy being active with friends. KABOOM! Adventure Courses and Multi-Sport Courts reignite the spark of youth with a versatile range of desirable play options, from traditional sports to obstacle courses. These playspaces engage, inspire and support this older age group, helping communities ensure kids of any age still get to play.

Play Everywhere: KABOOM! Play Everywhere innovations and installations bring play to unexpected, but everyday spaces like bus stops and parklets, making play easy and available for kids and families. While a playground can provide a joyful oasis for play, play must be available in other places to include play opportunities where kids, and their caregivers, are already spending their time.

Creative Play: Through our Imagination Playground and Rigamajig play sets, KABOOM! provides innovative, mobile play sets in lieu of traditional playgrounds that can ignite the imaginations and creativity within all kids.

For more than two decades, we've teamed up with bold and dedicated community members and kids to understand their unique needs and desires; we’ve mobilized multi-sector partnerships to put kids first; and we’ve been a national leader in working towards achieving playspace equity.

In creating city partnerships, KABOOM! works with municipal agencies to transform underused open spaces, parks and existing playgrounds into safe, fun and beautiful spaces for kids and their families. Through multi-year partnerships with public housing systems, city planning departments, school districts, and other local government organizations, we provide badly-needed playspaces in underutilized spaces.

Play is also critical to help children heal following a disaster or crisis, as they deal with the stress of lost homes, lost loved ones, lost routine and lost normalcy. KABOOM!, alongside our partners, responds when there are natural or man-made disasters that have an impact on kids. Under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, KABOOM! has worked with communities to continue to address disparities in access to playspaces during the pandemic and beyond.

Over the last 25 years, we’ve built or improved 17,000+ playspaces, engaged more than 1.5 million community members and brought joy to over 11.5 million kids. As we look to the future, we’ll continue our efforts to build collective action and community opportunity, spark hope and enable kids to reach their full potential. And we won’t stop until we put an end to playspace inequity.

We envision an America where every kid can get the play they need to thrive, regardless of race and family income. When we achieve playspace equity, kids will be able to play close to where they live and learn, and those playspaces will be high quality and designed to reflect the desires of the community.

Financials

KABOOM!
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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KABOOM!

Board of directors
as of 08/29/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Lynn Ross

Spirit for Change Consulting

Term: 2023 - 2023

Michael Araten

Sterling Drive Ventures

Eric Rothman

HR&A Advisors

Ladan Manteghi

Georgetown University’s Business for Impact Initiative

Lynn M. Ross

Spirit for Change Consulting, LLC

Vincent J. Lumia

Morgan Stanley

Lysa Ratliff

KABOOM!

Eric Wayne

Consumer Reports

Tiffany Manuel

TheCaseMade

Jewel James Simmons

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Natalie Vega O'Neil

Junior Achievement of Washington

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/29/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data