Department of Recreation And Parks: Financial Incentives


Problem Identification:
Individual recreation centers have little incentive to increase citizen participation levels and their revenue-generating capabilities.

Recommended Action:
Develop financial incentives for recreation centers to increase citizen participation and encourage fundraising efforts.


Revenue Enhancement, Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:
All Departmental Operations

Estimated Annual Impact:
Cannot be Estimated

Estimated Implementation Costs:


Barriers to Implementation:
Reluctance to change existing budgetary practices and install financial incentives that direct budgetary monies from the City’s General Fund.

Projected Implementation:
90 – 120 days

Next Steps:

The leadership of the Finance Department and the Department of Recreation and Parks should meet to establish aggressive citizen participation and revenue-generation goals and structure an incentive program that provides future budgetary rewards to individual recreation centers that exceed pre-established goals.


Currently, individual recreation centers retain the user fees collected from program participants. These monies are used to support special programming costs and to purchase needed supplies that cannot be covered by the budgetary funds provided for the operation of the center. The only incentive to augment this flow of revenue occurs when an individual recreation center decides it wants to implement a new program for which it does not already have funds. This policy limits the number and scope of new programmatic initiatives.

Rewarding well performing recreation centers with additional budgetary support could provide the leadership of each recreation center (full and part time staff, local recreation councils, and volunteers) with tangible incentives to increase community participation levels and independent financial fundraising efforts. Additionally, an incentive program could prompt a healthy level of competition among centers.

Implementation of this recommendation could be extended to the Department’s special facilities if management of these operations is not assumed by a professional facilities management entity as suggested in recommendations 4-A and 4-B.