The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF) made more than $90 million amid the unrest that swept the U.S. in 2020.
Disclosing their financial situation for the first time in their eight-year history, the foundation revealed in documents shared exclusively with The Associated Press that much of the windfall came from small donations gathered via their main fundraising platform.
The average donation, according to the report, was approximately $30.
“We want to uplift Black joy and liberation, not just Black death. We want to see Black communities thriving, not just surviving,” the organization said in an impact report provided first to the AP.
The impact report continued:
These realities were not achieved in 2020, nor will they be achieved in the next year. We know systemic change takes time, so we’re in it for the long haul. In the meantime, we need to immediately support our Black communities through our own forms of funding and grantmaking. We are now an organization that intervenes on philanthropy, which is typically an anti-Black space full of bureaucratic hoops of white supremacy. In addition, one of our thematic emphases in 2021 and beyond will be economic justice, in the wake of the devastating socioeconomic effects of COVID on Black working class communities. But these projects will not be standalone instances; to carry them out until the day we reach our vision, we will need fiscal sustainability.
Beginning in 2020, BLMGNF began to build out its endowment, with the goal of using investment in our communities as a way to improve the conditions of Black life. As BLMGNF grows its reach and scope, we will continue expanding our internal capacity to best meet the needs of Black communities. Likewise, the direct impact and scope of our work will stretch into new geographic and thematic areas, thus necessitating a greater pool of resources to fund projects that are more and more expansive.
The AP also noted “the foundation’s coffers and influence grew immensely following the May 2020 death of George Floyd.”
Black Lives Matter had about $8.4 million worth of expenses last year, which included “staffing, operating and administrative expenses, civic engagement, programs and field expenses, rapid response, and crisis intervention,” according to the impact report. They also dispensed more than $22 million in grants to the organization’s local chapters and other black-run organizations around the U.S. They ended the year flush with $60 million.
BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors told the AP that the foundation is focused on a “need to reinvest into Black communities.”
“One of our biggest goals this year is taking the dollars we were able to raise in 2020 and building out the institution we’ve been trying to build for the last seven and a half years,” she added.
Black Lives Matter has faced accusations of being a Marxist organization, especially given past comments Cullors had made in support of the ideology.
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