Q: How do I finance my trishaw?
The over 1,500 trishaws currently in operation in the Cycling Without Age program in over 35 countries are financed in a number of different ways. These are some examples and some a mixtures of these means.
- Municipalities. Some municipalities have means to fund a municipality/county wide program with 1-10 trishaws. This is quite common in countries like Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
- Nursing homes. Mainly privately-owned nursing homes and sometimes nursing homes that are part of a group of nursing homes.
- Foundations. In most countries there are literally thousands of foundations supporting worthy causes such as Cycling Without Age. They range from small local foundation with very specific purposes to national (or international) foundations with means to support larger causes. A great is example is TrygFonden (Tryg Foundation) in Denmark. They support Cycling Without Age on a Danish national level as well as individual chapters with trishaw grants.
- Private companies. Many companies have social programs allowing them to donate their time, money or products to good causes. We are working with global companies Zendesk and Salesforce on trishaw donations as well as a series of local companies and businesses around the world. We encourage you to reach out to local companies with a strong community support and engagement profile.
- Crowdfunding. We have seen both successful and unsuccessful crowdfunding efforts. Our first experiment with crowdfunding took place in 2015 with the ‘Bikes for the world’ campaign. CWA in Falkirk, Scotland and in Brighton, England have successfully fundraised using our UK partner Crowdfunder.
If you wish to fundraise locally, please feel free to borrow content from previous fundraisers.
- Goodwings. The idea behind Goodwings is to avoid spending money on traditional paid advertising and instead funnel that money to charitable causes – and as the industry spends a total of USD 12 bn every year on advertising – the potential for doing good is enormous. A company that spends USD 200,000 annually on hotels for its corporate travel can donate USD 10,000 at no extra expense every year. Ten companies of this size = USD 100,000 = approx. 15 trishaws.
If you can connect with companies in your area and influence the way they book their travels, please send an email with a short description of why you will be one of our two Goodwings “pilots” to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Personal funding. We have seen committed individuals acquiring trishaws with their own money in order to kick-start the program. In some cases these individuals subsequently fundraise for the trikes and donate them to a nursing home or establish a charity to own the bike. In some cases they sell the bikes on to local nursing homes. We encourage affiliates to use our global network to crowdsource ideas and experiences.
- Consider approaching service organizations in your community, such as Rotary International, Lions Club, your local Chamber of Commerce, and the like. Businesses will often contribute in exchange for a ‘thank you’ on your Facebook page or a plaque on your trishaw. Families donate to honor a loved one, and sometimes affiliates will ‘christen’ the trishaw with the name of the honoree. CWA is also popular with local politicians for obvious reasons, and your councilperson or representative may be able to help you find government grants that can be used to support your purchase. CWA affiliates have found that one or two large donations will prompt many other smaller ones — everybody likes to be part of a ‘winning team,’ and if you can show strong support from one or two or several donors, it will help attract more smaller donations.