BMV officially named a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
Black Men Ventures is officially a non-profit.
The organization received an IRS letter Monday confirming the status has changed from pending to official. For the past 16 months, Black Men Ventures has worked on addressing the racial wealth gap by creating resources to support Black male entrepreneurs with its 501c3 status pending.
But the wait is over.
“It feels great,” said Alfred Duncan, founder and chief operating officer at Black Men Ventures. “It’s a sense of relief, and there’s also excitement. It allows us to go out and aggressively seek funding for our purpose. It allows to talk officially. We’ve talked to people who considered giving us money, but there was some hesitation because we weren’t a 501c3. Now it’s a guaranteed tax write-off.”
And that guarantee makes a big difference.
“We can walk into meetings with our heads high and instead of saying pending and raising questions in people’s minds,” Duncan said.
Black Men Ventures founding member Shawn Williams took the leads on the 501c3 application process.
“I feel relieved that the process is completed,” Williams said, “and that we have mitigated the largest fundraising barrier.”
Williams worked directly with an agency which helps organizations like Black Men Ventures secure their non-profit status.
“The application was pretty straightforward, but there were questions in there that that if you don’t know the in’s-and-out’s of them – or do a tremendous amount of research – you can goof it up,” Williams said. “Once this other company did it, we were on pins and needles. That’s how waiting feels. I felt confident we were going to get it right, because they had a guarantee.”
Williams originally thought the letter from IRS was a request for more information.
Instead, it was the good news the Black Men Ventures had been waiting for over a year.
“We were approved,” Williams said. “They got it in one take.”
The non-profit approval ultimately means Black Men Ventures can now provide even more support to Black male founders.
“It removes a barrier of people who wouldn’t do business with us if we’re not a non-profit,” Duncan said. “With getting official money, we can help more founders officially:”