BPSA + PeopleForBikes: Considerations

The following text illustrates our discussions to-date as we examine what a combined organization of PeopleForBikes and the BPSA could look like:

1. What would BPSA members get from this new collaboration?

A. The additional, day-to-day focus and expertise of PeopleForBikes professional staff who would be on the front line on most
BPSA initiatives.

B. Since all BPSA members would be recognized and treated as PFB members during the first-year transition (and beyond), they would receive access to PFB’s research resources and political and infrastructure guidance.

C. The additional power and leverage of one larger, unified organization working on key industry issues such as better infrastructure, pro-bike legislation, trade and tariff issues, and promotion of the economic benefits that our industry provides. This is the key.

D. The opportunity to engage in, understand, and enhance PFB’s work to make bike riding better for everyone.

E. The benefits of telling their customers that the company supports advocacy work that makes every bike ride better.

F. The chance to connect their staff to PFB campaigns + political events.

2. What would PFB members get from this expanded collaboration?

A. The additional power and leverage of one larger, unified organization working on all key industry issues such as infrastructure, pro-bike legislation, trade and tariff issues, and promotion of the economic benefits that our industry provides.

B. A closer connection to key market statistics.

C. The clarity and simplicity of one industry voice, one professional organization and writing one check (instead of two or three).

3. What would the 36 companies that are members of both organizations get?

The clarity, simplicity and power of one unified, powerful industry organization that addresses all components of the business, legislative, political and promotion effort to increase bicycling participation and grow the bike business.

4. What about dues?

Our long-term goal would be to get more bike businesses—ultimately all—to invest in the future of the industry by fully supporting the new unified organization. For the first year of this collaboration:

A. At a minimum, all companies would continue to pay what they’ve contributed historically. That is, a company that was previously a BPSA member (but not a PFB member) would write the same size check (but make it payable to PFB). A company that has been a PFB member (but not a BPSA member) would continue to pay PFB dues at the same rate (1/10th of one percent of current annual U.S. bike business revenue). Companies that have been members of both organizations would write one combined check to PFB. Companies that have contributed to the BPSA e-bike fund would be asked to build that contribution into their single dues check.

B. In the course of the first year of this new collaboration, PFB staff would consult with BPSA members (who aren’t also PFB members) as well as with PFB members (who haven’t been BPSA members). All companies in the bike industry benefit from PFB’s work. All companies in the bike industry benefit from BPSA’s work.

Our job—our challenge—would be to get companies that have historically supported one (or none) of our two entities to see the value in supporting the entire unified enterprise and be willing to write slightly larger, combined dues checks in year two—if not before.

C. In year two, all participating bike industry companies would be expected to make one single dues payment to the combined organization.
Our analysis suggests that the additional financial commitment should generally be manageable for both small and large industry companies. The financial challenge appears to be greatest for about a dozen mid-size companies that currently are BPSA members but not PFB members. We would need to discuss the ramifications of these dues transitions.

I. No later than three months into year one, PeopleForBikes would present all member companies with a clear statement of their projected year two dues. PFB’s goal—everyone’s goal—would be to keep every BPSA member and every PFB member engaged—as well as to enlist new members—and we would work closely with each company in transition. It is possible that a few companies may decide that they are unwilling to make a greater investment in the future of the business and the future of bicycling, and they may drop out.

5. What about retailers?

Specific needs and priorities of retailers would continue to be addressed by the National Bicycle Dealers Association. The new, combined bike industry organization would work to communicate with and cooperate with NBDA and other dealer organizations, but would not attempt to replicate or replace their work. One NBDA staffer or leading retailer would continue to serve on the PFB Coalition board.

6. What would happen to the BPSA board and subcommittees?

The time-tested success of the BPSA can largely be attributed to the expertise and time investment of volunteer board members, committee members, and the organization’s executive director. All of these leaders would be given opportunities to continue to serve in the new organization (in partnership with the current PFB staff and board). To assure continuity and strong support for BPSA work in the new organization, representatives from current BPSA board members would be elected to serve on the PFB Coalition Board.

7. How would this new collaboration affect the Bicycle Leadership Conference and Interbike

The BPSA and PFB have worked closely together on both of these important events. Both organizations have invested sponsorship dollars and received crucial financial support. We would work to preserve the status of both events while maintaining the discounts and other benefits that have accrued to BPSA and PFB members. Meanwhile, we would also strive to increase industry participation in the growing PlacesForBikes Conference.

8. What about Bylaw Reconciliation?

A. Our staff legal and accounting team has analyzed the bylaws of both organizations and would be prepared to provide comments on the differences and the process of reconciliation.

B. Legal engagement and analysis would be essential to guiding this process.

9. Why now?

Now, more than ever, our industry needs one strong, efficient, professional voice to speak to government, other industries, the media and the public. This expanded collaboration would advance the bike industry and the future of bicycling.