From the publisher’s desk: BikePortland needs you

Posted by on December 21st, 2009 at 1:34 pm

It’s not often that I use this space to share what’s going on behind-the-scenes at BikePortland. But with another year gone by and as we head into our fifth anniversary, I figured it was time to check in.

2009 has brought more changes to BikePortland than any year in our history — both for me personally and on the business side of things.

The site itself, which for years was the work of myself alone, is now a team effort. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not just a blog anymore (I should put that on a t-shirt!). We’ve added features and refined existing ones, we do more (and better) events than ever before, and — thanks to the help of Elly Blue — we’ve assembled an excellent crew of interns and contributors.

This past summer, I actually took a vacation with my family and did not even think about BikePortland for about a week. That might not seem like a big deal to you, but it was the first time I’ve ever left the day-to-day operations of the site to someone else (and Ms. Blue did a stellar job!).

When I started this site, many people assumed I would burn out. The opposite has happened. I’m still just as much of a bike nerd as I was back in 2005. My perspectives and interests are a bit different now, but the most important thing has not changed: BikePortland is still a labor of love and my passion for bikes and for this community still burns bright.

That passion, mixed with a deep respect for journalism and the power of information, are the foundation of BikePortland. It’s only now that I’m beginning to understand the importance of adding good business practices to that foundation.

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I’ve had a laser-focus on one thing for years — to create the most compelling, well-rounded, thorough, and timely bike news anywhere. Dealing with the business has never been anywhere near as exciting (or as high of a priority).

Thankfully, our wide reach and reputation means companies seek us out to advertise. But contrary to what some might think, we are far from media moguls. We can’t continue to rely on advertising alone. Unlike non-profits, we do not have paid members or grants from big foundations, or lots of wealthy donors behind us. I’ve gone the business route (vs. becoming a non-profit) because I value independence above all else. With no board members, no grants with strings attached, and no meddlesome (kidding!) members, we are free to follow our instincts and do whatever it takes to serve the community’s interests.

Your bike enthusiasm and insightful comments help BikePortland inform and inspire thousands of people all over the world, every day. The policymakers, the planners, the industry leaders, the politicians, the advocates, the activists, the media, the regular folks just looking for support and information — they’re all tuned in. And they read not just our stories, but your comments as well. BikePortland gives us all a voice on important issues.

Now we need your support. We have much more work to do and we need your help to accomplish it. Please consider hitting the buttons below for a recurring $5 monthly payment or a one-time amount*. Your support will help us sustain and improve BikePortland. We cannot realize our vision without you.

[Buttons link to PayPal]





[$5 per month]




Thanks for making this such an amazing year. Take a minute to think about what we’ve created together… and then just imagine what we’ll do in 2010!

— Jonathan Maus


*Please note: BikePortland is not a non-profit organization. Your payments are not tax deductible.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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Ethan
Guest

Done. Keep up the good work at BP.

Anne Hawley
Guest

Glad to pitch in what I can. You do amazing work here. BikePortland has some of the best blogging and best journalism I see anywhere.

Ross Honeyfield
Guest
Ross Honeyfield

I enjoy reading your blog each day! I put a little $$ in your tip jar. Thanks

Burk
Guest
Burk

…and done.

Happy to help out Jonathan. Thanks for all you do!

A-Dub
Guest
A-Dub

Careful with your wording. Both “contribution” and “gift” are widely viewed as being tax deductible.

David
Guest
David

For wary PayPal victims, another option is to set up a regular contribution through your bank or credit union’s online bill-pay system.

All my bank needed was the recipient’s mailing address.

Thanks Jonathan and crew!

Elly Blue (Columnist)
Member

Thanks, everyone! Your support (and the help of those who have given unasked over the years) does make a tangible difference to the amount and quality of work we can do.

A-Dub, it’s true, though we are not a profit-driven company, we also aren’t a 501(c) organization, and money you give us is not tax-deductible. Think of it as an investment.

For those who would like to take David’s route, checks can be made out to “Pedaltown Media, Inc” (not “BikePortland,” the bank won’t accept those), and our mailing address is:

833 SE Main, Box 402
Portland, OR 97214

Thank you all again for making this work possible and interesting and fun.

Amos
Guest
Amos

Happy to help. What an amazing resource!

matt picio
Guest

Seconding #5: You should really put something in the graphic to indicate that contributions to bikeportland are *not* tax-deductible.

I say this in a public comment for the benefit of anyone who runs a business or a non-profit which is *not* 501(c)(3). The IRS has no sense of humor, and the word “contribution” is one that can get organizations (of any type) in trouble.

Thanks, Matt. I changed the language — we didn’t realize these legal issues existed! — Elly

Daniel Ronan
Guest

Thanks Elly and Jonathan. It’s been a real pleasure to keep up with the goings on in the bike world each story at a time here on BikePortland. My best to you and yours this holiday season, including all the contributors and commenters who make this all happen!

anon
Guest
anon

Since I didn’t renew my BTA membership, I might as well send you guys the money…

Albert Oh
Guest

Your website has been a great resource since I moved to PDX 3.5 years ago. Keep up the great work and happy holidays.

metal cowboy
Guest

I’m happy to pay for this service! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Notice I didn’t say contribute, Mr/Miss IRS person who might be reading this… and if you are, you should get back to work on IRSish stuff. Unless you’re reading this to better help the IRS get more staff on bicycles, then party on, Garth.

Kris
Guest
Kris

Keep up the good work, Jonathan, Elly & Co. We are very fortunate to have you and BikePortland inspiring and informing us about anything bikes and Portland in a very unique and ever-fresh way.

rev
Guest

tru dat. Thanks for the platform you give to us. We may be a frequently irritable audience, but I am still grateful we can have a place to be heard.

If we are making requests Id like to see a story about all the ideas for a CRC that weren’t good enough. I am curious… how much worse can they be?

Natty
Guest
Natty

Jonathan,

Though Portland is far away (according to Google maps, 5642km), your little blog has provides a view into a community in NA where cycling does work and provides an example and resource for those of us whose municipal leadership is still not there.

I’m glad to play my small part to keep the wheels turning.

karl
Guest
karl

Bike Portland is like having a Bicycling section to the newspaper every day. Do you have any $35 limited edition t-shirts?

Jay
Guest
Jay

Done. Keep it up. Planet Bike loves BikePortland.com

Michael A.
Guest
Michael A.

I don’t have a lot, but I’m happy to chip in. You guys are an inspiration.

erin g.
Guest
erin g.

Thank you for all that you do, and Happy Holidays! Our community is fortunate to have such a fantastic hub online and in person.

Best wishes to the entire BikePortland team!

Bikejuju
Guest

I’m happy to donate/invest from Seattle because what you are doing is truly awesome.