Bikes Not Bombs

Using the bicycle as a vehicle for social change

Jamaica Plain, MA   |


Bikes Not Bombs uses the bicycle as a vehicle for social change to achieve economic mobility for Black and other marginalized people in Boston and the Global South.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Elijah Evans

Main address

284 Amory Street

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA

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NTEE code info

Youth Development Programs (O50)

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Employment Training (J22)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Bikes Not Bombs' Youth Pathways serve primarily low-income youth of color. For over thirty years, Bikes Not Bombs has enrolled and hired Boston youth to participate in out-of-school time programming and have access to meaningful jobs that help them build tangible skills that lead to long-term success in the workforce. Many bicycles are refurbished for sale at our full-service Bike Shop (2018 Best Bike Shop, Boston Magazine), which provides apprenticeship and job opportunities for youth. Volunteers from around the city help process and load thousands of donated bikes each year to be shipped to grassroots projects in Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean. Our international partners express needs for technologies and transportation that can be supplemented with bikes and bike parts. Through our Youth Pathways, Bike Shop, and International Partnerships, Bikes Not Bombs addresses issues of sustainability, transportation, employment, and poverty, locally in Boston and abroad.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Youth Programs

Earn-A-Bike is an out-of-school learning and earning opportunity for youth aged 12–18. In this class, students select and completely overhaul a bike to keep as their own. Sisters in Action (SIA) is for all girls, femmes, trans, women, womxn. Building on our EAB curriculum, SIA incorporates discussions, activities and weekly workshops focused on issues of particular relevance for all Sisters. On My Way, On My Bike (OMWOMB) is an introductory program designed to take BNB's mission and programs to other organizations. The Youth Employment Program allows BNB to hire and train teens to provide peer leadership in all of our youth programs. Alumni Services help Bikes Not Bombs maintain continued support of all of our youth program participants. Vocational Training is an 80-hour free training course for young apprentices, offering advanced
mechanics, customer service, and professionalism taught over a period of ten weeks.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Bikes Not Bombs has sent over 44,000 bikes to Central America, the Caribbean and Africa in the last 25 years. The Village Bicycle Project, (VBP) a non-profit based in the USA, is the largest receiver and distributor of BNB bikes. VBP is working with two Ghanaian businesses to bring the bikes though customs and to distribute them. BNB has sent bicycles and technical assistance to Maya Pedal, an indigenous organization in Guatemala. Maya Pedal (MP) manufactures and distributes pedal-powered machines that shell and grind grain, power rope-pumps for well water extraction, depulp coffee and spin fruit blenders. MP also now runs a bicycle shop to help support its work in building pedal-powered technologies. BNB has sent over 17,000 bicycles to other projects in Central America, supporting programs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua. In January 2007 we started an Earn-A-Bike program in Nevis in the Caribbean.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people

The BNB Retail Bike Shop and Vocational Training Center supports BNB's local youth programs and international development work while providing real world experience and green jobs to young people. The shop sells quality refurbished bicycles and offers parts, accessories and repairs.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work


Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

1. Increase access to bikes and bicycle technology in lower income communities of Boston and the Global South

2. Support biking culture in lower income communities in Boston and communities in the Global South

3. Build leadership capacity and community self-determination in lower income communities in Boston and the Global South

4. Ensure that BNB has robust resources and is a strong, healthy, sustainable organization

1. Ship bikes, parts, and tools to international partners.
Support small, community-led economic bicycle and bicycle technology ventures in lower income communities.
Provide bikes through the BNB Bike Shop that meet community needs and demands.

2. Provide education, technical assistance, and training about bikes .
Increase the number of youth who receive bikes and bicycle safety training.
Organize for increased bike infrastructure and services and transportation justice- especially for Boston youth in low income communities and communities of color.
Effectively communicate the BNB story externally.
Maintain a strong BNB membership program.

3. Provide quality employment opportunities for youth as bicycle mechanics, trainers and community organizers through Youth Pathways.
Engage BNB's constituency at all levels to ensure that there is broad-based participation in determining the direction and operation of the organization.
Support leadership development and self-determination in all international development projects.
Develop local and international networks to increase collaboration and resilience.
Share our models and best practices to build leadership and capacity for others.

4. Strengthen collaboration throughout the organization.
Effective and strategic resource development
Collect and process used bikes, parts, tools, and accessories
Effective human resources policies and practices that allow us to live our guiding principles - e.g. clearly defined roles and sustainable workload/capacity, improve wellness and compensation for all positions at BNB

International partners receive sufficient quantity and quality of bikes, parts and tools per year from BNB and other shipping partners.

International partners receive sufficient technical and organizational support from BNB to achieve self-defined goals and economic and operational sustainability.

Chain Reaction fully operating as a mobile bike shop and outreach tool at 8-10 sites in Boston annually providing low-cost bike services and bikes.

BNB has 6-8 EAB programs annually at the Hub – including at least 2 Womxn-only sessions.

BNB has 3-5 school based programs functioning sustainably BNB plans and pilot adult EAB program.

BNB youth have enough power to influence City decisions/programs on biking and biking infrastructure – BNB youth agenda is adopted.

BNB has a comprehensive communications plan, including ways to leverage the Shop as an outreach tool and a model for social enterprise

BNB has ways to measure and communicate our intended outcomes and the impact of our work

Program participants are spokespeople in telling their own stories BNB stories and messages well documented

Youth and international partners are well-trained in communications strategies and BNB messages and frames.

Membership benefits are well-defined and well utilized by members, including a subsidized membership for low income Shop customers.

BNB partnerships create opportunities for youth in other bicycle-based businesses around Boston: 2 – 3 hired each year.

BNB holds strategic partnerships with universities/colleges and training programs to support continued youth development post-BNB.

All international projects are driven by local priorities and local leaders that represent a constituency of people impacted by the projects.

BNB has developed clear and realistic targets for women’s and youth leadership development in international programs.

BNB monitors and evaluates all of our programs to learn more about the impacts of our work and to develop and refine best practices.

Communication between Shop, Hub and Board of Directors, including and how information is dispensed is clear and effective.

Bike Shop:

In 2018, the Bike Shop earned Boston Magazine’s Award for Best Bikes and the Improper Bostonian’s Award for Boston’s Best Bike Shop.

Youth Pathways:

Nearly one third of participants in our instructional programs were female (29%), and nearly one half (40%) of youth employees in 2018-19 were female. Girls increased bike-related knowledge by 82%, as measured by pre and post program quizzes in Earn-A-Bike and Sisters-in-Action.

From January 2019 through December 2019, we have provided jobs and training to 49 youth, with about twenty percent engaged on a year-round basis.

In six Earn-A-Bike program cycles - on site at with our Boston Public Schools - 77 youth graduated with a completely refurbished bike of their own making.

International Partnerships:

Since its founding, BNB has shipped over 75,000 bicycles to partners in 14 countries in the Global South, supporting them to lead change in their communities and address their core social justice and environmental issues.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Increased social media presence and updating of website, providing more virtual clinics

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time,


Bikes Not Bombs

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Bikes Not Bombs

Board of directors
as of 01/06/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Margaret Eichner

Massachusetts State Senate

Term: 2020 - 2022

Lee Archung


Patrick Cutrona

TSNE Mission Works

Simon Fischer

Greene LLP

Mark Burton

Bain & Company

Janie Harari

Sara Lawrence

Boston Public Schools

Josh Speicher

Lawson & Weitzen, LLP

Bethany Mashini

Harvard University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/6/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/27/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.