“It definitely sounds messy, on multiple levels.”
Black Lives Matter, the official non-profit organization, is swimming in cash. Yet no one knows who is in charge and people are starting to ask questions.
This is from New York Magazine:
The BLM Mystery – Where did the money go?
Fledgling nonprofits that have not yet been recognized by the government as tax exempt often make temporary use of what is called a fiscal sponsor in order to process donations and handle other administrative tasks, giving up a percentage of the incoming funds in exchange. In 2016, the Black Lives Matter founders partnered with a sponsor now called Thousand Currents, and its official filings give a window into BLM fund-raising over the years. Thousand Currents’ revenue increased dramatically after taking on the organization, from $1.7 million in the year ending June 2015 to $6.6 million a year later. In the fiscal year concluding just after Floyd’s 2020 murder, revenue shot up to $86.9 million.
At one point, BLM agreed to pay Thousand Currents 15 percent of all funds raised. The typical industry rate is between 5 and 10 percent, according to Candid, an information service that reports on nonprofits. After the 2020 surge in donations, BLMGNF switched fiscal sponsors to a division of the Tides Foundation, a larger organization that says its fee is 9 percent of revenue and less for groups with contributions exceeding $1 million. (In a statement, Thousand Currents says the sponsorship transition began in 2019 and that it has given away 45 percent of its most recent BLMGNF revenue to social movements.)
BLMGNF has never been a model of fiscal clarity, and even people close to the organization find its arrangement confusing. Over the years, there have been nonprofit and for-profit arms. The BLM Global Network Foundation is distinct from the dissolved BLM Global Network, which is distinct from the BLM Action Fund, BLM Grassroots, and the BLM Political Action Committee. Tides sponsored an effort called the BLM Global Network Project and replaced it with the BLM Support Fund. BuzzFeed News reported in 2020 that Apple, Google, Microsoft, and other corporations nearly donated $4 million to an entity called the Black Lives Matter Foundation before realizing it had no connection to the group started by Cullors. (The look-alike charity, in fact, advocated “bringing the community and police closer together.”) Thousand Currents later acknowledged to BuzzFeed that it had made similar errors in its tax records. “On the face of it, it does not necessarily sound nefarious,” says Jacob Harold, a former CEO of GuideStar and the co-founder of Candid. “It definitely sounds messy, on multiple levels.”
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.