There are several ways to donate to OCBC.
- Time (volunteering)
- Money (always tax-deductible)
- Bicycles (our raison d’etre)
- Wish list items (there are so many!)
We take any bike-related donations!
Bicycle Donation Policy
We accept any bicycles — in any condition — but we can’t buy bikes, or take trades (except those we have sold). OCBC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so all donations are tax-deductible.
We request a voluntary $5 donation per bike to offset the ~ $30 worth of new parts we put on the average bike we rehabilitate. Of course, we appreciate any bike donations, but we are pleased that so many folks chose to include this small, voluntary cash assistance to help us get used bikes back on the road for someone who needs one.
We also accept any bicycle-related items — magazines, books, DVD’s (or VCR tapes!), tools, clip-in pedals and shoes, and bike-specific clothing (except used shorts!) Good quality parts and accessories with useful life are especially welcome (and some other, non-bike stuff: please check our Wish List, or call).
What we do with donated bikes
We work hard to find the best new use for every donated bike — whether it’s used for education, as in our Earn A Bike program; refurbished and sold or earned with volunteer credits to help someone get riding; or properly recycled after salvaging all its useful parts.
Getting it to us
You can bring your donations to our location in the Flats. We’re open Sat. noon-4pm, Tues. noon-6pm, and Wed. 5-9pm, or you can call or email to make arrangements if those times are not convenient – someone is usually in from 10-6pm.
Sorry, we don’t have regular pick-up service. If you have no way to get your bike to us, we request a modest donation for pick-up to cover fuel and time, and for the extra work to arrange for someone to do this. Please email info@OhioCityCycles.org or call to make arrangements.
To load bikes in the rear of a vehicle, here is some near-universal advice: put it in chain-side up, rear wheel first. This is generally the best position for anytime the bike will be laid down. To lay a second bike in, a helper to guide the rear wheel over the first bike is easiest; we will be glad to help remove the bikes when you arrive. (If the bike(s) will be standing up in a larger vehicle, put the kickstands up and put them in “crossways,” leaning against the back of a seat or partition. If they have to lean against the side of the vehicle, be sure to secure them from falling over.)
If the trunk or hatch won’t close with a bike in it, you can make an excellent tie-down from an old inner tube: cut out the valve of a 26″ (or larger) tube to make a long “strap.” Tie one end of your strap to the metal loop that the trunk lid (or hatch door) latches onto when closed (unless you have one of the very few cars that don’t have this kind of latch). Then put the bike in, chain-side up, rear wheel first, and move it around to find the most stable position. Pass the end of the inner tube up through the bike, then through the gap at the front of the trunk lid from the “inside,” between the hinges. Then lower the lid and pull the end out from the gap and down, stretching the tube to make it as long as possible before tying it to the frame of the bike. You may want a bit of padding where the edge of the trunk lid rests against the bike. Before driving, shake the bike and trunk lid or hatch to make sure it is still stable, and re-position it and/or re-tie it if it’s not.
If you have to put a bike in the back seat form a side door, you’ll probably need to take off the front wheel, so do that first, and then load the bike in from the driver’s side, rear wheel first, to keep the chain from touching the rear seat.
What you get from us for your bike donation
We will provide a receipt for any donation for tax purposes, but can’t trade for any merchandise, or shop credit.
OCBC is a community-supported 501(c)(3) corporation, so cash donations are fully tax-deductible, and are very much appreciated. In keeping with our core values of Respect, Resourcefulness and Reciprocity, we try hard to be self-sustained by income from the mission-related educational services we provide to the community, and the proceeds from the refurbished used bikes we sell. Our goal to “help people use bikes” is broad, though, and not everyone we help can reciprocate, so donations from individuals are an important part of our budget.
If you would like to make a cash donation, please do so here, or feel free to contact us if you would like to direct your donation to a specific program. We appreciate your support of our work to help people use bikes!
Where your old bikes (and other stuff) go:
Most donated bicycles can be earned by anyone with volunteering credits, or sold to help fund our education programs. Most of the highest-quality bicycles will enter our fleet of co-op bikes which are used in programs, available for members to borrow, and available for the public to rent. Department-store quality mountain bikes in very good condition are reserved for our Earn A Bike program, and small children’s bikes will be serviced and re-donated to social service agencies.
If your bike came from a department store and it is in rough shape (rusty chain, ripped seat, bent wheel, broken pedal, etc.) it may not be of enough use to us to warrant your trip to bring it to us, so rest assured that if you put it on the curb it will not go to a landfill: if it is not picked up first by a resourceful neighbor, your local municipal waste collection will divert it to be recycled properly, just as we would do if we can’t use it, or its parts.
Books, DVDs, cleated shoes and clip-in pedals and newer, quality saddles will join our library. Cycling-specific clothing is sold to fund our programs or earned by volunteers, except for used shorts: most folks would feel that one life is enough for bike shorts!