Neighborhood Bike Works inspires youth and strengthens Philadelphia communities by providing equitable access to bicycling and bike repair through education, recreation, leadership, and career-building opportunities.

Desired Outcomes

We teach youth how to fix bikes, give them the chance to earn a bike and to explore new places by bike. A significant majority of our youth live in low-income neighborhoods and 80% of our youth are people of color.

Our programs promote:

  • A Safe and Supportive Space: Feeling like you belong

  • Engineering Strategies: Hands-on mechanics and problem solving

  • Social and Emotional Development: Giving and getting respect

  • Expanding Horizons: Discovering new places by bike

  • Physical Fitness and Health: Making healthy choices

  • Career Readiness: Building confidence in youth potential

A Safe and Supportive Space

Our space encourages learning, has supportive adults and older youth, and is a place where youth feel like they belong, especially girls and LGBTQIA youth.

Engineering Strategies

Through hands-on experience with step-by-step bike repair, youth experience how powerful systems are assembled with simple parts and tools and practice engineering strategies for problem-solving and time management. Youth have a raised awareness of how engineering impacts our daily lives, particularly the systems that manage transportation and our city’s water supply.

Social and Emotional Development

Youth gain confidence in their social abilities through working with others, expressing their ideas and feelings, establishing and maintaining relationships with peers and adults, and receiving recognition for their accomplishments, their empathy, and their service to community.

Expanding Horizons

Through riding a bicycle, youth learn how to safely navigate around the city, explore different neighborhoods, and discover new places and people, which will expand their viewpoint and understanding of their place in the world. Youth who earn a bike experience increased freedom of mobility.

Physical Fitness and Health

Youth recognize how bicycle riding can be a way to maintain their health and fitness and learn to make healthier food choices. New food choices are introduced through the many snacks provided at NBW.

Career Readiness

Older youth develop leadership skills, good work habits, financial literacy and customer service skills and learn about the college admission process, how to write a resume, and practice job interviews.



We are on a path to serve 400% more youth in 2022 with a 25% increase in revenue.


We will track our progress with:

  • A dashboard that monitors progress towards each objective

  • Quarterly progress reports to the Board starting on April 15, 2019

  • Annual revisions where necessary

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GOAL 1: Teach youth how to fix bikes, give them the chance to earn a bike and introduce youth to new places by bike

Objective 1: Increase youth served

  1. Increase Earn a Bike graduates from 83 in 2018 to 160 in 2020 and total youth participants from 157 in 2018 to 250 in 2020

  2. Examine Safe Routes Philly as a basis for our bike safety training and a recruiting tool in schools

  3. Pilot new summer programming in partnership with camps run by rec centers and other community partners instead of running our own summer camp in 2019

  4. Implement a system for instructors to evaluate and document what works and what doesn’t

Objective 2: Develop curriculum that reinforces our desired outcomes

  1. Establish a volunteer working group of people with classroom teaching experience to shape our training materials and lesson plans

  2. Engage youth to create shop rules that foster a safe space

  3. Rebuild the Bike Works badge system to incorporate the learning and opportunities offered through our Leadership and Advanced Mechanics curriculum

  4. Set narrower age ranges for specific classes and activities

  5. Establish an NBW Way to teach bike mechanics, perhaps using Park Tool School curriculum

Objective 3: Recruit and retain more girls in our programs

  1. Establish an advisory committee to support the girls in our program and to recommend program ideas

  2. Host regular clinics or speakers suggested by the advisory committee

  3. Pilot a girls-only earn a bike class

  4. Explore joint programming with Women Bike PHL

  5. Invite Girl Scouts to learn mechanics in our space as they pursue a biking badge

Goal 2: Generate earned income to support youth programs

Objective 1: Develop and implement a business plan for our bike shop

  1. Identify how adult programming supports the business plan

  2. Analyze sales data from our new point of sale system

  3. Develop budgeting system to manage shop budget to net income rather than gross income and expense

  4. Utilize volunteers to prep bikes for sale

  5. Teach adult mechanics classes

  6. Explore ways to generate revenue from renting out our space for workshops, meetings and parties

Objective 2: RUN DIY Open Shop (aka Bike Church) to help adults who want to learn bike repair, support shop sales and assist with preparing and maintaining bikes for youth programs

