(TOMMBA will become its own 501(c)3 non-profit organization)
The Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association (TOMMBA) would like to update our amazing supporters on some changes taking places at the state and national (and international) level regarding mountain bike advocacy work. The short version of your update is to let you know that all of your membership money is staying local! We will keep a relationship with both the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the Michigan Mountain Bike Association (MMBA) while also keeping all of your generous contributions local.
Read on for the nitty gritty details…
TOMMBA was a proud chapter of the IMBA since its inception in 2012. In fact, IMBA was a major factor in our organization getting its non-profit status and organizational capacity building so quickly. We have felt that IMBA gave us the tools we needed to get up to speed and be successful.
TOMMBA is currently in the process of applying to be its own 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We have decided that proceeding with our non-profit status under the umbrella of IMBA is tenuous, and it is time for us to operate as our own independent non-profit organization.
In addition to being a chapter of IMBA, we have had a seat on the board of directors and have enjoyed a great relationship with the MMBA, a state-level advocacy organization. In early 2016 the MMBA was able to partner with IMBA and hire an “Associate Regional Director”, Melissa Werkman. She was very successful working to make more great mountain biking experiences in Michigan. Melissa will be leaving MMBA for a new job in November 2018.
Late in 2016 IMBA ran into some financial issues due partially to a loss of the Subaru sponsorship. IMBA had to make some tough decisions and one of those was to discontinue their financial support of Melissa’s position.
Since we began as a chapter with IMBA one of our only reservations with that relationship was the fact that most of the money received from our local members was going away to IMBA. We were frequently asked why more than half of a member’s donation to TOMMBA had to go out of the area. For these reasons, TOMMBA ended our chapter relationship with IMBA but remained supportive of the organization. I had the opportunity on a few occasions to talk with Dave Wiens, Executive Director of IMBA, regarding a need for our members to know that their money was staying local and our interest in finding another way to partner with IMBA.
Within the last couple months, we have been reviewing a new program with IMBA called IMBA Local. It is a totally new relationship that IMBA will have with local chapters and THEIR members. No more will IMBA have members. They will be supporting each local chapter to build its own membership base and each local chapter will choose its level of support of IMBA.
Recently, the MMBA board met and each representative indicated their willingness to restructure the MMBA as needed to accommodate the majority of its members to this new program. TOMMBA will also be moving toward this new system and your membership will be 100% with TOMMBA! We are excited to share this with you and appreciate the work of IMBA to listen to the needs of its local advocacy groups as well as the MMBA to accommodate.
Please bear with us as we transition to this new system. As we transition and the holiday cheer prompts you to support TOMMBA, please click HERE and you will be able to donate directly to TOMMBA.
Thank you for your patience as we continue to grow!
*** Please Consider TOMMBA as Part of Your Year End Giving ***
100% of your donation will be used for the development and/or maintenance
of mountain bike trails in Northern Michigan.