Update: Bike Friendly Kalamazoo now considers grant applications larger than our $2,000 Bike-Booster Mini-Grant program. If you represent a municipality, school or a Michigan non-profit organization please do not hesitate to Contact Us with your ideas. These will be considered on a case by case basis.
BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program provides financial assistance to support implementation of creative projects that promote bicycling and the safety of bicyclists. BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grants range from $200-$2,000. The grants are intentionally small so as to encourage innovation and support groups who may have limited resources to dedicate towards fund development. BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grants Program is intended kick-start or boost the growth of initiatives consistent with our mission to help make our greater community even more bicycle friendly. Applications are due on or before April 2 and August 2 each year.
BFK is especially interested in:
- Projects focused on bicycle safety, education and awareness-building; bike visibility; increasing the number of qualified skills training instructors and bike rodeos in our community; helmet-fitting events; increasing opportunities for local planners, engineers and stakeholders to learn how to design and evaluate bike facilities
- Supporting research into bike light effectiveness and uncovering “useful but missing” statistics about ridership
- Campaigns focused on increasing ridership – especially among youth, women, and communities under-served by current clubs, riding groups and bike skills education opportunities
- On-the-ground advocacy efforts that stimulate community action and policy change
- Innovative projects that demonstrate creativity and that serve as a model for other bicycle advocates and communities
BFK relies on program funding from generous like-minded individuals, corporate sponsors, via BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration, sponsors of Kalamazoo Area Bike Week, foundations, private philanthropists and Friends of BFK. BFK’s mission allows us the flexibility to encourage a wide variety of efforts across all the dimensions that the American League of Bicyclists considers in its Bike Friendly Community, Business, University and Non-Profit awards.
How to Apply
Our application process is essentially identical to LMB’s easy to apply for Mini-Grant Program, adapted to BFK. Applications are due on or before April 2 and August 2. We may consider and award grants at other times depending on the circumstance, and we may time delivery and the manner of delivery of the grant to when the funds will be needed. Bike-Booster Mini-Grant funds are open to all Michigan 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations and other entities (e.g., municipalities and similar agencies) for which appropriate nonprofit status documentation is submitted. Individuals, clubs or other entities without an official 501(c)3 designation will be considered if accompanied by a fiscal sponsorship agreement with an established nonprofit (e.g., a non-profit organization, incorporated schools and religious institutions). Grant applications from BFK’s event and/or public meeting participants are given highest priority. If your organization does not currently participate in BFK’s public meetings, or if you or your organization does not participate in, volunteer for or help organize Kalamazoo Bike Week, BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration, the Kalamazoo Region Bike Route Committee or Bicycle Program Steering Committee, please consider doing so. Grants must be applied for in advance of the opportunity. Retroactive requests to cover prior expenditures will not be accepted.
Innovation – trying something that’s never been done before
Equity – making bike transportation fair and accessible for all
Safety – reducing bicyclist injuries and deaths
Sustainability – reducing air pollution and carbon emissions through cycling
Education – training cyclists and/or drivers in best practices
Advocacy – convincing decision-makers to prioritize bicyclist safety
Infrastructure – constructing or improving physical assets that make bicycling better
Encouragement – increasing ridership, especially for under-served communities
Grants may not be awarded in each category. We will not favor applications based on category, so pick one that describes your proposed project best.
Download our Bike-Booster Mini-Grant form HERE.
Please complete all information as an attachment in a single PDF file (if at all possible, to facilitate review and to keep your application materials all together) via email, along with a copy of your IRS 501(c)3 designation letter or fiscal sponsorship agreement letter, to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before the application deadlines. Optional additional documents, such as letters of support, may also be submitted via email.
We currently will not be funding efforts that, to our knowledge, LMB also does not fund*, namely:
Share the Road signs (Only applies to the W16-series; other bicycle related signage will be considered)
General or ongoing organizational support (our grants are aimed at clearly defined programs.)
Campaigns for political candidates
*We were informed in Feb. 2023 that LMB has revised its restrictions; they will consider funding for mountain bike related projects.
BFK’s Bike-Booster Micro-Grant funds will be announced toward the end of each month following each deadline period (for example, during BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration Weekend – the third weekend in September). We encourage representatives from grant awardee organizations are to attend the ceremony; doing so boosts the visibility of your efforts and BFK’s role in supporting them.
Download BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Application HERE.
We reserve the right to ask for further information from grant applicants as we deem best, and this web page and our application form is subject to change without notice to help us improve the program as it develops.
Please Help Support BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program
BFK makes available our Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Fund through the generosity of the wonderful individuals, organizations, and businesses that share our passion and commitment to improve bicycling in our greater community — right here, locally, in the same footprint served by the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (KATS, see www.KATSMPO.org).
You may not be able to participate in our meetings or work on our programs hands-on, but you can help make our greater community even more bicycle friendly by clicking the button below and making whatever donation you are comfortable with. You can donate by credit card or a PayPal account. We appreciate donations of any size!
PayPal will handle all the details using its security measures and does not require membership in PayPal. If you would like to send us a check, please mail it to:
Bike Friendly Kalamazoo
PO Box 22
Portage, MI. 48124-0022
Over time, to ensure the long-term sustainability, success, and growth of the Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program, BFK may offer sponsorship opportunities, including the possibility of an exclusive multi-year sponsorship opportunity. BFK invites exploratory conversations with local sponsors committed to funding the program at $5,000 – 25,000 per year. Please give us a call to discuss your ideas.
Through such a dedicated program it is possible that BFK would prominently featuring the Bike-Booster Mini-Grant sponsor’s name and logo on future marketing materials, BFK’s website, participant and outreach communications, and at award ceremonies. Individual awardees of our Bike-Booster Mini-Grants might also be responsible to recognize sponsors on materials related to their projects. Additionally, BFK may also feature our Bike-Booster Mini-Grant sponsor in promotions of our events. Since we hope that our events will attract participants across a wide region, this would offer sponsors a unique opportunity to reach local and non-local audiences.
Regardless, we hope you will join us in our efforts to make our greater community even more more bicycle friendly!
LMB: Source of our inspiration and worth your support.
Inspired by and with very helpful guidance from the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB), BFK launched our inaugural Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program in 2019. BFK’s program incorporates the wisdom and established parameters of LMB’s Micro-Grants Program, but keeps a geographic focus within our own back yard.
In all of the above, Bike Friendly Kalamazoo is working in a spirit of partnership and support with the League of Michigan Bicyclists. We encourage everyone seriously associated with Bike Friendly Kalamazoo to join LMB (and also the League of American Bicyclists and your local bike club of choice), so that our collective efforts have the most impact.