In spite of what just about every mainstream media outlet says, donations made on the Black Lives Matter website, do not always go to Black Lives Matter. They are routed to other progressive organizations. As always, if you see a flaw in my analysis, please post and discuss.
Hang with me on this one it takes a while to get through it.
You may have seen the reports that claim that donations to Black Lives Matter go to Democratic campaigns and those claims have been extensively debunked by many organizations including; FactCheck.org, ABC, CBS and Politifact. Politifact said:
A popular claim on social media asserts that donations to Black Lives Matter go directly to ActBlue, which uses them to fund Democratic campaigns.
It’s wrong. ActBlue is a nonprofit technology organization that provides a platform for people to contribute to Democratic campaigns and causes. Black Lives Matter and Democratic presidential candidates use the platform to fundraise.
ActBlue does not pocket donations that are facilitated by its platform — it routes donations to organizations in a similar way to the Republican fundraising platform WinRed.
The Facebook post is inaccurate. We rate it False.”
My experience is slightly different…
I actually thought about donating to Black Lives Matter and that is why I started researching it. When I went to the DONATE page of BlackLivesMatter.com, It looked legitimate but there were some odd things.
First of all, there is a legal disclosure and disclaimer about ActBlue, the Democratic fundraising platform, that goes beyond any sort of “normal” payment processor disclaimer. In itself not a big deal.
I decided to make a small $1 test donation (like the bank does to verify an account) to see actually what appeared on the receipt. And boy did I get a surprise.
I made my donation and registered my account. I was forced to register my account and save my information before finalizing my donation. Again, being forced to register my account is odd but in itself, not a big deal.
When I got my receipt (see below) there was the lead note, “Thank you for your contribution in support of Black Lives Matter Global Network!”. Ok, again, I thought I was donating to Black Lives Matter (not Black Lives Matter Global Network) but again, in itself, not a big deal.
Then I read at the bottom: “Your donation of $1.00 will be forwarded by ActBlue Charities (FEIN 47-3739141), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, to Thousand Currents (FEIN 77-0071852), a 501(c)(3) organization, as you requested.”
Thousand Currents (FEIN 77-0071852) is this organization https://thousandcurrents.org/about/ and appears to have little connection to Black Lives Matter (other than through ActBlue).
Thousand Currents supports (from their website):
Stand with people who are creating healthy, cost-saving, high-yield, and sustainable food systems.”
Stand with people who are reimagining wealth and putting people and planet before profits.”
Stand with people who are protecting Mother Earth and responding to the climate crisis.”
All I wanted to do was to support Black Lives Matter, not causes that sound like sound bites from the Democratic Presidential Debates.
So my conclusion is. ActBlue isn’t at all like other payment processors. ActBlue does route donations to organizations that the donor did not specifically identify. The media organizations who “investigated ActBlue” specifically said ActBlue doesn’t route money to Democratic campaigns, and while that might technically be true, ActBlue certainly routed my money to a very progressive organization that was not Black Lives Matter. And Thousand Currents is an organization that I clearly would not support if it had been disclosed.
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