Project Progress Report for Bike Easy
Bike Easy is a Community AmeriCorps VISTA Partner with Tulane University Center for Public Service. AmeriCorps VISTA is a national service program that aims to reduce poverty in the United States.
Bike Easy VISTA Assignment Objectives and Member Activites
- Communications – Develop the Bike Easy communications program to better reach the campus and local communities in order to promote Bike Easy educational, encouragement, and advocacy efforts to improve mobility options for low-income communities in Greater New Orleans that increase economic opportunity, public health, environmental sustainability, and social equity.
- Membership – The AmeriCorps VISTA will develop the capacity for Bike Easy by expanding the Membership Program database, tracking, and communications systems to raise funds and demonstrated public support for Bike Easy’s mission and programs to improve equity, move people out of poverty, and address issues faced by people in low-wealth communities.
- Volunteer Management – Organize and manage a volunteer program to engage members of the campus and local communities in various levels of leadership in order to build capacity for Bike Easy programs that improve health and economic equity for Greater New Orleans residents through better biking.
SUMMARY OF BIKE EASY VISTA END OF YEAR REPORT FOR AUGUST 2018 – AUGUST 2019
Member Development in Hours
Community Outreach — 528
Community Volunteer Generation/Recruitment — 200
Effective Volunteer Management — 200
Resource Development/Fundraising — 600
Organizational Development — 60
Performance Measures — 72
Tracking Systems — 528
Information Technology — 528
Developing On-Site Orientations and Training Plans — 80
Number of community volunteers recruited during the reporting period — 125
Number of community volunteers managed during the reporting period — 80
Number of Service Hours performed by Community Volunteers who were recruited — 1,100
Number of Service Hours performed by Community Volunteers who were managed — 200
Dollar value of cash resources leveraged during the reporting period — $22,173
The bulk of Bike Easy’s AmeriCorps VISTA resource development work resides with the Membership program. There were five community events that acted as membership drives as well as general Bike Easy Membership recruitment. In 2018 we held our first annual fundraiser to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Bike Easy, titled Spoketacular. During the promotion for the Spoketacular we encouraged people to become Members in addition to their ticket purchase. The Spoketacular brought in $5,078 in ticket sales.
Our end of year membership campaign ran during the month of December and raised $2,635 through emails, phone banking, and our end of year Membership Party. In May Bike Easy has three events that encourage membership and donations, GiveNOLA Day, May is Membership Month, and the Bicycle Second Line. GiveNOLA Day raised $19,061 through 201 Donors (121 New or Renewing Members), the Bicycle Second Line brough in $3,400 with 96 New or Renewing Members, and Membership Month surpassed our goals with 84 new or renewing members. Membership donations to Bike Easy are used for general funding.
The strategies for recruiting and managing volunteers has been an ongoing project for the Bike Easy VISTA. Bike Easy uses NationBuilder to collect and house constituent data. The program uses paths and steps. The volunteer process is as follows: constituent signs up to volunteer through the Bike Easy website and is automatically put on a NationBuilder path —> the AmeriCorps VISTA then has a list of people to call each week to welcome them as a volunteer and alert them to current opportunities. The person is then moved to the next step which is a volunteer pool email list. This list is used to recruit interested volunteers to help at Bike Easy events. This task will continue to be a responsibility of the third year VISTA.
Volunteers were recruited and managed for in-office help (mailings, database management) and various pop-up protected bikeways such as Connect the Crescent a 3-month demonstration including a service day with Tulane CPS AmeriCorps VISTAs.
Other accomplishments include the growth of Bike Easy’s social media with consistency and increased awareness for the need for better biking in Greater New Orleans. Staff members have noted that volunteers or event attendees were made aware of Bike Easy activities through social media posts. The AmeriCorps VISTA was able to segment the email list increasing the open rate from an average of 9% to 17%.