  1. Work with stakeholders to articulate desired outcomes for Bike Church

  2. Explore a NBW membership program for Bike Church and “as is” bikes

  3. Establish training for volunteers who work with adults that cover the NBW Way for teaching mechanics, customer service skills and how to maintain a safe space

  4. Find a new name for Bike Church

Objective 3: Provide great customer service

  1. Establish customer service standards and training program

  2. Develop welcome package for bike purchasers that includes tips and ride recommendations on the Circuit

  3. Increase refurbished bike warranty to 90 days

  4. Engage youth in customer service apprenticeships with bike shop customers

Objective 4: Increase shop quality bicycle donations 50% in two years

  1. Develop and promote donation guidelines that outline what we need most, what we will accept and what we will not accept

  2. Create new inventory management system

  3. Standardize intake process for donated bikes and keep inventory up-to-date

Goal 3: Strengthen and Grow Our Organization

Objective 1: Strengthen Data Collection and Analysis

  1. Develop new database to track youth in our program and make timely program reports

  2. Review survey evaluation tools and set a goal for percent of students who complete surveys

  3. Identify a new method of identifying low income students to replace our previous method of tracking students who receive free school lunches

  4. Complete written evaluations of each class and program

Objective 2: Diversify our funding sources

  1. Draft three year budgets supported by a three year development plan with a goal of increasing revenue to $800,000 per year by 2022

  2. Increase revenue from individuals and sponsorships to reduce dependence on grants

  3. Run surpluses to add $25,000 to our unrestricted reserves, building towards our goal of maintaining reserves equivalent to three months expenses

  4. Develop stronger budgeting and financial reporting systems

Objective 3: Tell our story

  1. Develop communication segments for different needs and audiences, including recruiting, active graduates, volunteers, sponsors and alumni

  2. Train all staff and Youth Council to describe all NBW programs accurately and consistently

  3. Convey our vision of equity through program and event photos and highlights

  4. Collect graduation stories

Objective 4: Cultivate Leadership

  1. Prepare for next ED

  2. Set annual goals for board development

  3. Develop a strategy for recruiting board members and conducting new board member orientation

  4. Cultivate staff leadership towards a vision of having our next ED be an internal candidate

  5. Host two events per year with board, youth council members and alumni

  6. Explore how NBW can help other organizations with our lessons learned and gain national recognition for our accomplishments

  7. Establish relationships with leadership at other earn a bike programs with budgets of $250,000+

  8. Assess salaries compared to peer organizations

Objective 5: Explore some big ideas

  1. Host a touring trip on Adventure Cycling’s Underground Railroad Trail

  2. Franchise our program to other agencies in Pennsylvania and beyond

  3. Develop a civics workshop for students interested in the National Bike Summit, engaging with the PA Legislature or Philadelphia City Council

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NBW promotes and puts into action our core values, described below. These values, all equally important, guide our work, our goals, and the way we treat one another. Help us live up to these values and hold us accountable to them.


We strive to be a good neighbor and a community resource to the residents of Mantua, Belmont, Powelton, Mill Creek, and the rest of Philadelphia, as we build an inclusive and supportive community of youth and adult bike riders and mechanics.


NBW values access. That means individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and incomes are welcomed and encouraged to participate in bicycle riding, have affordable options for bicycle maintenance, and are reflected and represented in bicycle culture.

Social Justice

NBW is committed to uprooting sexism, racism, ageism, and other forms of oppression that are prevalent in bike communities and the world. Through our youth and adult programming, we seek to counteract structural racism, an underfunded school system, environmental and health disparities, and to create job opportunities. We respond to these inequities by offering free and low-cost bicycle riding and repair programs.


Only by working in solidarity with one another will we uproot all forms of oppression. At NBW we recognize that social justice movements support our work to grow an inclusive and diverse cycling community. We build on and are supported by past and current movements for social justice. Bikes alone cannot eliminate health disparities or achieve economic justice for those without job prospects.

Youth Voice

In communities and in our organization, youth must have a strong leadership voice and have the opportunity to design our collective future. All of us at NBW are responsible for ensuring that youth voice is central to our organization and our programming.


NBW values lifelong learning. We strive to create an environment and opportunities where everyone, youth and adults alike, can learn from one another by sharing knowledge and skills. We believe that the same “do it yourself” attitude and sense of empowerment that comes from learning how to fix your bike or ride confidently can be applied to other areas of life and society.

From our 2019-2020 Strategic Plan, adopted by the Board of Directors on March 20, 2019.