Primary: Our Repair Fund
I want to keep this shop accessible to those who are struggling with money, for whatever reason, so I developed this fund.
At first the tune up fund was unofficial and run on a GoFundme page. After two or so cycles, my accountant gave me some advice and I moved it to a more transparent system through which you can contribute via e-gift card, though you can also give informally as well. If bye cash, venmo, or check, your name will be listed on the embedded spreadsheet below to record that you have contributed. If you buy an e-gift card, you must use this link, send me the redemption code at firstname.lastname@example.org, and anytime your gift card balance is used to assist someone, a real receipt will be saved, and you can also check your balance electronically to see its usage as well.
Read more about it below.
How does it work?
If I am dealing with a customer and they really seem to rely on a bicycle that needs essentially way more work than this person can afford, I may offer to cover the remainder of the bill with funds from this project.
What occurs next is that I have them pay their portion of the invoice and then use gift cards from our last gift card fundraiser to cover the rest. These tickets obviously do not have the possibility for tipping. The receipts are printed and placed within a signed form which the client has read and filled out, verifying that they’d received service and/or products purchased totally or partially with community tune up gift card balances. The person who bought the gift card may get an email notification or a call from me letting them know their money has gone to assist someone, or they can just look up the receipts using their redemption code.
how do we stay informed?
Below are live Google Sheets summarizing ongoing and all funds raised once our gift card system kicked in. They tell us what kind of things are getting waived, or comped, and how much. I only use partial names on the Sheet and don’t really post pictures of beneficiaries unless they are ok with it. This is just to show a bit of transparency.
When can i “contribute?”
Use this link to contribute in any amount. Make sure to make the shop the recipient, email@example.com so that I get the redemption code and use it to apply balances to assist people! You can also contribute informally in cash or in the shop, but there will be much less transparency. It’s up to you.
My hope is that more shops see that it can be profitable to help people and copy this in some way, creating a network across the city. Stuff like this is bike infrastructure too.
What this isn’t
It’s not a charity. Wheel Simple is not a 501c(3) organization. This is a business. These moneys do contribute to the shop’s revenue, and it is a vital stream which helps the shop’s cash flow greatly. You’re simply prepaying for labor and repair parts and I remain liable to fulfill those goods and services and report when I do!
Live Google Sheets
2022 fall/winter $3135
2021/2022 Winter/spring $1140.55
Spring/Summer 2021 $2,333.16 raised
Fall/Winter 2020 $1825 raised
Year end and 2023 projects
Public repair stand installed, 50 kid’s bikes given away and, repair classes coming.
Installed at Jefferson Park! New pump incoming!
I’ve given a lot of bikes away this year, but have very few pictures. I have not been keep count. I don’t have a bicycle giveaway program. These things always seem to just happen organically.
In the Spring of 2023 I will be partnering with Rag & Bones Bicycle Cooperative to bring some advanced repair classes to the North Ave. corridor of Brookland Park in North Side. Shop volunteers, bike shop employees, neighbors and tinkerers alike are welcome. Small groups! If you are trying to get a job at a shop, this might be a good first step. Each student (excluding volunteers) will donate between $15 and $25 per session to the coop. Workshop scheduling will be posted on both of our websites when finalized. If the upbeat setting of Rag & Bone’s DIY style open hours seems a little too intense, consider signing up for these more specific sessions. Seeya in the Spring!