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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

World Bicycle Relief NFP

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Health Systems, Economic Development, Education, Health, International, International Economic Development, International Relief, Microfinance

Mission: World Bicycle Relief's mission is to mobilize people through the Power of Bicycles; we envision a world where distance is no longer a barrier to education, healthcare and economic opportunity.

Results: Since 2005, we have provided more than 400,000 bicycles and trained more than 1,900 local mechanics. Our bicycles get students to school on time, keep volunteer caregivers connected with their clients and haul farmers' goods to market across Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.

Target demographics: students, healthcare workers, farmers and entrepreneurs

Direct beneficiaries per year: 53,400 people

Geographic areas served: Africa, South America, Southeast Asia

Programs: education, healthcare, economic opportunity

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

WBR is a hugely engaging nonprofit whether that be in the approach to raising money or then putting that money to the best and broadest possible use. WBR unites people with a passion for cycling, the outdoors, philanthropy and much more, dedicating itself to a cause of equality and fairness. I hope to stay involved for a long time.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked closely with World Bicycle Relief as a volunteer for the past five years. The team I created has raised over $100,000 for WBR and we are going strong.

What is so compelling about WBR is that it doesn't take that much money to radically change someone else's life. In many parts of Africa, kids often walk 10+ miles to school in the morning, arriving exhausted. Depending on where they live, they need to be back by nightfall as the lions and other predators come out. Moreover, in many of these countries, an education is the ONLY hope a girl has to shape her own destiny and have some level of independence. While WBR bikes go to health workers, entrepreneurs, and students, the latter is what truly inspires me. Most WBR bikes go to students and of these, 70% go to girls.

From an operating standpoint, I absolutely LOVE WBR. Here's why:

1) Extreme focus and discipline. They know who they are and who they are not. Many organizations chase every good idea that comes along and they get fragmented, negatively impacting their effectiveness. WBR has laser focus allowing them to have the most impact doing what they do best.

2) Run like a business. For example, every repair of one of their bikes are logged by their mechanics and this data is used to identify trends. When they find the next weakest link, they enhance the part to get more life out of their bikes. They have a full time person for measurement and evaluation so they can constantly assess their impact and course-correct where necessary.

3) Respects local culture. There are a lot of well-meaning nonprofits that try to help in developing countries - but they often make assumptions that don't actually translate to local cultures. While the HQ is in Chicago and most their employees in Chicago are Americans, the people at the field level are all local. Their process of selecting the schools, of selecting the recipients, etc., is all locally done, respecting local traditions.

4) Sustainability. African terrain is hard on bikes. As they deploy bikes, they also deploy mechanics to ensure those bikes keep rolling. They have maintenance schedules for those bikes to ensure they last as long as they can. When they go to a school, they recognize that a certain percentage of students will graduate to every year the school gets a new batch of bikes.

I could go on but you probably get the idea. This past May I had the opportunity to visit Lusaka, Zambia, home of WBR's largest assembly facility. I was given a tour, built a bike, and got to visit a school that is part of the WBR school program. To see the operation in person and to see the impact has made me even more passionate about this incredible charity.

And it only takes $147 to radically change someone's life forever. So any amount given quickly adds up to a real difference.



General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

World Bicycle Relief offers something few non-profits do -- assurance. What attracted me to fundraiser for this organization was the stories they shared of their impact in rural Africa. The data they collect to prove they are helping people with their money is so important when so many non-profits are distrusted for a lack of transparency. Claire Geiger, the Fundraising Manager for World Bicycle Relief has been a great support system as I tackled my first attempt to raise funds for a good cause. She offered resources to help with marketing, shared my story with her team by posting a blog post on their website, and sent swag to get my donors excited about the impact they were making. So far, I've raised over $20,000 to help 136 people receive life changing bicycles, and that's a great feeling.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a proud Ambassador for the World Bicycle Relief. I love training and racing in the WBR kit and it encourages me to race well and do the organisation proud!

I applied to become an Ambassador as it's my way of giving back to a sport and lifestyle which gives me so much, and from which I benefit on a daily basis - the humble bike. While I'm an endurance cyclist and triathlete and love riding my bike to keep fit and healthy, and as a social activity, I know many are less fortunate.

In a different context that the bike provides me with power, freedom and joy, so too does it for communities in disadvantaged countries, for whom it is a transformational tool to access education and employment.

I believe it important to use my privileged position to give back to others. WBR resonates with me for this purpose.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

We got onboard with World Bicycle Relief earlier this year and are proud we did.

What we love about World Bicycle Relief is how the initiative helps so many people help themselves in a scalable way. The more we learnt about the program, the more we found it just worked on so many levels.

