Black United Fund Sacramento Valley, Inc.

The mission of the Sacramento Valley Black United Fund (AKA Black United Fund of Sacramento Valley or BUFSV) is to create, maintain, and empower African American, ethnically diverse, and economically challenged communities through nonprofit development and organizing.

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Address: 4104 44th Street
Sacramento, CA 95820
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Kakwasi Somadhi
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-484-3750
Fax: 916-453-0622
The year 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the Sacramento Valley Black United Fund (BUFSV). The organization was incorporated in California in 1992 as an affiliate of the National Black United Fund, (NBUF) which is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. In the early days, BUFSV existed under the IRS group exemption umbrella of NBUF. Shortly after incorporating, the board of directors elected to do business as the Black United Fund of Sacramento Valley, and in 2012, BUFSV was re-certified by IRS independently of NBUF. However, BUFSV is still part of the National Black United Fund community as an affiliate. National and affiliates share the same mission: 'to create, support and sustain Black American social, economic, cultural, and educational institutions through the enhancement of community philanthropy.' The signature contributions of the Black United Fund of Sacramento Valley to the community are the workshops it has conducted through the years to help small nonprofit organizations get started and find ways to sustain themselves. BUFSV has managed to stay in existence since 1992 in spite of its all-volunteer status and small budgets. In that respect, it is a model of perseverance for other nonprofits that are experiencing hardships.
BUFSV has overall critical needs in the following areas: fundraising, part-time administrative staff, and more centrally located affordable office space. In addition, the current board has not been successful in recruiting new board members except on a temporary basis, and thus, the organization needs new and more board members. Our top needs: 1. Funding: Unrestricted - Current funds are unrestricted, except for the annual Congress of African Peoples' Convening, held each fall since 2001.Unrestricted funds will allow the board to allocate to programs where needed. 2. Board Members - The current board is dedicated and active; however, the current members have served for three years, and the organization needs two new board members. The board is actively recruiting. 3. Funding: Other - To better assist the community, we are finding it necessary to expand beyond being a completely volunteer organization to having one paid staff person. The board is currently looking into starting with a part-time, paid intern. 4. Space: Office or Other - The organization's current office is located in a residential neighborhood. It is a house donated to the Black United Fund as an annual in-kind contribution. However, we are on the waiting list to move to the Fruit Ridge Collaborative, a re-purposed, elementary school in the SCUSD. 5. Funding: Program - Continuing to expand outreach for the 'Growing Our Own' Program by increasing the number of workshop offerings, instituting more consistent follow-up and success measures, and giving more direct grants: $6,000.
In fall 2014, the Black United Fund of Sacramento Valley, BUFSV, became part of the Sacramento African American Nonprofit Coalition. All nonprofits in the coalition were in the 2015 Big Day of Giving. They formed to enhance philanthropy in the African American community, including those considered economically challenged. The coalition successfully held high-profile activities in 2015 to raise awareness about the Big Day of Giving, and has continued its activities for the 2016 event. The coalition's mission meshes with that of BUFSV, and members have attended Black United Fund workshops.

Although BUFSV is small, carries out its services with volunteers, and gives grants of $500 or less, it nevertheless has persevered and has made a notable impact on the nonprofit sector in the Sacramento Valley. As seen in the documents submitted showing the organization's activities over the years, the nonprofit development workshops have been the staple service, and several hundred people have participated in them since 1992. Since then, the organization has given over fifty small grants, including the grant connected to the annual Bremond Memorial Award. The grants are from $250 to $500 depending upon available funds.'

'In addition, the organization is known for program collaboration with other nonprofits. Since 2003, BUFSV has been a primary supporter of the annual Congress of African People's Convening, a forum allowing community members to voice their concerns around a theme. Examples of themes over the years: mock political conventions to inform the community about the political process, the state of education in local communities of color, health conditions and resources for the region and the state, community-law/enforcement relations and the criminal justice system, and so on. However, BUFSV still must realize its potential as a catalyst for communication among small, grassroots nonprofits in this region. Just as the National Council of Nonprofits and the California Association of Nonprofits provide services to help other nonprofits, BUFSV has a similar mission for communities of color. Why? The dissolution rate of nonprofits in communities of color is high. Their available funds are often so low that they cannot afford paid staff or rent. The Black United Fund has experienced these same issues yet stayed in the game, helping as best we can. As the founder and most persistent volunteer, I believe this experience equips the Black United Fund to be a clearinghouse and resource for others.

Kakwasi Somadhi, Founder, and President