We’re hiring: Membership & Development Coordinator

Overview

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) seeks an enthusiastic, process-oriented Membership & Development Coordinator to manage WABA’s individual membership program and support fundraising activities. We need a systems thinker with great attention to detail and strong interpersonal skills. The Membership & Development Coordinator will operationalize, maintain, and grow the membership program; manage and maintain the member and donor database; and represent WABA in the community.

The Membership & Development Coordinator reports to the Development Director, works closely with WABA’s Events Coordinator and Business Partnership Coordinator, and collaborates with all staff to integrate membership throughout our programs. As a smaller—but quickly growing!—nonprofit, all staff are required to assist with general organization-wide duties and at major events.


Responsibilities & Activities

  • Meet and exceed individual membership membership recruitment and retention goals.
  • Manage and maintain WABA’s member and donor CRM with precision; process memberships and donations; produce timely and compelling acknowledgments.
  • Develop, implement, and execute two annual membership drives, including Bike to Work Day.
  • Collaborate with and support WABA staff to effectively grow and promote membership through outreach, events, and education.
  • Collaborate with the communications team to create and regularly update membership and donor communications: digital, in-person, and beyond.
  • Design and implement occasional membership appreciation and engagement activities, from in-person events and surveys to managing membership perks.
  • Represent WABA at community events, on-street outreach, Combined Federal Campaign fairs, and more.
  • Manage WABA merchandise, including maintaining inventory, fulfilling online orders and managing sales at events.
  • Coordinate with staff to organize volunteers; promote and facilitate the “Earn a Membership” program.
  • Support the Development Director in various development functions, including prospect research, donor cultivation, launching a major donor society, and direct mail.

Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Demonstrated success in—and a passion for!—fundraising;
  • A process-oriented, systematic way of thinking;
  • Previous CRM database management experience, ideally with Salesforce; and
  • Experience with direct mail and email campaigns.

Additional required skills include:

  • The ability to balance multiple tasks and priorities simultaneously and follow through on commitments;
  • Strong interpersonal and communications skills, both verbal and written;
  • Good writing skills and a commitment to quality work;
  • Strong computer literacy with specific experience using Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google office suite;
  • A willingness to jump in and help out the team; and
  • An enthusiastic commitment to WABA’s mission.

About WABA

The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) is working to create a healthy, more livable region by promoting bicycling for fun, fitness, and affordable transportation; advocating for better bicycling conditions and transportation choices for a healthier environment; and educating children, adults, and motorists about safe bicycling.

WABA’s programs, from youth education to grassroots community organizing, engage residents in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC. Six thousand dues-paying members and thousands more generous supporters have helped WABA transform bicycling in the region again and again over its 46 year history.

WABA is building a region where, in 2020, we’ll see three times the number of people riding bikes. And, by 2035, every single person will live within one mile of a dedicated safe place to bike. We envision a region in which biking is joyful, safe, popular, and liberating; supported by the necessary infrastructure, laws, activities, and investments; and where bicycle ridership mirrors the incredible diversity of our communities.

Employment Details

This position is full-time. Expected salary range is $36,000-$40,000. The position is based in the WABA Office in Adams Morgan, Washington, DC. All employees are expected to work some evenings and weekends with flex time in exchange.

Benefits include 100% employer covered health/dental/vision insurance premiums; vacation, sick, and personal leave; committed colleagues; fun working environment; optional voluntary accident/disability insurance; WABA’s 403(b) retirement program; indoor bike parking; and surprising amounts of ice cream.

WABA is committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, arrest record or criminal convictions, political affiliation, sexual orientation or gender identity, disability, sex, or age.

Apply

Send a cover letter and resume as one PDF to jobs@waba.org. Please include “Membership & Development Coordinator” in the subject line. No phone calls.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis; the position will remain posted until filled. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by or before Monday, February 26. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.