WBR have been great to work with, providing us with appropriate assets to use across our own channels and further spread the word about this great initiative.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am privileged to ride a bike "just for leisure" and I am lucky to summon courage and bike to work on a fair-weather day. I donate to World Bicycle relief because it can lift families out of poverty.

Since 2013, I wholeheartedly support my colleagues Randy and Clark for introducing me to World Bicycle relief and Buffalo Bikes. They are avid cyclists and doing this for good. By contributing $150, we fund one sturdy bike that benefits a household (usually a family of five) and accelerates their mobility to healthcare, education and financial stability.

The program's model is thoughtfully designed and meets fundamental needs that gets overlooked - time, energy and safety.

Review from #MyGivingStory

Eric H

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with World Bicycle Relief for the past 3 years on an annual event called Brews for Bikes. Each year, we rotate to a new brewery and bring the party with us to raise awareness, listen to music, drink some local beer, and to send bikes to Africa.

Working with WBR is always a pleasure to do. The resources and tools they provide me with to run a successful event each year is unlike any other non profit I've worked with. I will continue to work with them to help drive their mission each and every year that I can.

Donor

Rating: 5

Cycling has always been an important part of my life. I still remember my first bike and the independence that it represented. I raced in college and rode the wave popularity as mountain biking developed. 40 years later, I still enjoy the social and physical aspects of the sport.

I first became aware of World Bicycle Relief when a cycling friend asked me to support a charity ride. The more that I learned about the organization, the more I understood about the true mission. What WBR was offering was not just a bike but rather the "Mobility" that the bike provided. Mobility=Education; Mobility=Health Care; Mobility=Social Enterprise.

In 2015 my wife Mary and I traveled to Africa with WBR and saw first hand how this simple machine could change lives. We distributed new bikes to students who previously had to walk long distances to school. We rode with Health Care workers who could now deliver aids care to more patients. We visited with farmers who could now get more milk to the co-op or produce to market.

We were also impressed by the way WBR partners with local groups and individuals to insure program longevity. Village leaders, parents and school officials evaluate the need and choose recipients. The bikes are purposely designed for the harsh environment and assembled in Africa. Mechanics are trained and equipped with tools to repair the bikes. Service depots are established to support the parts needs of the mechanics.

As a donor, it is easy to see how the gift of a bicycle sends ripples of goodwill out through the community. My wife and I give because we believe in the WBR mission and have seen the multiplying effect of our gift. We can think of no other giving opportunity that can provide more impact to the recipients and their community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TotallyTandem was a self-funded bike tour my husband and I did from Canada to Chile. We rode almost 23,000km in 20 months and in that time raised over $16,000 for WBR, supplying 109 bikes for rural Africa at that time. Our journey was incredible and at times, incredibly hard. Knowing that we were riding for a purpose and for a charity that we believed in helped us get through the hard days. The way WBR set up their website and promote their cause on social media allowed our followers to easily connect with our mission and to participate in our fund raising goals. The WBR team stayed in personal contact with us throughout our journey and we have stayed friends even after our goals have been achieved.
We encourage anyone wanting to get involved in fundraising to reach out to the WBR team and look forward to working with them again in the near future.
Thank you WBR for creating a beautiful way for us to help others through our own personal journey.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past seven years, World Bicycle Relief has aided me in running a Charity Challenge to raise money and subsequently buy bikes. Being a professional athlete certainly requires a lot of ‘me’ time, and this event is one of my favorite ways to turn the tables and bring people together to give back to a very worthwhile cause. I'm proud to be a part of World Bicycle Relief. I believe in the Power Of Bicycles!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've work with WBR for several years nows. This is such a great organization and their enthusiasm for the work that do is exemplary. WBR provides the freedom and the ability to empower those that would otherwise not have the opportunity to succeed. Give the gift of a bicycle and you are giving the gift of a lifetime.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

A friend summed up the conundrum perfectly, if we engage with what is going on in the wider world it can be very effecting, so it is much easier to disengage and live in naivety. Living in ignorance provides some kind of emotional protection. But ignorance and naivety didn't sit well with me, I was trying to work out with how to live with a conscience.

In World Bicycle Relief I found a group of people who cared about the same things I did, who had also experienced the freedom and opportunity that bicycles can bring and who were using their love of cycling to make a difference. It connected dots for me. It was so easy to get involved, and to get involved in a way that was so much more engaging than just giving my money to their cause. It became my cause too.

