Start a Memorial Bench Program
Parks and recreation sites are common locations for memorials, whether they're formal gardens or dedicated trees, statues or even site furnishings, such as a bench. Families, friends, community organizations and others often request such memorials, and by working with them and site furnishing manufacturers, you can furnish your site while providing a way to memorialize community members.
Q: We don't have a big budget for site furnishings, but would love an opportunity to partner with the community to furnish our site. What should we consider?
A: You can easily begin furnishing your park or site by partnering with community members and your site furnishing manufacturer on a sponsored bench program. This is an effective way to enhance your public space while also allowing people and organizations to honor and memorialize loved ones and respected community members. In this type of program, community members will sponsor a bench or companion piece, paying the cost of the product as well as a plaque, which can be customized.
Q: We would like to start a memorial bench program in our community. How do we begin?
A:: First, you'll want to determine where you'll be placing benches and any companion products such as planters. Then, you'll need to work out exactly how many you need. Talk with your site furnishing manufacturer to get help choosing products that will fit well into the context of your site while also meeting your sponsorship goals.
Once all of this is determined, you'll need to establish a coordinator for the program, and then begin building community awareness. You can do this via local newspapers and radio, as well as placing a message in any direct mailings your organization sends out. Don't forget to make use of your social media page to let people know that sponsorships are available as well.
Once the word is out, you can begin lining up sponsors, who will enjoy having a permanent memorial to the person they want to remember.
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