PORTLAND WHEELERS

Portland, ME   |  www.portlandwheelers.org

Mission

Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun … for people who cannot ride a bike by themselves but would love to go for a ride. We get people of all ages with all kinds of intellectual and physical disabilities outside for free rides around Greater Portland.

Ruling year info

2015

Board President

Karen Schilling

Main address

PO Box 11314

Portland, ME 04104 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-2690824

NTEE code info

Patient Services - Entertainment, Recreation (E86)

Other Recreation, Sports, or Leisure Activities N.E.C. (N99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Many people living with age or disability-related restrictions to their activities may get outdoors infrequently. Cut off from nature and the wider community, they can experience feelings of isolation and depression.

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?

Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun

Free recreational and therapeutic rides for people young and old living with disability, who cannot ride a bike by themselves but would love to go for a ride.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Adults
Children and youth

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.

Unique wheelers served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

How many individual wheelers did we take out for fresh air and sunshine during our May to October season?

Total rides given

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

How many rides did our wheelers enjoy with us during our season?

Miles ridden

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

How many miles of trails and quiet neighborhoods did our wheelers roll on, from beaches to Back Cove, from Portland's waterfront to Westbrook's riverfront?

Hours ridden

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

How many hours of fun and fresh air and good conversation did our wheelers experience alongside our volunteer pilots?

Unique youth wheelers served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, People with disabilities

Related Program

Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

How many children rode with Portland Wheelers, who are not able to ride bikes on their own?

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities, Adults, Children and youth

Related Program

Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

How many volunteers served as pilots, safeties, and in off-bike capacities, helping transport our trikes, putting in hours on our Board, and providing admin assistance?

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.

Portland Wheelers' primary mission is Outdoor Adapted Biking Fun ... for people who cannot ride a bike by themselves but would love to go for a ride.

We bring "wheelers" (passengers) the freedom of getting out on trails and quiet streets, along rivers and our coastal waterfront. Wheelers interact with people we pass along the way. They get to see the sun and the sky, feel the wind in their hair and its warmth on their skin, hear birds sing, and watch children playing and gardens growing everywhere. Also, wheelers and "pilots" (volunteer pedalers) become good friends as they roll out together every week or two.

Supporting this, we employ a a crew of volunteer pilots, off-bike volunteers, our fleet of six adapted “trikes" (tricycles), and over twenty-five facilities and agencies (residential and day-use) whose clients make up the majority of those we serve. We bring wheelers, pilots, and trikes together five or six days a week, mornings and afternoons, from mid-May through mid-October. We lift spirits and spread joy. Simple pleasures. Profound results. In 2021, throughout Greater Portland, we provided over 1,700 rides.

In addition to continuing to serve our local community, we are beginning to help other communities in Maine and beyond to start up their own programs. Ultimately, our aim for those we serve is to make going for a ride the easy thing it ought to be for everyone.

1) In 2021, our sixth year of operations, we employed a transporter to drive one of our two trucks to ride sites every morning and afternoon, with volunteer transporters responsible for the second truck. In 2022, we intend to hire a second transporter to make full use of our equipment.

2) We are creating a Grants Committee in 2022 to apply for income from this underused revenue stream. We already enjoy a successful Fall Appeal each year and income from a new virtual event in held in 2021.

3) A Strategic Planning session scheduled for our board in early 2022 will help guide us in the future.

Our financial planning is strong. We forecast our income accurately - including business sponsorships, grants, and individual donations - to cover our trike purchases, plan for replacements, and properly maintain our fleet. We can then put our energy into: 1) improving training, appreciation, and retention of our volunteers; 2) refining our relationships with the facilities and agencies we serve; and 3) continually perfecting our standards for pilot/wheeler interactions to ensure every wheeler has a safe, comfortable, and fun experience.

After five seasons of operation, Portland Wheelers has: grown from one trike to six; replaced its original set of trikes with better designed, less expensive equipment; increased the number of volunteers from a handful of pilots to over 70; increased to almost 500 the number of “wheelers” we serve; and, in 2021 alone, given more than 1,700 rides.

To pull our trailers loaded with trikes, we have moved on from using cars volunteered by volunteers to buying and outfitting two used trucks. For equipment storage, we now have a leased garage in Portland.

As we offer rides throughout Greater Portland, our service is seen weekly by thousands of people. Many, many more have seen us on local news stations, and in our daily newspaper, the Portland Press Herald. We are a part of the background and spirit of this community.

Our board has grown into a diverse and passionate engine for the organization. Also, with a range of four significant revenue streams (contributions, grants, a virtual biking event, and sponsorships), we are financially stable.

What's next? In the short term, we plan to: continue increasing the number of people we serve and rides we give; strengthen all systems in anticipation of scaling the service; keep staff overhead down by operating without an executive director; and reach out to communities beyond Greater Portland, helping others to set up their own successful ride programs.

In the long term, we anticipate: a securely funded, stable, Portland Wheelers program that grows at a moderate pace in Greater Portland; training locally supported ride programs around the state and beyond; and, all of us together, serving tens of thousands of people, young and old, living with disabilities.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The wheelers who ride with us at our ride partner sites provide immediate feedback; the Activity Directors also supply feedback. We ask for feedback via occasional surveys of the ride partners.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.),

  • 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 strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • 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?

    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 act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

PORTLAND WHEELERS
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Operations

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

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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

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

PORTLAND WHEELERS

Board of directors
as of 1/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Karen Schilling

Mandy Yates

Susan Wall

Lindsay Sirois

Patty Bruce

Karen Schilling

Lindsay Fisher

Ray Richard

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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 1/18/2022,

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

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data