[TheThinkTank] Example of Nonprofit + Commercial Shop Synergy?

J Fiedler jasonafiedler at gmail.com
Thu Nov 28 07:14:26 PST 2019


In Detroit, Michigan and Brandon, Manitoba there have been shops that will
trade in older bikes and give a percentage off the sale of a new bike. Many
of those bikes that were traded in were then given to the non-profit shop.
The project in Brandon, Manitoba was a smaller scale deal so the same shop
that would get us a few bikes also sold us tools at cost. For context, this
is a ~45,000 population town with only two bike shops so I don't think they
saw our youth earn-a-bike program as competition or a problem. I imagine
they saw us as another way of increasing bike ridership in rural Manitoba
which they would benefit from.
In Detroit the shops were more spread out. Also in Detroit a few of those
shops didn't do trade ins, they just agreed to be donation drop off points
for us because we often had people that wanted to donate bikes or parts but
didn't have a way of getting all the way to our shop. The key to those
relationships was communication and transportation to pick bikes up. For
profit shops didn't want their storage areas filling up too much with bikes
they weren't going to use. For better or worse in Detroit I think the
customers (and maybe the staff) of the suburban shops got to feel good that
they were helping folks in the city. The shops could also advertise that
they had this partnership with us to get some more customers in the door.
We would also do thank yous to them on social media which our
volunteers/donors in the suburbs would see. None of those shops were near
our shop because at the time Detroit didn't have many shops.
There are a few for profit shops in Detroit now that are super supportive
and community minded. After I left they partnered in our annual winter
bike-a-thon fundraiser as a warming station for riders and I believe some
of their staff rode to raise money as well. Similar to what other people
said, there would be many referrals between those for profit shops and
non-profit.

-J

On Wed, Nov 27, 2019 at 1:37 PM Josh Bisker <jbisker at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hey who's got a great example or model of a nonprofit shop and a
> for-profit shop getting along well and it all working to everyone's
> benefit? Not a two-in-one model, but a symbiotic relationship between two
> shops, like maybe on the same block or something. Plz?
>
> Josh Bisker
> 914-500-9890
> New York Mechanical Gardens Bike Co-op <http://bikecoop.nyc/>
> 596 Acres <http://596acres.org/>
> Bindlestiff Family Cirkus <http://bindlestiff.org/>
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