Very Specific Thoughts on Dustpans, or How to Help Clean a Local Trail

Screen caption of a tweet reading "@WABA's @sobacase "I have very specific thoughts about dustpans." And lots of other advice on how people on bikes can keep trails trash free." There is a photo of a woman in brown workpants overalls talking and leaning up against a wall. Another woman on the left is thinking, a pile of bike gear is on the right with the arm of a person is high visibility jacket on the far right of the frame.

Bothered by the trash on your ride home every day? See something that should not be there? Grabbing a few items on your way home doesn’t take too long, is easy to place in a nearby public trash can and does make an impact. We know there are folks throughout the region doing trash removal on trails already, it is not just you battling it all!

The DC Trail Rangers will certainly be doing more group cleanups in the spring and they have their appeal – more social! free snacks! But you don’t have to wait for us to cleanup your trail.

Two men in Trail Ranger shirts posing looking accomplished with a foot on a large tree branch.

Mission accomplished! (Credit: Thomas Worth, 501pix)

Here are a few tips for cleanup

Start small and easy: Things do add up. You don’t have to tackle what the heck to do with that car bumper that has been there for nine months.

Trash disposal: Solo cleanups are easy because you can dispose of trash in your own home garbage or a public trash can. I’ll often take a random bag from sliced bread or something similar and use that as a trash bag.

Recyclables: Lots of materials on the trails can be recycled. But recycling must be clean so if its covered in weird grease from being outside for 10 months then it is probably best to trash.

Be careful taking gloves off: If you’ve been using work or disposable gloves, they’re probably covered in whatever you didn’t want to touch. So don’t go taking them off by touching them with your bare hands! Handy dandy diagram from the CDC:

1 - With both hands gloves, grasp the outside of one glove at the top of your wrist, being careful not to touch your bare skin. 2 - Peel off this frist glove, peeling away from your body and from wrist to fingertips, turning the glove inside out. 3 - Holding the glove you just removed in your gloved hand. 4 - with your ungloved hand, peel off the second glove by inserting your fingers inside the glove at the top of your wrist. 5 - turn the second glove inside out while tilting it away from your body, leaving teh first glove inside the second. 6 - dispose of the gloves safely. Do not reuse the gloves. 7 - clean your hands immediately after removing gloves and before touching any objects or surfaces.

Credit: Center for Disease Control

Disposable gloves: Carrying disposable plastic gloves can be helpful – not only are they handy for changing flat tires if you don’t want to deal with dirty hands but also for handling potentially harmful materials. I’ve used my pair for tucking dead birds off-trail where dogs won’t find them and removing the occasional dead fish from the Anacostia River Trail.

Be a trail trash trendsetter

Ready to take the next step in your trail cleaning adventures? Read on!

Trash grabbers: Foldable trash grabbers are convenient and will do wonders for your back! They are great for grabbing trash buried in vegetation, reducing your effort and strain, and they can more easily fit in a bike bag without looking like this:

Selfie of a woman in a bike helmet, blue Seattle Sounders jacket and messenger bag. There are handles of four trash grabbers in the lower right sticking out of a bike pannier.

(The trash grabber pictured above is a little more expensive and doesn’t fold, but does have a better spring which reduces the amount of forearm effort)

Removing glass: The best solution is a dustpan and a paper bag. Paper doesn’t get torn as easily with cut glass, reducing the chance of a bag breaking and spilling the glass shards back on the trail after you spent so much time carefully removing it. But glass is much more inert in the environment than plastic so if you don’t want to carry a dustpan, simply a handbroom will do the trick. You can often safely sweep the glass off the trail/bike lane into somewhere less likely to cause flat tires. And I know it’s so tempting but picking up broken shards with your bare hands is not a great idea.

Dustpans: For heavier stuff like glass and gravel, you want a dustpan without a steep lip. The Trail Ranger team has tried a bunch of dustpans over the years and the consensus is that:

Glamor shot of two white dustpans and handbrooms on a white background. Both dustpans are used and dirty though the dustpan on the left is clearly more used.

