Where Can I Donate Money in Support of Black Lives Matter?

//Trigger warnings: police brutality, murder//

In the wake of the senseless deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and thousands of other Black Americans at the hands of police, Black and non-Black people alike are speaking out against police brutality and the systemic racism that built it and continues to perpetuate it. Since May 26, protests and riots have cropped up in nearly every major city in the U.S. and even internationally in cities like London and Tokyo. Many of these protests began peacefully but unfortunately turned violent as a result of needless escalation from opposing police forces. Many Black and Brown protestors on the front lines have sustained serious injuries from police weaponry and been unlawfully arrested for exercising their First Amendment rights.

For our white (and non-Black) readers who are enraged at this injustice and want to help, it can be a tough decision to decide whether to attend a local protest or not. The very real threat of police-provoked violence against protestors combined with the ongoing effects of COVID-19 are legitimate concerns. However, it’s important for us as active allies with financial means to do what we can to support those who are working hard and risking their personal safety in the name of justice and liberation from a racist system. With that in mind, I scoured Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for different resources where you can make donations in support of the detained protestors, social justice organizations, Black-owned businesses and the families of the deceased.

sign saying fight today for a better tomorrow

Short on Cash?

With the added financial burden that COVID is putting on many people, not all of us are in the position to give right now even though we might want to. A Black woman named Zoe Amira put together an hour-long YouTube video designed to help people donate to nearly a dozen organizations through AdSense revenue. The video features music by Black artists, inspirational speeches from Black activists and multiple artworks inspired by the movement. Just leave the video playing in the background and don’t skip any of the ads!

Bail Funds

The bail system disproportionately affects Black and Brown people in underserved communities by placing an arbitrary value on nonviolent crimes such as loitering, trespassing and protesting that many low-income people can’t pay. