The national arm of Black Lives Matter spent millions of dollars on travel and compensation over the past three fiscal years, according to financial statements obtained by the Daily Caller, while granting comparatively little to outside organizations, including the group’s local chapters.
The news raises suspicions that top staffers at the organization are cashing in on the movement for racial justice and equality while grassroots organizations go largely unsupported.
Here’s more from the Daily Caller report:
BLM Global Network spent $899,000 on travel, $1.6 million on consulting and $2.1 million on personnel costs during its 2017, 2018 and 2019 fiscal years, the financial statements show, together comprising 83.3% of its total spending during the three year period. BLM Global Network granted $328,000 to outside organizations, which include local BLM chapters, during that same time frame, a figure that represents about 6% of its total spending.
The report comes as BLM Global Network reported more than 1.1 million individual donations at an average of $33 per donation — which adds up to at least $36.3 million — since the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis.
In light of the news, the organization said that it was setting aside over $12 million for local chapters and other black-led grassroots organizations.
Financial statements for the current fiscal year are not yet available.
In response to the report, BLM Global Network Managing Director Kailee Scales told the Daily Caller, “The numbers you have for the prior years do not reflect, for example, the in-kind support for chapters and fundraising directed to chapters and programmatic assistance to chapters, that would not show up as direct grants on the audited financials. That work was carried out by employees and consultants to BLM.”
Scales added that the organization is not responsible for preparing the financial statements, but rather those statements are prepared by a California charity, Thousand Currents.
“The numbers you cite from the annual information return form [sic] our fiscal sponsor reflect IRS-required reporting categories that bear no relationship to how our programs have actually been run,” Scales told the news outlet. “These are not numbers developed by BLM Global Network Foundation and we cannot speak to how they were calculated.”