Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation’s latest financial reports reveal that despite declining contributions, the organization is running a huge deficit as board members keep on investing in high-priced consulting companies and overpriced real estate in the United States and Canada.
After the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri racial riots and the killing of black teen Michael Brown, BLM gained widespread recognition. But once George Floyd passed away in 2020, interest in the organization soared. Following that, contributions started flooding into the BLM’s funds, and by the end of the year, the organization had more than $90 million in cash. At that time, BLM formally changed its name to BLMGNF, promising to build a trustworthy group infrastructure that could more effectively handle the flood of funds.
“No one anticipated the foundation to continue expanding at this pace or reach this scale,” said Cicley Gay, who became part of the BLMGNF board in June. “We are now spending time developing an effective infrastructure to manage the largest Black, abolitionist, charitable organization that has ever existed in the United States,” the statement reads.
After founder Patrisse Cullors resigned in May 2021 over allegations that she had misappropriated group money for personal needs, Gay and two other individuals were allegedly asked to join the board in June 2022 to organize the organization’s finances and usher in a new age of openness. Gay, though, has experienced financial hardship on her own, filing for bankruptcy on three occasions since 2005, most recently in 2016. She was still owing over $120,00 when she was chosen for the board.
Gay might be a financial risk, but it might not matter too much since BLM is no longer interested in the issue of receiving more funds than its executives can manage. BLM reported just $9.3 million in revenue in 2022, a startling 88% decrease from 2021, in its tax filings.
And a deeper look at the organization’s expenses shows why BLM still finds it difficult to handle the few funds it presently receives. BLM donated around $3.4 million to several “consulting” companies in 2022 alone that also occurred to be connected to Patrisse Cullors’ relatives and family. Shalomyah Bowers, who succeeded Cullors as the owner of Bowers Consulting, received $1.7 million from the group. It provided $1.1 million to a company run by Raymond Howard’s sister Danielle Edwards, and another $600,000 to a company run by an unnamed board member to resolve “a contract dispute.”