One of the most common questions we get is if we are or are going to become a non-profit. To clear up any questions or confusion about this, we’ve added a page to our About section to explain in detail.
In summary, we are not a non-profit. We are a mission driven company – a limited liability corporation (or “LLC”), by law.
To become a non-profit requires significant overhead, including an application outlining what unmet need will be served and why we are unique relative to other non-profits already operating. It requires formation of a board of directors with named officers and a level of accounting transparency to assure public trust. It also constrains how funds can be spent. For example, you cannot start a non-profit to help animals and fund a soccer team with it. (At least not if the athletes are humans, lol).
Maintaining non-profit status requires extensive reporting on sources of funding and expenditures. If we relied on donor funds, we would need to develop fundraising plans and likely hire people to execute on them. While all of these administrative layers are important, it is not how we want to focus our energy. We want to jump right into the work that drives us - helping Black-owned businesses.
For some this raises a question about our motivations. Does this mean we will profit and are therefore driven for financial gain instead of service? Simply put, no.
We want to grow this company and have a big vision of how big it could become but every measure of success we crave is related to our service mission. How many businesses can we support? How many jobs might we and the businesses we help create? How many volunteers might we change through real life experiences? How many compassionists might we develop? How much change might we facilitate to help create thriving, Black communities surrounded by and integrated with other communities?
Will Kesha and I make money? Yes, some day we hope to reach a point where we can get paid a salary. That day has not yet come, but when it does ,our goals are to support our families with enough comfort that our children can grow and pursue careers and philanthropic efforts much like we have. We want healthcare and housing with the occasional vacation. In essence, the American dream.
We are very concerned about income inequality and hope this is evident in the foundations of The Ally League. As we grow, we will create a company policy to define a maximum compensation package that no executive will surpass. We will happily disclose this number when we reach this point.
Another common reason people ask about non-profit status is because they want to know if they can donate, and if they did, if it would be tax-deductible. To address the donor concerns, we have partnered with YP Impact, a Black-led non-profit, to create The Ally League Fund so we can accept donations that are tax-deductible. More importantly, this also allows us to engage with the non-profit community collaboratively to implement the investments we are making in the Black-owned business community, like digital media support and financial services provided at no cost to other Black businesses.
On the business side, non-profits are tax exempt which has obvious monetary advantages. Non-profits are not allowed by law to engage in political activities but we want to maintain that right so we can speak our minds and invest our resources freely. Under campaign finance laws any such activities would be discoverable but rest assured if we are going to take political actions as a company, you will know about it.
Right now, our focus is on growing The Ally League and helping Black-owned companies every day.
We hope this explanation helps you understand how we arrived at where we are. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to The Ally League Fund, you may do so here. Thank you for your support!