The donation equation: how volunteers get added in

A few weeks ago, Casey spent some time updating you on our donations policy, the types of donations that help fuel our mission, and the extra steps you can take to help us when you donate. Today I’ll fill you in on the next phase of our donations overhaul: Volunteer Donation Processing Shifts.

During our peak donation months (June - September), we can receive over 100 bicycle donations in a week, not to mention all of the great parts and components that get donated as well. We have added a seasonal role to our organizational structure, one that is going to transform the way that we receive and process donations. Next time you’re in the shop, be sure to introduce yourself to Stafford, our seasonal Donations Lead!

Stafford is pretty darn great, but he can’t possibly do all of the work alone. So we’ve added Donation Processing to the long list of ways that volunteers can engage with and impact our mission from the ground level. During a Donation Processing Shift, volunteers could…

  • help donors unload bicycles and parts

  • write donation tax receipts

  • turn handlebars and remove pedals, which allows us to maximize storage space

  • organize bike storage

  • perform “tear-a-part,” removing valuable components from bike frames we won’t keep

  • sort and price components

If you like to work with your hands, solve problems, and organize things, then Donation Processing Shifts are definitely for you! If you dream of one day being a proficient bike mechanic, then Donation Processing Shifts are a great place to start. Through performing tear-a-part and sorting/pricing parts, you’ll begin to learn how a bicycle functions, which is a great foundation for mechanics.

I want to acknowledge that when we capped attendance for our Tuesday and Thursday Volunteer Night Programming, we did so to create a better experience for both our organization and our volunteers. However, the attendance caps mean that many of the people who really want to impact our organization can’t due to limited scheduling. Donation Processing Shifts will be available all day long during our Open Shop hours, and they are open to everyone (the only prerequisite is that you attend a volunteer orientation).

When you build a bike from frame to finish, it’s easy to measure your success because you’ve got a rideable bike when you’re done. When attempting to measure your impact on an organization through your volunteer commitment, that value may seem less quantifiable. What I want you to know from the bottom of my heart is that Donation Processing is truly one of the most impactful things you can do for us. Donations are the very foundation of our mission; and the speed and efficiency through which we process those donations means we’re getting bikes to the community—and accomplishing our mission—faster.

Please do consider signing up for Donation Processing shifts! The more regularly you commit to these shifts, the more it helps us! You’ll have fun, learn a lot, and impact what we do from the ground level. Sign up for shifts here. And if you’ve haven’t yet attended a Volunteer Orientation, do so here.


Sometimes we hit the jackpot and get a bulk donation like these like-new saddles! Donation Processing volunteers will sort, price and put these goodies out for sale.

Sometimes we hit the jackpot and get a bulk donation like these like-new saddles! Donation Processing volunteers will sort, price and put these goodies out for sale.