Over $100k tied up in dissolved Richmond nonprofit, city hopes to help

Over $100k tied up in dissolved Richmond non-profit, city hopes to help
Posted at 5:54 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 05:59:17-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- It's been nearly three weeks since leaders of an over three-decade-old nonprofit, the Enrichmond Foundation, voted to dissolve.

The group handled funds for dozens of smaller community groups, but since then, the groups said they haven't been able to access it.

In the long-term, Jeffrey Burden has high hopes for Shockoe Hill Cemetery.

"Hopefully, will become again as it was 150 years ago, a park-like setting, an attraction for people," Burden said.

The group that he works with, the Friends of Shockoe Hill Cemetery, has been working to make that goal a reality since 2006.

"It really was a desire to see this place better taken care of," Burden said.

However, in the short term, their ability to help has been hampered.

"It's very significant, catastrophic, even in effect for us in terms of what we can do," Burden said.

In June 29, the board of the Enrichmond Foundation decided to dissolve.

For over 30 years, the nonprofit helped smaller community groups by allowing them to get tax-free donations and would hold onto that money, dispensing it as requested.

However, since the vote to dissolve, Burden said that they are unable to access that money, which makes planning for the future difficult.

"We have one specific event planned for the fall that is now on hold, waiting to see if there's some resolution to the current situation that may or may not go forward," Burden said.

Burden's group isn't alone.

Enrichmond's website, which is now empty of most information, said that it served over 100 groups.

The City of Richmond is also looking into the fallout and said that it has reached out to the groups to see if they need help fundraising as early tallies show at least $121,000 have been tied up among them.

"Make sure that you see them, we see there might be some challenges and we want to find the solutions for those problems," Reggie Gordon, Richmond's deputy chief administrative officer, said.

The city is watching for another potential impact as Enrichmond also owns two historic Black cemeteries, Evergreen and East End.

Richmond's Parks' director Chris Frelke said that they are reviewing the groups' dissolution papers to see what will happen to them.

"My understanding is that it says it could go to the park or the department of parks and recreation or the agency. So that's still being determined at this point," Frelke said.

As for Burden, he said his group is trying to determine their next steps, including finding someone to replace Enrichmond's services or become a nonprofit themselves.

"We're just waiting for some substantive information that will help us guide our next steps. And we're hoping that's forthcoming this week," Burden said.

When CBS6 first reported this story earlier this month, the attorney that was picked to lead the dissolution process said he hoped to have a statement in the coming days.

At this time, he said that his client was not read to release any additional information but he is hopeful to be able to release something soon.



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