So you’re looking to get more involved in Yay Bikes!, eh? Sweet! Here’s how:
BECOME A MEMBER
Regardless of how you see yourself being involved with Yay Bikes!, step one will always be to become a member. When you invest in an annual membership—which, at $25/year, is eminently accessible to most (not to mention, if you really can't afford it, we’re open to trade for some in-kind services)—it serves as a declaration that this cause and this community matters to you. In fact, it matters so much that you’re willing to fund full-time staff members to make full-time bicycle advocacy happen. We want people on our team who are passionate at that level, because a sizable and engaged membership predicts advocacy outcomes.
The “what” of volunteering, i.e., our available entry-level opportunities, is not nearly so important as the “who”, i.e., the “who we should be to be an effective Yay Bikes! volunteer”. Our volunteers consistently manifest our core values—because “meaningful relationships” are key to our theory of change. What this looks like in practice is:
- Committing to a job by registering in advance on our website or emailing staff
- Fulfilling that job as defined, or communicating well in advance if you cannot
- Upholding our core values at all times throughout the process
Members who have demonstrated an ability to manifest our core values, either outside the organization or by volunteering in our entry-level jobs—like parking bikes in the corral, assembling buttons for Year of Yay! or registering people for Bike the Cbus—are eligible to manage part of a bigger job. That might entail leading or sweeping a Year of Yay! ride, greeting cyclists at the bike corral or designing a Bike the Cbus route, etc. Members who manifest the core values and have special skills or training may be invited to take even greater leadership roles—for example, to join our board or assume accountability for an entire project, such as the Ride of Silence, a Yay Bikes! fund-raising event, Year of Yay!, bike corral site supervision, etc. That's right. Yay Bikes! members have a unique opportunity to explore ourselves as a leaders and get the support needed to be successful. Reach out to someone on staff and grab it!
When you give to Yay Bikes!, what you’re doing in practical terms is providing us with discretionary funds—i.e., funds we can use at our discretion, without the need to attach them to any particular program. Basically this funding stream goes to funding our operations—non-program staff, technology, rent, office supplies, etc. That's right: our overhead. Overhead has gotten a bad rap in the philanthropic world, but it seems some people have (thankfully!) begun to come back around to the idea that (gasp!) it costs money to run an effective organization.
Membership is always, as noted above, step one. But gifts above that $25/year make a huge difference to our efficiency and effectiveness, because they allow us to invest in the essential organizational functions that program grants simply do not cover. Even better? Giving a regular amount on a regular basis (an option that you can set up to run automatically through your bank) allows us to predict our monthly cash flow and just might make the difference between whether we feel like we can increase investment and expand existing programming or invest in new services. This is a no-joke proposition—we are an extremely lean organization and YOUR GIFT could be what it takes to move us to the next level.
We have lots of love to go around, and we transform lives. Bring a friend along for the ride, literally (ha)! Neither of you will regret it!