(TargetLiberty.org) – Following the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police, many Americans were moved to donate to the Black Lives Matter movement. The problem is, some of them gave their money to an organization that has nothing to do with the real BLM.
The Black Lives Matter Foundation is a charitable organization based in Santa Clarita, California. But while its name would lead you to believe otherwise, it’s not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. The foundation only has one paid employee, and its address is listed as a California UPS store.
Nevertheless, many people donated to them, thinking that they were contributing to the movement. In fact, in just the first 5 days of June, over $4.35 million was raised.
Corporations like Google, Microsoft, and Apple along with hundreds of grassroots fundraisers gave the foundation money.
The founder of the BLM foundation, Robert Ray Barnes, told People Magazine, “I don’t have anything to do with the Black Lives Matter Global Network. I have no relationship with them.” He added, “Our whole thing is having unity with the police department.” That is certainly not the goal of the BLM movement.
The Movement Finally Caught On
The real movement says the foundation has been misusing its name. Barnes’ organization is now under an order from the office of California’s Attorney General to cease and desist from further fundraising. And BLM says it intends to follow up to ensure that people are not misled.
Barnes acknowledges there’s a lot of scamming going on, but he doesn’t seem to understand that it appears that he’s also scamming people.
Several corporations, including Google and Dropbox, gave money to the imposter organization through a fundraising platform called Benevity. This platform helps employers match employee donations to charities. Benevity deactivated the BLM Foundation’s profile on June 5.
Educating The Donors
The money the foundation raised was frozen and not distributed. So at least there’s progress being made to educate donors. Benevity says it’s now trying to help its clients redirect the funds to other causes.
After being alerted by the media, GoFundMe also froze all of the funds that were raised on its platform for the foundation. PayPal did the same.
Making the situation even more confusing, the real movement didn’t register its official name, Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc, until 2017. It didn’t have its act together until recently, so it’s easy to see how people could be scammed.
The moral of the story today is before making donations to any charity, donors should do their homework. If people had looked into what the foundation was all about, they would’ve seen that it didn’t match up with the goals of the global BLM movement. Live and learn.
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