[TheThinkTank] Example of Nonprofit + Commercial Shop Synergy?

Stephen Andruski swandruski at gmail.com
Thu Nov 28 07:27:55 PST 2019

The Rockville Bike Hub in Rockville MD has a good relationship with the
commercial shops in the area. The local Trek store takes in kids bikes as
trade-ins and donates them to us. Those bikes get used for a City of
Rockville program we support. The Trek store also gives us adult bikes that
people get rid of when they buy a new bike, though in that case there's no
"trade-in" given.

The local REI has donated tools to us and allows us to set up at a Farmers
Market in their parking lot. Since we don't stock a lot of parts as a
pop-up shop, we're often directing people to them for those purchases and
then helping people do the installation or repair.

We've also done some bike maintenance workshops with the Trek store,
particularly a women's night event.

Steve Andruski

On Thu, Nov 28, 2019, 10:14 AM J Fiedler <jasonafiedler at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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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