Grant Seeker's Guide
This guide is designed to help you navigate our application process and better understand our funding requirements. It also outlines our evaluation process.
In 2013, Bikes Belong will accept Community Partnership Grant Applications only. These proposals must come from a partnership that is minimally comprised of one government agency or office, one non-profit organization, and one business. Proposals may be for facility or advocacy projects but must be submitted on the Community Partnership Grant Application. Additional information is available in the Community Partnership Grant Guidelines.
Bikes Belong will accept requests for funding of up to $10,000 for facility and advocacy projects. We do not require a specific percentage match, but we do look at leverage and funding partnerships very carefully. We will not consider grant requests in which our funding would amount to 50% or more of the project budget.
Please review the following specifics of the facility and
advocacy programs to ensure that your proposal meets our guideline:
Facility Project Objectives
Advocacy Project Objectives
Reapplying for Support
Facility Project Objectives[back to top]
"To connect existing facilities or create new opportunities; leverage federal, state, and private funds; influence policy; and generate economic activity."
Eligible facility projects include:
- Bike paths, lanes, trails, and bridges
- End-of-trip facilities such as bike racks, bike parking and bike storage
- Mountain bike facilities
- Bike parks
- BMX facilities
Generally, Bikes Belong will consider funding construction costs and matching funds for facilities projects. We will also consider funding advocacy work for high-profile bike facilities. We are particularly interested in projects that serve a range of age and ability levels and that reach the "interested but concerned" riders - those who would bicycle more but don't because of safety issues.
Bikes Belong will NOT consider facility applications that request funding for:
- Feasibility studies, master plans, policy documents, or litigation
- Signs, maps, and travel
- Trailheads, information kiosks, benches, and restroom facilities
- Parking lots for bicycle facilities
- Bicycles, helmets, tools, and other accessories or equipment
- Events, races, clinics/classes, or bicycle rodeos
- Bike recycling, repair, or earn-a-bike programs
- Projects in which Bikes Belong is the sole or primary funder.
Advocacy Project Objectives[back to top]
"To support large-scale, innovative, replicable advocacy initiatives that significantly increase ridership and improve conditions for bicycling in big U.S. cities."
Eligible advocacy projects include:
- Programs that transform city streets, such as Ciclovias
- Innovative pilot projects
- Initiatives that have a significant political impact
Generally, Bikes Belong will consider funding projects that have a reasonable degree of measurable success and future sustainability. Bikes Belong will only fund advocacy projects where the applicant's primary purpose is bicycle advocacy.
Bikes Belong will NOT consider advocacy project applications that request funding for:
- General operating costs
- Staff salaries, except where used to support a specific advocacy initiative
- Rides and event sponsorships
- Planning and retreats
- Bicycles, helmets, tools, and accessories or equipment
- Organizations whose primary mission is not expressly related to bicycle advocacy
Evaluation Process[back to top]
All proposals must:
- Encourage ridership growth
- Promote bicycling
- Build political support
- Leverage funding
- Address the project objectives of the facility or advocacy funding categories (see above)
- Propose a specific program or project that is measurable. Bikes Belong will not fund general operating costs.
Applications received by Bikes Belong will be initially reviewed by the Grants Manager to determine eligibility. All grant applicants will receive an e-mail acknowledgment confirming receipt and providing a timeline for decision-making.
Applications that are complete and eligible will be considered by the Bikes Belong Grants Committee. The committee will either recommend approval, rejection, or request more information. If the committee:
- Approves the application, it is sent to the full Board of Directors for final approval. The applicant will be notified of the proposal's outcome shortly afterward.
- Rejects the application, the proposal is denied and the applicant will be notified.
- Requests more information, the Grants Manager will contact the applicant to resolve outstanding issues, then re-submit the proposal to the committee.
Please bear in mind that the Bikes Belong application and review process is fairly rigorous, and we are only able to fund 10-15% of the applications we receive.
Only e-mailed applications are accepted. Mailed or faxed applications will not be considered.
Reporting Requirements[back to top]
Bikes Belong requests that all grant recipients keep us updated on the progress of their projects. Articles, photos, or other information is always welcome; additionally, we would like a brief letter or email every six months that includes:
- An update on the current status of your project
- An overview of upcoming project components or efforts
- A list of partners or supporters participating in your project
A final report upon completion of your project is required. The final report should be three pages or less and include the following:
- Outcome: what did your project build, improve, develop or accomplish?
- Who participated: identify volunteers, supporters, businesses, other groups who helped make your project a reality, including any political support received
- Benefits to the community
- Impact on ridership
- Keys to success and lessons learned: help us help others with what worked and what did not
- Summary of media coverage
- How Bikes Belong support was recognized
- Project income and expense report reflecting all funding sources for the whole project
- Copies of or links to press clippings
- Two or three photos - we love pictures of people on bikes!
Submit reports via email to: email@example.com
Reapplying for Support[back to top]
If your proposal is denied, it is not likely to be funded in a future cycle. Please do not resubmit a rejected proposal unless asked to do so.
Bikes Belong does not consider additional funding requests from grantees for at least three years from the time of the original grant. This policy is designed to promote geographic and project diversity among our grant recipients.
Have more questions about the grant process? Visit our Grants FAQs page.