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Advocacy... continued

behind bike shops.

Your best bet is to find and become very close friends with the bicycle and pedestrian “coordinator” within your local city (if they’re progressive enough to have one) and/or your local transportation planning agency. (Transportation agencies may go by any number of names in your area:
“Metropolitan Planning Organization” (MPO), “Metropolitan Transportation Agency” (MTA), “Regional Planning
Organization” (RPO), “Regional Planning Agency” (RPA), etc.) Your new best friend can help you understand the process and schedule for obtaining funding through their agency. For starters, take a look at Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality funding (almost always referred to as “CMAQ”, pronounced “see-mack”). See the following website:

Do you like working with kids? Do you want to help get more kids walking and biking to school. Tired of seeing the neighbor pile their kids in to the SUV and drive them two blocks to school? Safe Routes to Schools ( provides opportunities for local organizations to implement Safe Routes to Schools programs in their area.

“My org needs money to be legit, but nobody will fund us so that we can get legit. What gives?”

I’m SO glad that you asked this question! There is a simple answer: fiscal sponsorship. Fiscal sponsorship occurs when one “legit” organization takes on another organization as a “project,” providing bank accounts for funding, resources for accounting, and a “name” which resonates with which you can associate your organization. Fiscal sponsorship allows your organization to start working and applying for funding even before being completely set up. However, fiscal sponsorship does come at a price – typically 10-15% of the money that you receive will be taken by the fiscal sponsor to help defray their costs of managing books and helping your organization to be successful. Technically, the “parent” organization receives funding on your behalf, and is thus legally responsible for the money.

For Further Reflection
Finding funding and keeping your organization sustainable will be an ongoing, ever-evolving process. Sometimes it can get pretty hard to find funds for your organization. Print this out and tape it up somewhere visible:
“Never doubt that a small, group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” –Margaret Mead