After stalling for several years, the Black Lives Matter organization finally disclosed what happened to its $60 million in donations since 2020. The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation spent over half of its donations in various ways, to the tune of $18 million. Based on this delayed filing, Black Lives Matter may have $42 million left in the bank after its multi-year spending spree.
The New York Times neutered the controversy around the Black Lives Matter organization, which has been heavily criticized for years by conservatives. Yet the 990 form, which is an Internal Revenue Service form mandated for non-profits, left more questions unanswered.
First, the foundation claimed that its spending went to small organizations, consultants, and real estate deals. Yet the spending suggested that the spending benefited Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, her family and her associates rather than the donors.
The form listed Cullors as “an unpaid volunteer” and a family member named Paul Cullors was paid over $840,000 for “professional security services.” The disclosures of only having two paid staff compared to over 49,000 unpaid volunteers indicated that there was little accounting oversight, which may have contributed to the organization’s spending spree.
There were also significant questions about financial mismanagement, such as when Black Lives Matters shelled out $150,000 for an election night live stream event to the father of Cullors’ child and paid Cullors up to $20,000 per month through a consulting firm.
Also, conservatives blasted Black Lives Matter for allowing Cullors to buy up property with donated funds. Cullors spent $3.2 million buying four houses in Georgia and southern California, but it was not clear whether it was with Black Lives Matters’ money or her own. Cullors claimed that she spent private earnings on these properties.
She also bought a mansion in Los Angeles, which allegedly served as a studio and gathering spot for Black Lives Matters organizers like her. The mansion has a total of 6,500 square feet and it was purchased in secret. The mansion has over six bedrooms and bathrooms, multiple fireplaces, a pool and bungalow, a soundstage, and parking for about 20 cars and cost $6 million. In the 990 form, Cullors referenced to using the mansion to hold a birthday party for her son at the mansion.
None of the affiliate or state chapter groups were told about the purchase, despite Black Lives Matters’ insistence that it is transparent with all of its activists.
But the 990 form omitted some of its financial data, which the New York Times called a “delayed snapshot.” The Times reported, “The form covers the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021, nearly a year ago.” Meaning, Black Lives Matter is over a year behind in declaring its financial status and where donations went from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
Left unsaid was that Black Lives Matter had not filed the proper tax paperwork required of non-profit organizations since 2020. Instead, it turned over its finances to Clinton ally Marc Elias, whose firm promptly changed its fiscal year dates to apparently delay filing its annual tax reports with the state and federal governments.