We surveyed Coalition volunteers last November to find out about what questions you had about the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. Some of them were hard, so it took a while to track down the answers - but here is a sampling from the first ever Coalition Volunteer FAQ:
Why should I get involved with this organization? If I do help, how will that positively impact bicycling in Minneapolis?
The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition advocates for a city where bicycling is encouraged and everyone feels comfortable riding a bike. We work on specific issues, like improving unsafe conditions on specific trails or bike lanes. We work on big campaigns, like Bikeways for Everyone working to get 30 miles of protected bikeways installed in Minneapolis by 2020. We help people understand the bike policy positions of candidates, raise awareness of bike-related issues, and organize events to encourage more people to get out and ride. We have a long list of successes, and are working to add more. If you want to have an impact on how it feels to bike around Minneapolis, this is your chance. Your time (and donations) will increase our capacity and make Minneapolis an even better place to ride a bike.
Who is the point person for each work group and how can I learn more or volunteer with a group?
The Coalition Key Contacts spreadsheet will help you find key volunteers, group-leads, and staff members by work group.
How is the Coalition organized?
Here is how the parts fit together: Organizational Chart
Who do I get in contact with if I want to blog?
Contact our communications committee at email@example.com if you would like to post on our blog, Facebook or Twitter. (Learn more here.)
What expertise do I need to be a volunteer leader for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition?
None! You need a willingness to help out a great cause, commitment to following through on what you say you’ll do (and it’s OK to say no if you can’t do it), to agree to our core values, and to be able to communicate with and lead other Coalition volunteers.
Where do we get/Who has tabling supplies?
All of our tabling supplies can be found at the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition office. Just remember to return those items to the office in a timely manner, if you end up taking them to an event (these resources are shared with all of our work groups and initiatives).
Is there a list of potential volunteers I can contact to help with an event?
There is a volunteer list, and if you draft a short, specific, engaging request for volunteers and find an image to include, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send it out. Follow these tips in your request.
Who can I ask for information about the Coalition's 501(c)3 number?
Contact any of the staff in the office for 501(c)3 information. Ethan Fawley - Ethan@ourstreetsmpls.org OR Malik Holt - Malik@ourstreetsmpls.org
Who do I contact regarding different questions?
Volunteer@ourstreetsmpls.org -- to volunteer or if you are a current volunteer that is looking to do something different OR address a problem.
OpenStreets@ourstreetsmpls.org -- anything and everything Open Streets related.
Media@ourstreetsmpls.org -- for any media inquiries.
You can find staff e-mails on this page of our website.
work groups include:
To subscribe to any of these workgroup lists, send an email to (GroupName)+email@example.com. For example, to join the outreach/events group, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I report a bike issue?
Go to the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition website, and click on the yellow “Report a Bike Issue’ tab. To begin, click on the GREY ‘Report a Bike Issue’ tab. Take a picture of the disturbance if you can. Issues submitted here are sent to Minneapolis 311 through SeeClickFix.
What is the history of the Coalition (when/why did it start, who started it, how has it grown)?
In December of 2009, 20 people interested in being part of more effective advocacy around biking met inside of the West Bank Social Club. One idea was to create a nonprofit bicycle advocacy group which would engage thousands of bicycle supporters across the city to help make Minneapolis even better for biking. The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition was born.
Since then, our organization has helped win bike lanes on more than a dozen streets, hosted Open Streets events, installed hundreds of new bike racks across the city, and worked with the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County on bike-friendly policies and plans. With the support of hundreds of volunteers, activists, and numerous partners, we’ve come a long way from that December day. All of this progress was made without any paid staff or consultants up until 2013.
What other bike organizations do we work with?
Check out our Bicycle-Related Organizations page, to find out which organizations we partner with in the area. P.S. this is also a part of our digital Volunteer Pamphlet, which has a lot more information about volunteer opportunities, other events and opportunities we offer, and some of our biggest accomplishments.
What do Board Members do? What are the qualifications for Board Members? Why would someone want to be a Board Member? What does the Board do?
The Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition Board of Directors focuses on governance and oversight of Coalition activities. The Board is comprised of people who are excited about growing the organization. The Board is also responsible for hiring, managing, and evaluating the Executive Director. Board members are expected to do some non-Board-related volunteering with the Coalition with a specific initiative. Board members make governance decisions and perform tasks in the best interest of the Coalition in fitting with the mission, vision, and core values. Being a board member can be a meaningful way to explore how an individual’s experience and expertise can be applied at the governance level.
Thanks for the questions!
Thank you to all of the volunteers and Coalition members for their questions, as well as the various work group members who provided their expertise and knowledge to answer them. If you would like to access this document for prinout or personal use, please visit the Volunteer FAQ page. There were also a few more questions that were very practical, like scheduling, finding venues, tabling logistics, and how to get reimbursed -- if you're looking for that, click through to the Vol.
If there is anything else that you have questions about or would like added to this list, please email email@example.com!