Last Thursday (November 12th) was Give to the Max Day, the biggest annual one-day giving day in Minnesota. With a matching grant from Surly Bikes, we partnered with local community group Grease Rag to do same-day bicycle delivery to people who donated to us during Give to the Max Day.
The Bicycle Coalition is member-supported and volunteer-driven. When the Coalition was smaller, all of the member packets were delivered by bicycle. When you have 100 members, that's easy to do! Coalition membership is growing, but we want to stay true to our roots, so for one of our 2014 Give to the Max fundraising incentives, we told you we would deliver your member packet if you became a member that day. From our hardy volunteers who rode miles in the cold weather to the happy new and returning members who got hand-delivered packets, everyone loved the idea! There was so much excitement around this fun activity that we had to bring it back for a second year for Give to the Max Day 2015.
When you think of a "bike delivery person," what image usually comes to mind? We wanted to challenge that image of the young guy on a bike, to reflect other groups of people who volunteer and ride with us in Minneapolis.
Grease Rag, a community of women, transgender, and femme people who ride bikes and support each other, and the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition partnered for this year's Give to the Max event this year. The Coalition also partnered with Surly bikes to get some great swag to reward the team of bike messengers for their cold, windy miles, with warm, comfy wool scarves and swag. They even lent us their fleet of Stragglers for our riders to test out!
This partnership put some cool women, trans, and femme folks together with some rad bikes, cool swag, new and renewing members, and the most important part of our mission: positive passion. The smiles and energy and sheer joy that our riders had, and that was reflected in the awesome delivery selfies we got back at the office, was electric.
At the end of the day we had 12 riders do multiple deliveries each, and raised over $10,000 to support the work of the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition! Thanks to a matching gift by Surly, we actually passed over $15,000 raised on one day to make Minneapolis a better place to bike! A huge thank you to the amazing group of volunteer riders, Surly Bikes, and of course - everyone who supported the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition during Give to the Max Day!