Road Trip! - Ride Center Edition
Mountain biking is local; trails are devloped and maintained by local efforts, funds are raised through local organizations, and local riders ride local trails. The efforts of local advocates, both individual and collective, are key to creating, enhancing, and maintaining great mountain bike experiences. Through our partnership with local chapters, we see the great efforts at the local level and work with advocates to support their endeavors in a variety of ways. This year Midwest chapters have seen great fundraising success. Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS, Duluth, MN), Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew (CLMTBC, Deerwood, MN), and Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA, Cable/Hayward, WI) all brought in big dollars to forward local efforts. In fact, every chapter in the Midwest garnered grants, hosted successful events, or brought in other funds to support their local mountain bike experiences. These successes create the platform for continued success, and in 2016 all across the Midwest, new trails will be constructed and more great riding will be added to our landscape!
Matt Andrews, Midwest Associate Region Director, summarizes the efforts of Minnesota Off-Road Cyclists’ (MORC, Twin Cities, MN) fundraising below.
Looking back on the year, MORC certainly has a lot of accomplishments to celebrate: the organization invested over $40,000 directly towards trail development and maintenance, was awarded a $10,000 grant from REI, welcomed a new Diamond Level Partnership with Surly Brewing, launched a brand new website, earned a Bronze level IMBA Ride Center designation, and worked with our land managing partners on several event and grant opportunities.
Much of what makes this possible, however, occurs behind the scenes and a lot of the credit is due to MORC’s organizational restructuring, which began in 2013, and volunteer efforts. With the establishment of five standing committees (Events, Volunteers, Trails & Parks, Finance/Fundraising, and Marketing) MORC is now able to delegate annual priorities and tasks to each specialized “department”. The Committees also allow additional volunteers (non-Board Members) to contribute to MORC in their area of interest or expertise. There’s a lot of work beyond moving dirt to achieve our mission of ‘Gaining and Maintaining Trails’.
A successful example of this newfound focus is the MORC Gala, our annual fundraising event. The Gala Committee is a team of only a handful of individuals and operates under MORC’s Events Committee. In it’s 2nd year, our 2015 Gala, the MORC Masquerade Ball, achieved a nearly 70% increase in revenue! Allowing these dedicated volunteers to remain focused on one area has produced amazing results, which we plan to expand and fine-tune even more for 2016.
As MORC’s organizational capacity grows, so needs to our structure and governance. While these areas are not the typical reason or purpose many of us join a non-profit, it’s a necessary “evil”, and MORC is on track to enact upon some truly wicked plans!
Matt Andrews, Contributor, IMBA Midwest Associate Region Director