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Roanoke Pride Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education

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1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This organization is not worth supporting due to current 'management'. In 2017, they failed to execute the one event for which the group was founded -- an annual public LGBT pride festival. Roanoke Pride was founded as an educational organization to host an annual gay pride event and raise awareness on LGBT issues. In 2015, it purchased a for-profit nightclub ("The Park") for which the owner (a friend of a Board member) could not find a buyer. The owner kept the land and sold Pride the business, which now pays rent to the former owner who Pride billed as a 'generous donor', possibly due to an improper donor-advised donation for the purchase. At the same time, a companion organization called The Prism Foundation was announced, with plans to spin off a separate 501(c)(3). With these changes, financial candor from Pride ended. At a time when increased reporting was appropriate, there was less. From 2015 until late 2017, no 990s were filed. Attempts to obtain information or bring concerns were met with hostility and rude rants. Even a request to see the original exemption application was ignored. Despite being alerted to do so in 2015, the organization still has not complied with state charity registration requirements, which require disclosure of management and financial information. As of October 2017, not even the registration fee had been paid, and no financial statements were filed. More than two years later, Prism still has no legal existence. Form 990s for Roanoke Pride were filed in October 2017 for 2015 and 2016, but they are grossly incomplete, appearing to exclude any discussion of the nightclub as an asset, investment, controlled entity, disregarded entity, or unrelated trade/business. Nor do they discuss handling of the 'Prism Foundation'. The Board has shrank as the key figures seek to maintain control over information and decisions. In 2017, there were two 'noisy resignations' that alleged improprieties by the core directors.
The same defective directors re-elected themselves recently. In 2017, the Board failed to execute the one event for which the organization was founded... an annual public LGBT pride event, instead passing it off until 2018, while continuing to focus its efforts on operation of the for-profit nightclub in which the main directors of Pride also have management or operational roles (one of whom is subject to an open domestic assault and battery charge under court advisement and is subject to a protective order). Roanoke Pride's website no longer has any administrative information such as board members, bylaws, etc., and hasn't added financial information since 2015. Roanoke Pride's Facebook Page consists primarily of ads for the nightclub. The organization is subject to active investigations. The attached image is from Roanoke Pride's charity 2017 registration packet -- a checklist of things for the organization to include. Not one item is checked, and not one item from the list was included. Not even the registration check. Yet it was submitted by cover letter from Pride's current Chairman with a post-it note promising additional information 'ASAP'. That was in June 2017. Nothing more was forthcoming as of October. But he's at the club, every week. To simply say it is embarrassing is to overlook the criminality involved.

Review from Guidestar