The deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and the many, many more before them have ignited protests in at least 140 cities in the United States since May 30. In addition to protesting, there are still a lot of ways you can take immediate action. Something you can do right this second is find Black Lives Matter organizations you can donate money to. If you have the means to donate to these organizations, whether that be $10 or $100, every single dollar counts.
To ensure that you're choosing a reputable organization to donate to, Patrisse Cullors, Political Strategist, Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter and Founder of Reform LA Jails, provided a list she recommends to support and follow that are working to end systematic racism. But if you don't have the funds to donate, there's still plenty you can do. For starters, you can support George Floyd's case by signing petitions, as well as texting and calling demanding justice. For resources to find out where you can do all of the above, look to a comprehensive action card from Black Lives Matter.
Hawk Newsome, Chairperson for Black Lives Matter Greater New York tells TZR one way to know if an organization is reputable is by looking at its past work. "You should really look at the actions of the organization, and the actions of the people in the organization," Newsome notes. "We live in a time of social media and you’ll be able to look and see exactly what work a person is doing, exactly what is important to the individual, and how much work they are doing." He uses Black Lives Matter Greater New York as an example explaining how exactly its making a change. "If you look at us, you’ll see us in the COVID-19 crisis feeding people, you’ll see us going door to door taking care of the people in the Bronx, and going back further you’ll see us fighting and advocating for people, you’ll see us shutting down highways, you’ll see us speaking in school after school and colleges and elementary schools, you’ll see real work."
And to know where exactly your money is going, there a few things to look out for. "Sometimes people raise money for specific purposes. Like we [BLM Greater New York] have something called a Peoples Food Program and that money goes to feeding people who are quarantined in the Bronx. Now if you see help support our activism, what that looks like is you’re contributing to the day-to-day functions of that organization so they can advocate successfully. That means you’re contributing to posters, T-shirts, messaging, salaries, administrative fees, transportation costs, things of that nature."
Some organizations have received an unprecedented amount of donations and are now urging those interested in participating to send in donations elsewhere. According to The New York Times, the Minnesota Freedom Fund has received roughly 20 million dollars in donations within four days. The organization has paused accepting donations, so consider sending your money to one of the eight reputable organizations recommended by Cullors below. And don't stop at donating, there's so much we all can do, and that we must do.
Organization You Can Donate To: George Floyd's Family GoFundMe
Directly donate to George Floyd's family through the GoFundMe page made. This was created by George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, to cover funeral and burial expenses, and to help with his family during this time. Above, a photo from June 1 of Terrence Floyd speaking at the site where his brother was killed by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Organization You Can Donate To: Reclaim The Block
Started in 2018, Reclaim The Block organizes the Minneapolis community to move money from the police department to other areas of the city. The organization's mission is to invest money in areas including violence prevention, housing, resources for youth, housing, solutions for addiction, and emergency mental health response teams. You can donate here to help ensure that Minneapolis has the resources needed, and learn ways you can further get involved with Reclaim The Block.
Organization You Can Donate To: The NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund
Founded by Thurgood Marshall in 1957, the Legal Defense and Education Fund is a nationwide organization that fights for racial justify and investigates police-involved murders. Its donation page states, "Donate today to help us win landmark legal battles, protect voters across the nation, and advance the cause of racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society." If you want to contribute more than one donation, you can opt to donate monthly.
Organization You Can Donate To: Black Lives Matter
Founded in 2013 following the murder of Trayvon Martin, Black Lives Matter is an organization that builds power to provide justice, freedom, and healing to Black people all across the world. "We appreciate your support of the movement and our ongoing fight to end state-sanctioned violence, liberate Black people, and end white supremacy forever," its donation page states.
Organization You Can Donate To: Black Visions Collective
Started in 2017, "Black Visions Collective is a Black-led, Queer and Trans centering organization whose mission is to organize powerful, connected Black communities and dismantle systems of violence," its organizational one-paper states. This is done through establishing strategic campaigns, investing in Black leadership, as well as engaging in cultural and narrative organization.
"Funds will go to our on-going work to build a powerful, Black-led organization in Minnesota, expanding leadership capacity so that we are able to meet this moment of crisis, and resources to support our community short term and long term," Yolanda Hare, Operations Manager at Black Visions Collective, tells TZR. "For short-term that might mean buying resources to be deployed at the front line like food, masks, and safety gear. Long term that might mean loans to small business to help them rebuild or covering healthcare costs for Black youth on the frontlines. But we are still in the process of developing effective, visionary, transparent and streamlined ways to deploy resources to the community." Donate by heading to the page on its website.
Organization You Can Donate To: Color Of Change
Color Of Change helps people respond effectively and take action to injustice in the world. "It doesn’t cost anything to be a member, but when you donate, you help us take on more winning campaigns, launch more strategic initiatives, and go after the people who are standing in the way of progress — for Black people and all people," the donation page explains. Color Of Change designs campaigns to challenge decision makers and hold them accountable for policies and practices that promote inequality.
Organization You Can Donate To: The ACLU And The ACLU Of Minnesota
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is a nonprofit organization that was born in 1920. According to its website, "The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States." Cullors notes that The ACLU and The ACLU of Minnesota are coming together to conduct a fair, transparent investigation following the death of George Floyd. To support the organization's investigation, donate on its website.
Organization You Can Donate To: Dignity and Power Now
For those in the Los Angeles area, consider donating to Dignity and Power Now. Started in 2012, the organization fights for the dignity and power of all incarcerated people, their families, and communities. DPN has programs focusing on activism, health and wellness, and leadership building. Help in its fight by donating through Paypal to the organization.
Organization You Can Donate To: The Okra Project
"The Okra Project is a collective that seeks to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people by bringing home cooked, healthy, and culturally specific meals and resources to Black Trans People wherever we can reach them," its website explains. The project runs off of donations to pay Black Trans chefs to cook for Black Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming (TGNC) people, at no charge for them. How can you help in this mission? One session costs 90 dollars, which includes chef's pay and groceries. This breaks down to 18 people could donate five dollars, nine people could donate 10 dollars, six people could donate 15 dollars, three people could donate 30 dollars, or one person could donate 90 dollars. So get a group of friends together and donate to make this possible.
Organization You Can Donate To: The Loveland Foundation
Established in 2018 by Rachel Cargle, The Loveland Foundation commits to supporting communities of color, and specifically aims to help Black women and girls. You can donate to the foundation in a few different ways. These include donating to the Loveland Therapy fund by contributing to its campaign (this will help to reach its goal of providing 1000 women in 2020 with financial support for four to eight therapy sessions), start a giving circle with friends, become an advocate and fundraise via your social media platforms, and being a small business or corporate match.