Bike-Booster Mini-Grants

Inspired by and with the blessing of the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB), BFK is excited to launch our inaugural Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program.  We are deliberately mirroring the wisdom and established parameters of LMB’s Micro-Grants Program, but keeping a geographic focus within our own back yard.  Our purpose is the same as LMB’s (which our applicants may also want to explore), BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grants Program is intended kick-start the growth of initiatives consistent with our mission to help make our greater community even more bicycle friendly. BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program provides financial assistance to support the implementation of creative projects that promote bicycling and the safety of bicyclists on our area’s public roadways. BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grants will range from $200-$2000, intentionally small so as to encourage innovation and support groups who may have limited resources to dedicate towards fund development.

Initially, BFK intends to match LMB’s interest in:

Projects focused on bicycle safety, education and awareness-building
Campaigns focused on efforts to increase ridership – especially among youth, women, and underserved communities
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 across Michigan

BFK intends to seek funding for our programs from many sources, including like-minded individuals corporate sponsors, donations, via BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration, foundations and private philanthropists.  BFK’s broad 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 September 11, 2019. Bike-Booster Mini-Grant funds are open to all Michigan 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. 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, including 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 or our Awards & Recognition Dinner, please consider doing so. Grants must be applied for in advance of the opportunity. Retroactive requests will not be accepted.

Grant Categories

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 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 underserved 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.

To apply, please DOWNLOAD the application HERE, complete it and send all information 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 info@bikefriendlykalamazoo.org on or before September 11, 2019.  Optional additional documents, such as letters of support, may also be submitted via email.

Until we learn more about LMB’s rationale, we currently will not be funding the same efforts that LMB does not fund, namely:

Trail or mountain biking infrastructure projects (we will, however, consider proposals to install bicycle parking, fix-it stations & other trail amenities that encourage ridership.)
Share the road signs
Bicycle tours/rides/races
General or ongoing organizational support
Campaigns for political candidates

BFK’s Bike-Booster Micro-Grant funds will be distributed at a ceremony during BFK’s Awards & Recognition Dinner on September 21, 2019, during BFK’s Fall Bike Celebration Weekend (September 20-22, 2019). 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.

Please Help Fund BFK’s Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program

Currently, BFK’s initial general operating budget funds the Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program. Though BFK will continue to contribute to the Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Fund through our events, we seek to partner with individuals, organizations, and businesses that share our passion and commitment to improve bicycling in our greater community.

To ensure the long-term sustainability, success, and growth of the Bike-Booster Mini-Grant Program, BFK will soon be offering sponsorship opportunities similar to LMB’s, including the possibility of an exclusive multi-year sponsorship opportunity. BFK currently invites exploratory conversations with local sponsors committed to funding the program at $5,000 – 25,000 per year.

It is possible that BFK will offer the same benefits to our sponsors as LMB, including prominently featuring the Bike-Booster Mini-Grant sponsor’s name and logo on future marketing materials, BFK’s website, member communications, and at award ceremonies. Individual awardees of funding will 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.

We hope you will join us in our efforts to make our greater community even more more bicycle friendly!

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.

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.