The Bicycles for Humanity Model


As you have learned to this point, Bicycles for Humanity is about empowerment, grassroots and inspiring and making a difference with the gift of mobility a bicycle provides. You have learned that hundreds of groups in the developing world need the gift of mobility a bicycle can provide, plus bikes are needed in every community in the developed world.

15 plays years of doing this, has taught us a lot, and we now know clearly what works and what does not work. In the developing world, the partners we work with fall into 3 very clear categories.

1. Pure Empowerment 

In this model, our partners are trying to get bikes to students having to travel long distances to school or to health workers to help them do more with less. Chapters that work in the empowerment space, tend to try to fund the entire shipment or look for partners to assist them so that good flows to those in need.

2. Commercial Models

Many of our partners to do good in their community set up BEC’s and then extended the commercial model, helping people both gain employment and empower others in their community by selling biked. We have many successful programs like this and many of our Chapters support these programs, with the prime reason being, the African partners’ Fund the bulk of the shipping and the tax’s.

3. Hybrid Models

Between these pure empowerment and commercial models are hundreds that are in what I call now many lands. They do not have the funds to cover the shipment on either side, making it very difficult for The Bicycles for Humanity Chapters to know how much they pay to cover costs. If there is not a close relationship between the partner in the developing world and the Chapter that the Chapters begin to move towards supporting either the pure empowerment or the pure commercial models.


What does this mean to all who need bikes in the developing world

For the hundreds of requests, we receive every year asking for bikes, this path to receiving bikes is closing, Chapters simply do not know who to trust. We were a developed world model, and we encourage all in the developing world to read our manuals and look for partners they think will support them, if they are affiliated with a church, a civic club or a corporation, white or call them, help them understand your needs and how a partnership would work. Encourage your developed world potential partner to call or email us, and we will help them with the process of creating a chapter and managing, bike collection and fundraising in partnership with you and your team in the developing world. We know that this model works, but it takes effort on your part in the developing world. If you do not want to put the effort into building a support network of chapters than we wish you all the best.

A big part of the growth of Bicycles for Humanity is coming from groups in the developed world, who are connected to groups in the developing world and Who want to support them with a container of bikes. Again, our manuals will assist you in better understand how we work and how best to find the support and bikes you need.