Trail Ranger dustpans.

the Rubbermaid on left is much better than the Laitner set on right (probably a perfectly adequate dustpan for dust bunnies, just not great for heavy glass and gravel).

Trash hauling: You don’t have to be your own one-person trash hauling service for bigger projects. Doing trash cleanup with a few friends? If you call two weeks in advance, DC DPW Helping Hands program will pick up bags from locations in DC. For large individual items like car bumpers that are dumped on trails, they can be removed by calling your local jurisdiction’s 311 reporting system. For the DC 311 system, items can be reported using the “Street Cleaning” or “Illegal Dumping” category. Both categories have the same end result but the “Illegal Dumping” adds a step at the beginning to determine whether anyone can be cited.  

Special circumstances and things to watch out for

Your personal safety is more important than courting risk – if you don’t feel safe dealing with something, don’t! You are not obligated to put your health and safety at risk.

Medical waste (including syringes, needles + human waste): The typical trash cleanup materials of work gloves and a plastic bag doesn’t cut it for safety with medical waste. If you see hypodermic needles: 

many hypodermic needles in a pile on a concrete floor. Clearly from a cleanup.

Hypodermic needles. Credit: CBS 2

don’t pick them up unless you have the materials to properly dispose of sharps!

BB guns: Not found too often on trails but they certainly are around. Advice from the Metropolitan Police Department is that if they do not have ammunition in them and are disassembled, they can be put directly in the trash. Both complete BB guns and actual guns are not safe to go directly in the trash. If it is safe for you, both can be given to the police.

So how do you know what you found? BB gun ID advice for cyclists: they have a CO2 cartridge in the handle (also they are lighter than real guns which may be a useful comparison for some folks but tells me nothing).

Immediate concerns: If you see something that poses an immediate danger, it is appropriate to give an government agency a call and let them handle it. I’ve had great success in calling Department of Energy and the Environment over a bag of asbestos that flew off a truck on Sousa Bridge and calling Department of Public Works over medical waste that was spilled.

Public and private property: The DC region has a lot of different jurisdictions and responsible agencies. Be aware of whose land you are on (DC property line map is here) and if you’re not sure, err on the side of asking permission before you do anything. It can be a tricky balance between honoring our collective responsibility and not doing things you’re not supposed to do. You should be fine so long as you’re simply removing trash, but any permanent change to public property is a no-go (i.e. don’t be this guy and install your own road signs). When in doubt, don’t do anything. Call and ask questions, or email trailranger@waba.org and we can try to navigate with you.

Poison ivy: Poison ivy is native to the DC region and can be found in many greenspaces throughout the region. Oils throughout the plant, including leaves, bark and roots, can cause severe skin reactions in about 33% of people. The best way to stay safe is to not touch it! Poison ivy can be identified by its leaves and hairy vine but it can be tricky to spot sometime since it easily blends into the canopy. The Trail Ranger team wears gloves and long sleeves whenever we come near vegetation to protect ourselves and all of our work gloves are washed in hot water to wash off any potential poison ivy oils before they are used again.

Closeup shot of a skinny vine with lots of small hairs growing on a black metal wire fence.

Poison ivy growing on the Metropolitan Branch Trail just south of the Rhode Island Pedestrian Bridge.

Reporting issues to the jurisdictions

For maintenance problems, persistent issues, and materials that you cannot or don’t want to handle, the best course of action is to report it to the jurisdiction responsible for maintenance. This is a great choice for that large couch off the side of Suitland Parkway Trail that isn’t going anywhere soon and needs a large truck for removal.

DC: Many issues can be reported through the DC 311 system.  Report through DC’s online 311 system or by giving them a call at 311. If you are calling from outside the district, call 202-737-4404. Department of Parks and Recreation facilities are primarily maintained by Department of General Services, who operate a separate hotlineat (202) 576-7676.

