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BPSA and PeopleForBikes boards vote to merge organizations

Published April 8, 2019

BOULDER, Colo. (BRAIN) — The boards of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes Coalition have each voted to merge the organizations. The merger must still be approved by a vote of all BPSA members.

The two nonprofit trade organizations began discussing the merger about 18 months ago.

"Our boards, senior staff and attorneys have met regularly to develop a new set of proposed bylaws and a merger plan to support a new, unified organization that will provide powerful, comprehensive representation and improved service to our industry," the groups said in a joint letter to members Monday. 

The BPSA board voted to approve the merger last week. The PeopleForBikes board voted Monday morning. The letter said the votes were "almost unanimous."

The BPSA member vote will begin Thursday at the Bicycle Leadership Conference in Monterey, California, for companies who are present; the remainder of companies will be emailed an electronic vote after the event.

In the letter to members sent Monday, PeopleForBikes' president, Tim Blumenthal, and BPSA's president, Adam Micklin, said the merger would create a streamlined single organization that could speak to government leaders with a unified voice. They also pointed out that the organizations have increasingly worked together on a variety of programs, including e-bike legislation and promotion as well as trade and tariff issues. A combined organization would create a one-stop shop for the industry, they said.

"When a bike business joins PeopleForBikes Coalition, your company becomes a supporter of improved bike infrastructure and pro-bike policies across the nation. PFBC manages federal, state and local policy and advocacy work, business intelligence and networking programs (including webinars, summits and conferences), plus marketing and communications efforts that encourage people to bike," the joint letter said.

The letter said the merged organization will continue to work on all current BPSA and PFB projects. The current BPSA board will continue to serve and meet as the BPSA Trade Association Committee, as will all current BPSA committees. Three current BPSA leaders will be selected by the BPSA Trade Association Committee to serve on the PeopleForBikes Coalition Board, where they will join 15 current board members (two of whom also already also serve on the BPSA board).

For the first year following the merger, companies will pay what they paid during the previous 12 months (whether it was BPSA dues only, PFB dues only, or dues to both). Instead of receiving two separate invoices (or three, if a company also contributes to the BPSA e-bike fund), each company will receive one invoice and will remit payment to PFBC.

In year two, companies will be asked to make one combined membership dues payment according to a unified scale that is based on annual U.S. bicycle-related sales.

"Most bike industry companies, especially those who have historically been PFB and BPSA members, will pay total dues that are similar to what they've paid in recent years," the letter said. Companies who have been members of BPSA but not PFB may see an increase in dues if they want to join the new combined organization, however.

PeopleForBikes Coaltion industry dues are currently 0.1 percent of a company's total income from bike-related sales; industry dues and other donations totaled $3.7 million in 2017. The PeopleForBikes Foundation, a related arm, receives donations and grants from outside the bike industry. In 2017 the Foundation brought in $3.1 million.

BPSA's revenue last year was about $1 million. Dues range from $1,000 for companies with sales under $1.5 million to $20,000 for companies with sales over $500 million.

More information on the proposed merger:

Related: Despite high profile, industry support for nonprofits declines (November 2018).

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