Location: New York, NY
Founder: Andrea Wenner
Size: 2 employees
What the company does: This organization creates play spaces in empty schoolyards, working closely with members of the school community and surrounding neighborhood, as well as elected officials. Out2Play has raised more than $30 million from public and private sources and has created 80 new play spaces (40 of them in 2009 alone), benefiting almost 60,000 students each year.
Why it works: “We adhere to a strict model that allows us to get these projects done in a cost- and time-efficient manner,” says founder and executive director Andrea Wenner. “We follow the same eightstep process with every single school we do. And while we may manage 40 projects in a year, we don’t deal with 40 different contractors, architects, and so on—we bundle projects together in groups.” Success secret: “What we do is visible and tangible. It’s easy for people to very literally see the benefit of what we’re doing,” says Wenner. “That helps a lot in fundraising.”
Lee Lusardi Connor is a business writer and editor. She can be reached at LeeLusardi@gmail.com.