New records examined show the national Black Lives Matter group has a greater financial stash than previously acknowledged.
In February 2021, Black Lives Matter spent around a third of the $90 million raised in 2020, leaving it with approximately $60 million at year’s end.
According to previously undisclosed IRS records, BLM raised at least $79 million from the small-donor Democratic fundraising system, ActBlue, in 2020.
They then raised another $13 million in 2021, numbers that likely do not reflect the deluge of donations from corporations that pumped into BLM’s coffers, following George Floyd’s death.
Will BLM and ActBlue ever be held accountable?
— Hyde for Senate (@RobertFHyde1) February 26, 2022
Undisclosed and Missing Funds
“Millions of dollars in contributions to BLMGNF appear to be missing,” said Paul Kamenar, legal advisor for conservative investigative organization, National Legal and Policy Center.
Companies and foundations frequently donate directly to charities, rather than through an intermediary like ActBlue, which takes a portion of the gift as a transaction charge.
BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors remarked that money from 2020 originated from “white company guilt,” meaning many small-dollar donations received through ActBlue did not come from BLM.
BLM did not respond to many requests for information. BLM had various income streams in 2020, contributing to the financial mystery.
During the first quarter of 2020, BLM was a Thousand Currents-sponsored initiative. In July 2020, BLM switched sponsors to the leftist Tides Foundation.
From late July 2020 until mid-February 2021, the ActBlue donation link on BLM’s website directed donations to the Tides Foundation’s Black Lives Matter Support Fund.
Have you noticed that BLM donations go to the despicable Tides Foundation? pic.twitter.com/Mm38MdHyUe
— Darrel Jorstad (@darreljorstad) September 2, 2020
“Tides Foundation c/o BLM Support” paid a total of $3,111,919 in ActBlue fees in 2020, according to ActBlue Technical Services’ January 2021 IRS filing.
Because ActBlue charges a flat 3.95 percent service fee on all donations, the Tides Foundation will earn $78.8 million in small donors for BLM in 2020.
It’s unclear if Tides sent the funds to BLM or kept them.
For donations made after August 2020, BLM informed the California Attorney General’s Office in February.
In October 2020, BLM got $66.5 million straight from Thousand Currents, during which period the Tides Foundation funded it. The IRS approved BLM as a charity in December 2020.
Last month, Cullors admitted to Moorehouse College that Tides and BLM were “keeping money” for the organization in late 2020.
Several attempts to reach BLM and Tides for comment went unanswered. ActBlue Technical Services records show BLM received significant small-dollar contributions in 2021.
ActBlue Tech Services disclosed to the IRS in January 2022 that “Black Lives Matter Foundation Inc.” paid $517,847 in ActBlue processing costs in 2021.
ActBlue Technical Services reported the same San Francisco P.O. Box for “Black Lives Matter Foundation Inc.” as it did for “Tides Foundation c/o BLM Support” last year.
ActBlue raised $13.1 million for BLM in 2021.
Due to the group’s refusal to publish its 2020 funding, California and Washington threatened legal action in February.
BLM recently hired Marc Elias’ legal firm and changed its accounting cycle to July-June, allowing it to keep its 2020 finances secret until mid-May.
BLM’s accounting move got it back into compliance in California, but not in Washington, New Jersey, North Carolina, Maryland, or Virginia.
In an interview with The Guardian on Monday, Cullors said she was tired of being “cast as the fall guy” for BLM because of her real estate deals.