Thanks to the Pedway Pub Crawl, We’re Now at 42% of Our Funding Goal

Moxie Meetup - Pedway Tour
Over 100 people joined us for last Thursday’s Pedway tour. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers

I’m pleased to report that we’ve made significant headway in our efforts to revive Streetsblog Chicago through local funding. If we continue at this pace, we will be able to relaunch this spring. We owe it all to generous support from readers like you, as well as our advertisers, plus last week’s fantastic Pedway tour and pub stroll, hosted by our friends at Moxie Chicago and the Active Transportation Alliance.

The Streetsblog Chicago Resurrection Fund currently holds $31,700, which is 42 percent of the $75,000 we need for a year of operations. This sum will allow me to resume my role as a full-time employee, and allow Steven Vance to resume his role as a part-time employee, writing one or two posts a week. It will also give us a budget to pay freelancers and cover administrative expenses. Any additional funds we raise will go towards more posts from Steven.

In other organizational news, we recently submitted an application with the IRS to launch a new 501(c)3 nonprofit called the Chicagoland Streets Project, which will serve as the parent organization for Streetsblog Chicago. Forming the nonprofit will allow us to accept grants from charitable foundations, which will be key for making SBC financially sustainable.

IMG_3592
Behold: The 501(c)3 application for the Chicagoland Streets Project.

Streetsblog LA editor Damien Newton, who went through a very similar reboot process several years ago, was a huge help in walking me through the application process. Big thanks also to Peter Skosey from the Metropolitan Planning Council, Ron Burke from Active Trans, and Randy Neufeld from the SRAM Cycling Fund, who have provided advice and assistance as we reach out to potential donors.

As part of the process of setting up the 501(c)3, we’ve recruited three important leaders in the local transportation advocacy scene as our charter board members. Anne Alt, a Streetsblog contributor and Beverly resident, works at bicycle law firm FK Law, and helps lead the Chicago Cycling Club, Active Trans, and Friends of the Major Taylor Trail.

Uptown resident Maria Barnes owns the commuter-oriented bike shop Uptown Bikes, and is a former Active Trans board member. Streetsblog contributor Olantunji Oboi Reed, who lives in the South Loop, is the co-leader of Slow Roll Chicago, Red Bike and Green Chicago, and the South Side Critical Mass. We’ll be announcing several other board members in the near future.

Last Thursday’s Pedway pub crawl raised $1,400 for our war chest, which significantly moved the needle towards our goal, and it was a fabulous time as well. Over 100 people turned out for a tour of Chicago’s overlooked system of underground walkways, led by yours truly.

Moxie Meetup - Pedway Tour
We ducked out of the Pedway for a minute to check out an interesting view of the Aqua Building and Lake Shore East’s park. Photo: Eric Allix Rogers

They bought raffle tickets for sweet prizes generously provided by Divvy, Houlihan’s tavern, and Slow Roll Chicago, and several attendees stepped up to the plate to give an additional $100, which won us a $100 challenge grant from the good people at Alt-Cycle bike shop. Special thanks to Moxie’s Daniel Ronan and Active Trans’ Kevin Dekkinga for their work organizing and promoting this highly successful event.

To date, 124 Streetsblog Chicago readers have contributed more than $7,000 dollars towards the resurrection fund, which has been a huge help in our fundraising efforts. In the unlikely event that SBC does not resume daily publication of original articles by April 8, all donations will be refunded.

Not only do these gifts account for 22% of our total war chest, the sheer number of supporters is evidence that many Chicagoans view SBC as a crucial source of transportation news and safe streets advocacy, which they want to see back in action ASAP. That fact will greatly influence the decisions of potential grant providers.

If you value Streetsblog’s hard-hitting coverage of walking, biking, transit, development, and public space issues, and haven’t already done so, please consider making a donation to the Streetsblog Resurrection Fund today.

Thanks again to all our readers, donors, advertisers, and allies for your ongoing support.

– John

  • Anne A

    Glad to hear the good news. I hope that the momentum keeps on growing.

  • what_eva

    Please make sure you’ve discussed 501c3 with an attorney, as it involves restrictions on political activity (specifically endorsing candidates). If you’re choosing to go this route, make sure you stay out of trouble with the IRS!

  • Thanks for the advice. We were already operating as a 501c3 under Open Plans / Streetsblog, so we’re used to working with those restrictions.

  • what_eva

    Okay, cool, just wanted to be sure :)

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