[TheThinkTank] HELP! non-profit/insurance questions

Jonathan Morrison jonathan at slcbikecollective.org
Wed Oct 24 09:31:04 PDT 2007

1) At Bike!Bike! I was shocked by how many organizations didn't have their
501(c)(3) status yet.  Plenty of organizations do not get it right away.
However, I would say that as much as dealing with the IRS can suck (it
actually isn't that bad) becoming an official non-profit is worth it because
it makes it easy and quick for everyone to give you things -- money, bikes,
tools, compressors, space, grants, you name it.  In Salt Lake we were a
501(c)(3) on paper before we touched a single bike or tool.  Thinking back,
non getting that status would have been like trying to ride a bike
cross-country sans the tires.  Sure you could do it, but why would you want
to?  It was nice that we could just enjoy the ride, instead of worrying
about every little pebble.

2) I would agree with Mario, just because you don't hear about it, doesn't
mean that settlements aren't going on all the time.  Besides, Murphy's Law
clearly states that you will get sued right after you make a conscience
decision to decline insurance.  In that case, the individuals behind your
organization could be stripped of anything of value and the organization
will no longer exist.


Jonathan Morrison
Project Coordinator
Salt Lake City Bicycle Collective
2312 S. West Temple
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
w: 801-328-2453
c: 801-688-0183
f: 801-466-3856

On 10/23/07, Mario Bruzzone <mario.bruzzone at gmail.com> wrote:
> Danny, as far as #2 for legitimate shops, yes, and it has happened with
> fair regularity. The most prominent example I can think of is the (failed)
> lawsuit against Walmart a year or two ago--even though the bikes in Walmart
> are often critically defective. Off the top of my head, there was also a
> rider who sued a shop in Santa Fe for a quick-release issue.
> Mostly, though, these lawsuits never make the news because they don't make
> it to trial.
> Best,
> Mario Bruzzone
> Bike Kitchen
> San Francisco
> On 10/23/07, danny wood rocknroll lazer <abortone at graffiti.net> wrote:
> >
> > i am a collective member of Krank It Up! in tallahassee, florida, and
> > we're negotiating some possibly big (and possibly very rash and uninformed)
> > changes.
> > i have some questions for the listserve-
> > 1) are there any other collective/community bike shops that have ever
> > decided against going official nonprofit 501c3, or decided to put it off?
> > 2) have there EVER been ANY community bike shops that have ever been
> > sued by an injured cyclist or their family/insurance company, perhaps for
> > allowing people to build janky bikes?  has anyone ever heard of any bike
> > shop at all (even traditional, for-profit ones) being sued for a customer
> > getting hurt while out riding?
> >
> > my guess is that the answer to 2 is no; my hope is that the answer to 1
> > is yes.
> > thanks!
> > -danny
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > =
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