Giving Old Bikes New Homes

Chicago, IL   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 54-2138339


Working Bikes gives old bikes new life by redistributing them as tools of empowerment in local and global communities.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Trevor Clarke

Main address

2434 South Western Avenue

Chicago, IL 60608 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Disaster relief

Public affairs

Community improvement

Sports and recreation

Population served info

Children and youth


Intersex people

Women and girls

Immigrants and migrants

Show more populations served

NTEE code info

International Relief (Q33)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (W01)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms



What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Working Bikes tackles two key problems - an excess of waste, and a dearth of opportunity. Working Bikes reduces the number of bicycles that may enter the waste stream or sit languishing, unused, by giving new life to those vital tools of transportation. Each year, Working Bikes refurbishes several thousand bikes for people who will use them to access resources in and around Chicago and sends twice as many bicycles to global partners who will fix and distribute bikes to empower members of their communities.

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?

International Shipments

Working Bikes ships over 6,500 refurbishable bicycles per year to projects in countries throughout Latin America and Africa including, El Salvador, Guatemala, Tanzania, Malawi, Lesotho, Uganda, Ghana, and many others. For these global donations, we partner with organizations that run bike shop programs, mostly in rural communities. Raw bikes from Chicago are the raw materials for these shops, many of which are managed by an all-women staff. Bikes are used to access educational opportunities, markets, medical services, community resources, as well as for recreation.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Children and youth

Working Bikes runs two local donation programs, known as Cycle of Power (adults) and Cycle of Peace (kids and youth). We partner with numerous organizations to donate repaired bicycles throughout Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. These organizations include veteran hospitals, health and human service agencies, transitional housing facilities, youth organizations, community centers, and schools. In a typical year, Working Bikes donates between 800-1,000 bicycles to individuals through this program. In addition to a bicycle, adult local donation recipients receive a helmet, u-lock, and a set of lights. Recipients are encouraged to bring their bike to us within the first year if service is needed.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Immigrants and migrants

Working Bikes continues to operate today largely through the efforts of our dedicated volunteers. Individuals and groups looking to lend a hand are always welcomed. There are many ways to get involved, whether you are an expert bike mechanic, a novice wrencher, or just enjoy giving back!

Population(s) Served

WTF! Night provides an exclusive space for women, transgendered, and gender non-conforming members of the Working Bikes community to learn bicycle mechanics. The intent of WTF! is community building, consciousness raising, and development of mechanical skills amongst those who have been historically left out of many opportunities for technical education. WTF! Night is every Thursday from 5-9pm at the Working Bikes warehouse at 2434 S Western in Chicago.

Population(s) Served
Women and girls
Intersex people

Where we work

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.

Working Bikes believes that bicycles are the most reliable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly transportation option available, and we’re working towards a world where everyone has access to bicycle transportation, whether in Africa or Chicago. We know the resources - bicycles - are out there, unused or unwanted in Chicago and the greater Midwest, and we’re committed to making sure that none of these vital tools of empowerment head to the scrap yard instead of back on to the street. We also believe that there is a role for everyone in this work, and so we foster a culture of volunteerism and work to train volunteers as mechanics, host groups to pack bicycles into containers, and have ability-appropriate tasks for volunteers with special needs.

We provide the raw materials - both bikes and tools, and even some mechanical training - to seed and support bicycle shops in underserved communities all over the world, with a focus on Africa and Central America. Locally, Working Bikes donates bicycles repaired by volunteers, many of whom learn bike mechanics through volunteering, to individuals and partner organizations here in Chicago, providing transportation to people in homeless transition, refugee resettlement, and youth empowerment programs in our own community. Working Bikes’ service department offers repairs at reasonable rates and donates services to donation bike recipients and low income folks. Working Bikes sells over 1,500 bikes each year and is widely regarded as the best source for an affordable quality used bike in Chicago.

Over the past 20 years, Working Bikes has established itself as a cornerstone in Chicago’s nonprofit community and a hub for cycling enthusiasts from around the world. Our three story inviting and inclusive warehouse, bike shop, and volunteer space is an institution on Chicago’s Southwest Side, and our longstanding relationships with community groups, municipal organizations, schools, and neighborhood associations have ensured a steady stream of bike donations, volunteers, and financial contributions. We host five volunteer sessions a week, where new and novice volunteers are guided through the process of repairing a bike by other more experienced volunteers and trained staff. A dedicated all-volunteer board of directors, an outstanding and committed staff, and hundreds of volunteers are all committed to Working Bikes’ success.

For 20 years, Working Bikes has recovered tens of thousands of bikes from Chicago and the Midwest. More than 100,000 bikes have been given new life across the Midwest and the world, empowering tens of thousands of individuals to access resources in their communities. 2019 was a milestone year for Working Bikes, as we broke records in our international and local donation programs. Looking ahead to the next 20 years, we will continue developing partners in our community and around the world, deepen our connections and feedback mechanisms, and of course get as many people on bikes as possible!


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 24.62 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 2.7 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 13% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of WORKING BIKES’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $149,786 -$20,863 $124,207 $153,053 $117,040
As % of expenses 17.9% -2.1% 15.0% 15.0% 10.3%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $130,509 -$40,140 $103,092 $130,965 $93,199
As % of expenses 15.3% -4.0% 12.2% 12.6% 8.1%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $985,635 $960,526 $949,904 $1,172,516 $1,249,483
Total revenue, % change over prior year 10.3% -2.5% -1.1% 23.4% 6.6%
Program services revenue 0.8% 0.5% 0.3% 0.3% 3.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 9.7% 7.4% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 74.0% 74.4% 61.6% 62.6% 56.7%
Other revenue 25.2% 25.1% 28.3% 29.7% 39.6%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $835,849 $981,389 $825,697 $1,019,463 $1,132,443
Total expenses, % change over prior year -6.9% 17.4% -15.9% 23.5% 11.1%
Personnel 46.3% 44.3% 58.2% 55.5% 54.3%
Professional fees 2.7% 1.2% 1.3% 1.1% 1.1%
Occupancy 1.5% 1.4% 1.4% 1.0% 0.8%
Interest 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 49.2% 53.2% 39.1% 42.5% 43.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $855,126 $1,000,666 $846,812 $1,041,551 $1,156,284
One month of savings $69,654 $81,782 $68,808 $84,955 $94,370
Debt principal payment $76,079 $7,795 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $87,566 $0 $33,490
Total full costs (estimated) $1,000,859 $1,090,243 $1,003,186 $1,126,506 $1,284,144

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 2.0 2.3 2.9 3.4 3.6
Months of cash and investments 2.0 2.3 2.9 3.4 3.6
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 8.7 7.0 8.8 8.9 8.9
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $142,777 $184,369 $200,305 $286,377 $337,605
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $24,991 $4,672 $8,500 $60,562 $109,484
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $609,908 $613,908 $701,473 $708,973 $742,463
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 20.3% 23.3% 23.4% 26.3% 28.3%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 2.1% 0.4% 0.4% 1.0% 1.2%
Unrestricted net assets $1,081,966 $1,041,826 $1,144,918 $1,275,883 $1,369,082
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $1,081,966 $1,041,826 $1,144,918 $1,275,883 $1,369,082

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Executive Director

Trevor Clarke

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.


Board of directors
as of 12/09/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Phil Kaplan

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/22/2021

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
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data


No data