Arlington County: Issues can be reported here.

Prince George’s County: Issues can be reported here. Alternatively call 311 or if you are calling from outside the county, 301-883-4748.

Montgomery County: Call 311. If you are calling from outside of Montgomery County, call 240-777-0311.

Alexandria: Issue can be reported here or by calling 703-746-4357.

Fairfax County: Issues can be reported here.

Join a community!

There are a few great resources to coordinate and ask questions about trails. Regionally the Washington Area Bike Forum covers a lot of trails and the WABA Women & Bicycles group also lots of conversations about trails. Many trails also have local listservs (check Yahoo and Google Groups) and Facebook groups.

Anacostia River Trail
Facebook group

Metropolitan Branch Trail
Facebook group
Yahoo listserv

Capital Crescent Trail
Facebook group

Mt. Vernon Trail
Entire trail Facebook group
South section Facebook group

Four Mile Run Trail
Facebook group

Washington and Old Dominion Trail
Facebook group

Hear about Trail Ranger cleanups! Yes!




Have questions? Ask our coordinator!

In the four years of being involved with the Trail Ranger program, our coordinator Ursula Sandstrom, has well-informed thoughts on trail maintenance, tools and such. She can be reached at ursula.sandstrom@waba.org, (202) 518-0524 x208 or on Twitter at @wabadc.

What to give your bike loving sweetie for Valentine’s Day

WABA members and their bike loving sweethearts

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This is the day we get to celebrate our love for our partners. For many that means dinner, candles, chocolate (of course), or flowers. But if your partner loves to ride a bicycle, we have some gifts that you may want to consider giving instead. No guarantees, but we’re pretty sure they’ll love them.

WABA merchandise

Your partner loves to ride their bicycle, so make sure that they become a member of WABA (it’s only $35/year to join and get a lot of great perks). If they already are a member, then why not outfit them with some of our WABA merchandise? We have socks to keep their toes warm during a winter ride and cool in the summer, t-shirts that let everyone know they love biking, and jerseys to show off that WABA pride. Your purchase helps us continue to advocate for better bicycling across the region and supports our efforts to get more people riding bikes!

Velofix

At some point, your loved one will need to have their bike serviced or repaired. But it can sometimes be inconvenient to take it to a shop and wait for the repair. There’s no need to do that when you could give them the gift of Velofix. Velofix is a mobile bike shop that can do any repairs or service needed on-site at your home or office. They even sell bikes in case you need a new one. Check out all the services they offer here.

Car2go

Even though your loved one rides a bike, there are some times when a car is necessary. Maybe they need to go somewhere farther than they are willing to bike. Or perhaps biking in less-than-ideal weather just isn’t fun for them. Well, you can give them the gift of options with car2go. With a car2go membership, they can use the app to reserve a car nearby and unlock it when they arrive, then simply hop in and go. Even better, you can park it (almost) anywhere and end your trip. It’s perfect for one-way travel or even full-day trips. Learn more about why a car2go membership is a great gift for your honey.

Grip Unlimited

Most likely if your sweetie is biking, they need to carry stuff. It may be clothes or just a flat repair kit. No matter what it is, they will need a way to transport it. And Grip Unlimited is the perfect way to do that. Their products are made locally and attach to the frame of a bike. Check out their collection of bags here.

DoorDash

Let’s be honest, going out to eat on Valentine’s Day can be frustrating and expensive. But you still need to eat (and impress that special someone). Instead of going out this year, you could stay in and order a delicious meal via DoorDash. Download the app or order online and have your food arrive in less than an hour.

Urban Stems

And finally, if you want to go traditional on Valentine’s Day and send flowers, consider having them delivered by one of the wonderful bike couriers from Urban Stems. Who wouldn’t love beautiful flowers delivered by bicycle? It’s the best of both worlds. The flowers will also pair nicely with your meal from DoorDash.

When you love a person who loves bicycles you may as well get them something they will truly appreciate and you can’t go wrong with any of these gifts.

