NEW YORK (AP) – A national Black Lives Matter nonprofit whose philanthropic fortunes soared almost overnight during historic racial justice protests three years ago raised just over $9 million in its last fiscal year, new IRS tax filings show. .
That’s significantly less than the $79 million in revenue reported in Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc.’s previous tax filing. George Floyd in 2020.
A 60-page filing submitted by the organization earlier this month shows that the foundation spent more money than it earned in its previous fiscal year, from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. It ended the year with about $30 million in assets, down from the $42 million in assets it reported in its filing last year.
With the wave of protests over police brutality in the summer of 2020, the BLM non-profit organization raised over $90 million in the first year. New tax filings reveal that the organization has cut operating expenses by approximately 55%.
Cicely Gay, the foundation’s board chair, said the belt-tightening was part of an effort to demonstrate that its managers “have been responsible, active decision-makers for people’s charities.”
“We are building an institution to fight white supremacy and reach black liberation,” Gay said in a statement about the tax filing. “Every dollar we spend is towards reaching that goal.”
The foundation said it will post the new financial documents in the “Transparency Center” on its official website.
Last year, the nonprofit donated more than $4 million to Black-led grassroots organizations, including those founded by families of police brutality victims whose names rally the larger movement. Nearly $26 million went to Black organizations and families during the foundation’s 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Tax documents also show the foundation continued its business relationship with security contractor Paul Kullers, brother of BLM co-founder Patrice Kullers, who resigned as director of the foundation in 2021. Organization for two and a half years, she and, by extension, the organization has faced allegations of misappropriation of BLM donations from critics of the movement and right-wing media outlets. The allegations are unproven.
Shlomieh Bowers, another member of the foundation’s board, said an independent auditor hired by the foundation judged the nonprofit to be in good financial condition. The auditor found that “our financial approach is healthy, with no fraud or abuse within the organization,” said Bowers, whose outside firm received the bulk of the BLM Foundation’s spending on consultants in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
Last summer, a group of local chapters and activists known as BLM Grassroots filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against Bowers and the foundation. The lawsuit alleges that he and his consulting firm broke an agreement to cede control of the BLM’s digital presence and its finances to BLM grassroots organizers.
Bowers called the allegations “frivolous” and untrue.
The two sides await a judge’s ruling on the BLM Grassroots lawsuit, which heard arguments earlier this spring.
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