Every year, the Grizzly Peak Cyclists makes donations out of proceeds raised by our Century to non-profit organizations which promote or help bicycling in some way — be it advocacy, safety, education, awareness, youth biking, or the bicycling environment. This is consistent with our objectives as stated in Article III of our Bylaws “to provide cyclists with a variety of challenging bicycle-riding experiences and to promote safe bicycle riding and touring.” For each recipient organization, a GPC member is designated as GPC Liaison. Here is a list of our current GPC Liaisons. Feel free to contact our Donations Chair at if you have any questions.
The process usually occurs in the late summer and fall. It consists of these steps:
- The Board of Directors decides the amount of funds needed to be held in reserve and the amount available for donation.
- A proposal for the year's donation allocations, up to the maximum set by the Board in step 1, is prepared by the Donation Committee. That committee consists simply of all GPC members who attend the donation meeting. The donation meeting is announced in advance in the club newsletter, the Wheel Truth. Attendance is limited to GPC members.
- Detailed presentations on behalf of current or potential donation recipients are not made at the Donation Committee meeting. Instead, any such presentations should be made as a program presentation at a regular monthly club meeting.
- At a regular club meeting after the Donation Committee meeting, the donation proposal from the committee is voted up or down as a package. However no fine tuning is done, unless members at the club meeting explicitly agree to do so by majority vote. (This happened once because the proposal did not comply with traditional donation guidelines.) If the proposal is rejected, then it's back to step 2: a new Donation Committee meeting is held to prepare a new proposal.
- After the proposal is accepted at a regular club meeting, it is published in the Wheel Truth. It must be confirmed by a second vote at a second club meeting before becoming final. (The bylaws, Article V Section 4(b)(vii), require publication in the newsletter prior to any vote on such a matter.)
The donations proposal must meet these guidelines:
- Donations must be related to bicycling in some way.
- Donations must be to organizations, not to individuals.
- In particular, no donations to, or on behalf of, individuals doing rides, regardless of the cause being ridden for.
- Donations must have some local Bay Area benefit. Donations to statewide and nationwide organizations that meet the other criteria are ok, provided there is a trickle-down local effect. Donations to local bike advocacy in another region or state are not ok.
The rationale behind the guidelines is straightforward: The funds are raised by Bay Area bicyclists from Bay Area bicyclists, so the benefit should go to Bay Area bicyclists as a whole.
GPC does not normally allow absentee or proxy voting. For the votes taken at the general meetings as part of steps 4 and 5 above, proxy voting is expressly prohibited by the bylaws, Article V Section 7.
However, due to the difficulty of scheduling the annual Donation Committee meeting (step 2 above) on a day which permits all to attend, the Committee allows absentee voting by standing Donation Liaisons (only) at the meeting, provided that they make their date restrictions known in advance of scheduling the meeting.
The 2019 donations committee met on September 10 to prepare the donation proposal (see the table). The proposal was approved at the November club meeting, and the checks were sent out to the grant recipients in late November.
Requests from potential new recipients are best made in Fall or Winter so that there is adequate time to schedule a meeting presentation (see above); however, there is no harm in trying during Spring. Such presentations are not required, but can be quite helpful. The deadline for donation requests is August 1. All interested GPC members are welcome to attend the Donation Committee meeting. Those attending will determine the proposed allocation of funds, to be voted on by the club.
Year 2019 Donations
|Albany Strollers & Rollers||$1,500|
|Bay Area Outreach & Rec Program||1,900|
|Bike East Bay||3,500|
|Bike Walk Alameda||600|
|Butters Canyon Conservancy||300|
|California Ass'n of Bicycling Org's||700|
|California Bicycle Coalition||800|
|California Field School||500|
|Cycles of Change||2,000|
|League of American Bicyclists||750|
|Marin Agricultural Land Trust||900|
|Marin County Bicycle Coalition||250|
|Missing Link public-use tools1||150|
|San Francisco Bicycle Coalition||500|
|Save Mount Diablo||1,100|
|Street Level Cycles||1,700|
|Walk Oakland Bike Oakland||650|
|1 The Missing Link Bike Cooperative, in Berkeley, provides a free community resource: Loaner tools and a public space for people to work on their own bikes. It is a popular service. Our donation will be used to help replace tools that have worn out.|
Contact People and Further Information
Requests from potential new recipients and questions about the donation process or the Donation Committee should be sent to the Donation Committee Chair, Contact page.. Program presentations at regular club meetings are scheduled through the Program Director, . The club President may be informed as well. For more detailed contact information, see our
We maintain an discussion forum for the Donation Committee. It is used, for example, to help schedule the annual meeting and distribute materials. Subscription is open to GPC members only.
Additional documents and information specific to the Committee and its work are available to GPC members (login required). Documents for the current and all past donation years are available here.
Documents prior to 2018 can still be accessed via our older committee page, but this method requires authentication using the generic club user/password that you receive by email each month with the Wheel Truth announcement. Please note that this is a generic club user/password, not a personal one, and too many authentication failures will lock you out of the web site for several hours. If you are a member and don't have your monthly email, you can request it be resent.
Here are some observations from the past Donation Committee Chair based on watching our Donation Committee make its decisions over the past few years.
- Causes are more likely to be funded if the request originates from GPC members than from outside.
- Causes are more likely to be funded if they benefit a large number of bicyclists, or the bicycling public as a whole.
- Causes which are very local (for example, focused within a particular municipality or on a particular amenity) are much more likely to be funded if they are within our main membership home area or one of our main riding areas.
Over the years, the club adopted (perhaps informally) a number of policies regarding donations. But apparently they were never written up . . . at least, not where they could be easily found. Mark Abrahams took on this task in 2003. A verbal outline of these procedure and guidelines was presented at the club meeting of 16 July 2003, and consensus was to proceed with a written version. A written draft was circulated for comment at the meeting of 20 August 2003, and a revised draft was published in the Wheel Truth, September 2003, page 1. The procedure and guidelines were formally approved at the club meeting of 17 September 2003.
In 2009, revisions were made as follows. Step 3 (it was step 2 at the time) of the procedure now shown above was discussed at the club meeting of 11 March 2009 and was formally approved at the club meeting of 8 April 2009 along with some corresponding changes elsewhere in the text. Former guideline (e) was superseded by the new step 3 and was removed at the same time.
In 2011, the Donation Committee decided to allow the limited form, described above, of absentee voting by standing Donation Liaisons at the Committee's annual meeting. That decision applied to 2011 and into the future.
In 2015, revisions were made as follows. At its meeting of 11 February 2015, the club decided that the Board of Directors would determine the maximum that can be donated. The steps above were updated accordingly (though not until May 2015): step 1 of the procedure was added and step 2 was revised. The previous steps 1, 2, etc, were renumbered as steps 2, 3, etc.