Get updates on all of the Bike Ambassador events that your bike loving sweetie (or you) will enjoy by joining our email list.

Yes!





Lauren Ober of WAMU to host 2018 Bicyclists’ Choice Awards

We are excited to announce that Lauren Ober, host of WAMU’s The Big Listen and a proud WABA member, will emcee the 2018 Bicyclists’ Choice Awards, presented by Jump Bikes.

Kara Frame/NPR

The Awards will take place Thursday, February 8th, at the Josephine Butler Parks Center from 7:00-9:00pm, following the Annual Member Meeting. Anyone is welcome to attend the awards ceremony, and admission is free. Food and beer will be provided by CAVA and Caboose Brewing; there is a suggested $10 donation.

Please RSVP by Monday, February 5th

Also, the Bicyclists’ Choice Awards means that we need YOU to decide the winners. Voting will be open through midnight Friday, February 2nd.

Additional information about our annual Bicyclists’ Choice Awards can be found here.

Want to volunteer to help set up, serve food, welcome guests, sell WABA merchandise and keep the night running smoothly? Sign up here.

Of course, we want to say a huge thank you to our sponsors for supporting better bicycling in our region:

Presenting Sponsor

Celebration Sponsors

 

Hundreds of people speak up for a better Long Bridge

The Long Bridge is a rail bridge across the Potomac River, and it’s getting an upgrade from two tracks to four. This project represents a once-in-a-century opportunity to create a new, continuous biking and walking connection from Crystal City to DC’s waterfront core. Unfortunately, the current designs only go halfway. You can find more info here.

Last month, we encouraged people to take action and contact the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), the agency overseeing the project. Their assessing the environmental impact of the project, so it was an an ideal time to speak up for better bicycling connections.

And speak up you did! Throughout the month of January, more than 1600 people contacted DDOT and let them know that the river isn’t the only barrier for people who walk and bike. A better trail bridge would consider and provide solutions for getting past two major highways and the tangle of dangerous intersections, congested sidewalks, and freeway ramps that separate DC from Arlington.

WABA was proud to stand with numerous other groups and elected officials that sent official comment letters to DDOT, including Arlington County, DC Bicycle Advisory Council, Councilmember David Grosso, DC Recreational Trails Advisory Committee, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Southwest Business Improvement District, and Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling.

A public and agency update is planned for sometime this spring. Sign up for WABA’s advocacy updates if you want to stay up to date on this project!

 

Meet Elijah, our new Operations Coordinator

Greetings!

I’m Elijah Minter, the new Operations Coordinator here at WABA. My introduction to the organization was this past summer as a Bike Camp! counselor. Prior to Bike Camp, I’d heard of WABA, but didn’t know a lot about what they did. After spending half of the summer biking around the city with a bunch of 8 – 14 year olds, I thought I had a better idea. Seeing some of those kids go from biking around their neighborhood to biking 20 miles in one day, or feeling confident navigating city traffic, was pretty awesome. Programs like Bike Camp! are educating and encouraging the next generation of bicyclists.

Growing up, my family mostly lived in the suburbs or on the outskirts of the city. My parents weren’t too comfortable with me riding in the street, so I didn’t do much biking in the city until a few years ago. Now I love biking around the city! I love the adrenaline rush, the stress release after a long day at work…I’m making up for lost time.

My family relocated to Tennessee when I was about 16. While there, I worked at a christian camp during the summers as a biking instructor. After I moved back to DC in 2014, I began searching for ways to get involved in the community and meet new people.

I started volunteering with a bicycle repair co-op to hone my repair skills and get plugged into the cycling scene. I started out riding Capital Bikeshare, but soon I was searching Craigslist for my own set of wheels. I found an early 70’s Raleigh Grand Prix that I fixed up, and well, the rest is history.

It’s been really exciting for me to witness the expansion of the biking infrastructure in DC since I was a kid, and to see the growing number of people who choose to bike.

