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 racial equity and economic mobility for Black and other marginalized people in Boston and the Global South.

Notes from the nonprofit

Bikes Not Bombs is extremely grateful to the community that supports our powerful and innovative work. Thank you.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Mr. Elijah Mandela 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 (EAB) is an out-of-school learning and earning opportunity for at-risk youth aged 12–18. In this course, 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. Our Youth Pathways program allows BNB to hire and train teens as Youth Apprentices to provide peer leadership in all of our programs, including our international partnerships, bike recycling, Bike School, and our Bike SHop & Training Center. 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
Ethnic and racial groups
Women and girls
LGBTQ people
At-risk youth

Bikes Not Bombs has shipped 83,661 bikes to Central America, the Caribbean and Africa in the last 38 years. Bikes Not Bombs partners with organizations using the bicycle to drive social change in their communities. We work in solidarity with our international partners, supporting them to lead the change process in their communities to address their core social justice and environmental issues. Our partners provide life saving health services, turn bicycles into pedal-powered machines for rural farmers, organize communities rallying to stop climate change, run bike libraries lending bikes to high school students, and distribute thousands of refurbished bikes that provide affordable and sustainable mobility. Although our partnerships are diverse, they are united through the concrete use of bicycles to further social change.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people
People of African descent
People of Caribbean descent
People of Central American descent

The BNB Retail Bike Shop and Vocational Training Center supports Bikes Not Bombs' 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. Paid Youth Apprentices are employed to assist in bike rebuilds and customer service.

Population(s) Served
Unemployed people
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth
Immigrants and migrants

Where we work


Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of unique youth employed by BNB as paid Youth Apprentices during the calendar year.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Youth Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Youth Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success


Context Notes

Combined number of unique participants from our Bike School programs and paid Youth Apprentices in a calendar year.

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 demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • 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, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for 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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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 08/14/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. James Nguyen

State Street Bank

Term: 2022 - 2024

Lee Archung


Patrick Cutrona

Perkins School for the Blind

Abigail Werner


Peter Cheung

GlobeSpan Capital

Lina Canon

Chica Project; Nuur Ventures

Luis Fernandez

Tokyo Electron

Sean Hildenbrandt

MA Office of the Attorney General

James Nguyen

State Street Corporation

Thomas Rodriguez

YouthBuild Just A Start

Andy Mendez

Heller Board Fellow, Brandeis 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 10/4/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

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

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender 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.