The nonprofit Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has been beleaguered by criticism over its finances for years, and the heat only turned up this week as new tax filings reveal large payments to the co-founder’s friends and family, and huge real investment investments. RedState earlier brought you the story of a controversial $6 million Los Angeles mansion bought by the group in 2020.
She should have paid him for procreative services, not creative services
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) May 18, 2022
The Associated Press reveals:
In a new, 63-page Form 990 shared exclusively with The Associated Press, the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc. reports that it invested $32 million in stocks from the $90 million it received as donations amid racial justice protests in 2020. That investment is expected to become an endowment to ensure the foundation’s work continues in the future, organizers say. It ended its last fiscal year – from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021 – with nearly $42 million in net assets. The foundation had an operating budget of about $4 million, according to a board member.
Eyebrows were certain to be raised with the revelations the foundation paid nearly $970,000 to a company founded by a man who fathered a child with BLM Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors, and that they also paid more than $840,000 to a security firm run by her brother. The foundation also provided more than $73,000 in private jet trips for Cullors, although she has since paid them back.
In all, the foundation spent more than $37 million in 2021 on grants, consultants, real estate ($12 million worth), and other expenses—yet still has $42 million left.
Co-Founder Patrisse Cullors resigned from the group in 2021 as the controversies picked up steam, but addressed the controversies Monday in an MSNBC podcast. Regarding the tsunami of donations the group received after the death of George Floyd, Cullors said:
Yes, it was a major shock. It was also a lot of like, ‘Oh, wait, I did not see that coming.’ You know, contrary to what, you know, has been reported, much of the funding that came in was from individual donors. That was a lot of White guilt money. There’s a lot of White folks being like, ‘We just got to put the money.’
She further explained that the group had no infrastructure to handle the massive influx, and now the mistakes are being “weaponized” against her.
The Associated Press though points out that there are real issues:
The tax filing suggests the organization is still finding its footing: It currently has no executive director or in-house staff. Nonprofit experts tell the AP that the BLM foundation seems to be operating like a scrappy organization with far fewer resources, although some say Black-led charities face unfair scrutiny in an overwhelmingly white and wealthy philanthropic landscape.
Where there is smoke, there’s usually fire. While the foundation may have been set up with good intentions, the constant revelations of questionable financing decisions must be making at least some donors wonder—where exactly did my money go?