Most of my cycling adventures happen in rush hour traffic or while dodging tourists on the mall, but I’ve done some trail rides and I plan to do many more. I really want to try bike camping and do some touring. In short, I love bicycling! I’m really excited to be a part of WABA and I’m looking forward to our continued growth.

See you on the trails!

“I could never do that!”

Photo: Ryan Lovin

The best thing about my job is that I get to ride a bicycle, obviously.

But the next best thing about my job is that I get to talk with people about bicycling. I get to share my own experience incorporating bicycling into my life, and I get to talk about the experiences of the hundreds of people that I teach and work with throughout the year.

People ask me a lot of questions.

Here is the second most frequent question* I hear:

“Drivers are crazy! Aren’t you scared riding your bike in traffic?”

My answer to this question is simple: yes, sometimes. Most of the time I’m on my bike, I am enjoying myself, but sometimes I encounter situations that terrify me.

In both cases—when I’m just cruising along, and when something unexpected and dangerous happens—I know that I can rely on my training and experience to get me through. And that’s one of the most rewarding aspects about what I get do do at WABA: our Everyday Biking classes and rides can give you the same training and experience that helps me feel safe, and we can even make it fun!

Here are some of things we can help you do to feel confident on your bike:

Plan a route that’s comfortable, or even fun

Why choose roads that make you uncomfortable? One of the best things about biking is that there’s almost always a better way to go. Choose trails over roads, and choose roads with bike lanes over roads without. Choose shady roads in summer and sunny roads in winter. Choose roads that go by your favorite coffee shop, scenic views, or your grocery store. Choose flat roads when you’re tired and hilly roads when you’re looking for a challenge or some exercise.

Be predictable, be alert, and be lawful while riding (#BEaPAL)

I’m a rolling billboard for Bike Arlington’s PAL Ambassador program. Predictable riding helps me keep my space on the road I’m sharing with drivers and pedestrians. Staying alert means I’m constantly scanning my surroundings for the next hazard and trying to anticipate what’s coming. It also means riding at a slow enough speed where you can assess what’s happening around you. Riding in a lawful way means stopping at stop signs and red lights, yielding to pedestrians crossing the street, and riding in the same direction as traffic. Following the law helps bicyclists stay visible and prevents some driver mistakes.

Center yourself (in shared travel lanes)

One of the biggest mental shifts I had to make when I first started riding on streets was minding where in the lane I was riding. The best place for me to be is in the middle of lane By doing that, I stay out of the door zone and out of all of the sand, gravel, branches, animals (gross but true) and trash that collect on the right-hand side of the lane. Riding in the middle of the lane also generally affords me at least three feet of space when drivers pass me. If the driver is going to have to cross the double-yellow line to pass, then they usually move even farther over to give me more space. Finally, riding in the middle of the lane provides me with the time and space I need to react to something happening in front of me.

Get familiar with your bike

Get to know how your bike looks, sounds, and feels when it’s working right, so that you’ll know when something seems off. Before I set out, I check my bike using the ABC Quick Check method: check that your tires have air, your brakes are working and not too worn down, and that your chain is clean, oiled, and moving smoothly. I also double check to make sure my phone and lights are charged, just in case. Finally, I inspect my helmet and grab my lock.

So there you have it, the easy steps I take to feel more confident riding in traffic! Choosing a great route, riding as a PAL, maintaining my space on the road and making sure my bike is in working order help make my commute the best part of my day.

But sometimes I’ll find myself in a situation I don’t like. When this happens, I take a deep breath, stay calm and rely on my skills and experience to manage through. If you’d like to refine some of your skills and feel more confident on the road, join me at a City Cycling class or one of our Community Rides. Our instructors will teach and reinforce some of these skills so you can find your biking bliss and ride happier during your commute.


* Stay tuned for my answer to the first most frequent question: “Why don’t bicyclists stop at stop signs?”