Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)




Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2017):

Revenue: $2,083,979
Expenses: $1,985,324
Assets: $1,645,885





Executive Director:

Rodney Foxworth

Outgoing Executive Director:

Michelle Long

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Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE pronounced “bahl-ee”) is a left-wing advocacy and organizing group promoting collectivist and localist visions of business and production. BALLE supports three main programs, Local Economy Fellowship, Local Economy Foundation Circle, and Local Economy Investors Circle.



Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) was founded in 2001 by Laury Hammel, owner of a group of health clubs in Boston, and Judy Wicks, owner of the White Dog Café in Philadelphia. BALLE held its first annual national conference in 2003, bringing together players in the localism movement nationwide. 1

Race and Diversity

After a strategic planning process, BALLE expanded outreach and programming directed toward ethnic minority business owners. BALLE started offering scholarships to its annual conference in 2010. An equity committee was started in 2015 following a concerted effort to diversify staff, fellows, and board members. 2


Local Economy Fellowship

The BALLE Local Economy Fellowship program was created in 2011 to address discrimination against people in rural, indigenous, and minority communities attempting to start businesses or buy homes. 3 This immersive two-year program brings together leaders in their communities to give them tools and support to grow their local economies from within. 4

Local Economy Foundation Circle

Formerly the Community Foundation Circle, the Local Economy Foundation Circle started in 2014 to bring together foundations in order to redirect investments into local economies. 5

Local Economy Investors Circle

The Local Economy Investors circle is a meeting of individual, community, and national foundations to share ideas on scaling up the financing of local businesses and non-profit networks. 6

Board of Directors

Current and former members of the BALLE’s board of directors include the following individuals:

José Corona is the director of equity & strategic partnerships in the City of Oakland Mayor’s Office.

Alfa Demmellash is the co-founder and CEO of Rising Tide Capital.

James Johnson-Piett is the principal and CEO of Urbane Development.

Kimber Lanning is the executive director of Local First Arizona.

Dawn McGee is the CEO of Good Works Ventures and the president of High Stakes Foundation.

Nikki Silvestri is the CEO of Silvestri Strategies.

Judy Wicks is the co-founder of BALLE.

Sandy Wiggins is the senior advisor of RSF Social Finance.

Susan Witt is the executive director of the Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Harold Pettigrew is the executive director of the Washington Area Community Investment Fund.

Tomás Durán is the president of Concerned Capital.


  1. Accessed July 23, 2019.
  2. Suarez, Cyndi. “BALLE- Racial Equity From the Outside In.” Nonprofit Quarterly. October 18, 2018.
  3. Martin, Courtney E. “Investing in Local Business to Get an Even Break.” The New York Times. July 31, 2018.
  4. Accessed July 23, 2019.
  5. Accessed July 23, 2019.
  6. Accessed July 23, 2019.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: October 1, 2005

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2017 Dec Form 990 $2,083,979 $1,985,324 $1,645,885 $124,489 N $1,978,295 $103,577 $2,107 $432,083
    2016 Dec Form 990 $2,396,777 $2,166,130 $1,555,315 $132,574 N $2,229,183 $165,071 $2,523 $431,503
    2015 Dec Form 990 $2,463,647 $1,955,492 $1,070,501 $194,705 N $2,185,189 $276,865 $1,593 $495,242 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $2,463,647 $1,955,492 $1,070,501 $194,705 N $2,185,189 $276,865 $1,593 $495,242 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,905,192 $1,774,687 $1,002,859 $523,301 N $1,692,155 $216,144 $3,112 $141,458 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,568,475 $1,451,625 $786,188 $437,135 N $1,391,285 $174,640 $2,550 $144,740 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,634,495 $1,563,880 $722,040 $489,837 N $1,310,695 $322,372 $1,428 $119,500 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE)

    2323 BROADWAY
    OAKLAND, CA 94612-2414