It's been an amazing journey over the last 6 months, and no doubt will continue to be going forward. You can find more about what led me to ride and raise money for World Bicycle Relief and how my fundraising campaign is going right here: http://teamwbr.worldbicyclerelief.org/kathryn-phillips/blog/trying-to-live-with-a-conscience

1 Anka M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been involved with WBR for several years now, and I couldn't be more proud to support them and what they do to empower people through bicycles. It is truly amazing to see how a simple tool such as a bicycle can change and transform lives - it is so powerful and I really believe in what they do can change the world one bicycle at a time :) Bravo WBR! I've done a few big charity rides for them. In 2011 I raced the Cape Epic with Tracy Moseley which raised enough money for a large number of bikes which is such an awesome feeling. It makes it all seem worth while and gives you that extra push when you're knackered! This year I rode the length of New Zealand on my bike, 3000km and 17 days later, fully self supported and raised enough money for 20+ bicycles which I feel really proud of. I cannot wait for my next challenge and opportunity to use my passion for biking to help others through WBR. Thank you!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with World Bicycle Relief for years, but this year I was able to witness their amazing work first hand in Africa. Spending time with the students on their bikes showed me that the bike is not just an essential transportation tool, it's an agent for social change. The bikes elevate education, confidence in young students, provide jobs and really improve lives immediately and efficiently. It's amazing to see how much a bike can change the world.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having been a WBR ambassador for seven years all I can say as I am proud to be part of such an amazing organization. They truly change the lives of children and health workers that just need a vehicle of transportation to better their lives. It has been exciting to see the organization grow from a tiny startup to a global brand that still acts and cares like a small group of passionate leaders. I have nothing but admiration and respect the great team behind WBR and I am excited to see where they can take the mission next! A+ charity!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely LOVE the idea of bicycles improving peoples’ lives. Clearly, cycling makes my life better, but it’s for fitness, recreation, and reducing anxiety; for the people who benefit from WBR, their bikes help them meet true NEEDS—healthcare, education, employment, etc. In the big picture, as important as my bike is to me, their bikes are WAY more important. I want to help people sustain themselves by having access to their needs.
In 2015, I completed the Leadville Trail 100 mile mountain bike race as part of Team WBR. During those 9 hours of mountain biking, I thought a lot about how bikes can make a difference. Team WBR is so supportive and so committed to their cause that I knew I needed to be part of the group on a more permanent basis; now I host regular fund raisers in my home town of Boise, ID, and I love teaching people about the power of bicycles.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We LOVE World Bicycle Relief! We've had an incredibly special partnership with WBR for the last few years. As a recruiting company in the education technology space, every time we place a candidate with one of our clients we donate a bicycle in the name of that client. To think that every bicycle donation made gives a child the opportunity for an education is mind-blowing to me.

It's been such a success on so many levels, but most importantly, we're grateful to have the chance to give back in such a huge and impactful way. Giving children, families, and communities the opportunity for better lives through The Power of Bicycles is truly something special.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a huge fan of World Bicycle Relief and have had a fantastic experience with them over the past couple of years. I love knowing that a bicycle is not a consumable product that gets used up -- that the donation of a bike is a one that creates opportunity, independence, and freedom. Many of the bikes are given to kids to help them cover long distances to and from school, thereby helping them to complete their education and be even more productive and independent. I wear a WBR jersey at each event I compete in and am proud to represent such a great organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

World Bicycle Relief is such an important organization not only for those receiving the bicycles but for the entire community where they are built, maintained, and gifted. WBR is also hugely impactful to those people that donate a bicycle- giving wonderful updates on how their small donation (less than $200 for an entire bike) is really making a difference in someone's life. Since the first time I heard about WBR, back in 2008 I believe, I have been excited to give and receive bike donations as presents. I now work closely with them for my job and the caring and enthusiastic nature of everyone I have worked with has energized me to spread their message at every opportunity I have. Above all, when a member of WBR talks about those who receive one of their bicycles, there is a level of respect and admiration for that person that does not compare to other organizations I have seen- it is a partnership in greatness and opportunity and above all celebration of the recipient's potential to not only change their world but to change our world for the better. All of that through the simple power of a bicycle.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The people and impact of World Bicycle Relief are what compel me to support them. Cycling is close to my heart and the people who run the organization are so passionate and sincere in their work I don't think twice. I have been involved with WBR in personal and professional atmospheres. I love their grassroots feel but BIG impact. I look for sincerity and clear motives and results in charities/non-profits and I have begun to hold all others that approach me against WBR.
I cannot be a more emphatic supporter of World Bicycle Relief. This past summer I was able to fundraise and be a part of their Leadville 100 team. I met amazing people with similar passions and WBR fascilitated networking and support that truly made you feel special for what you were doing. The power of bicycles it truly great and global.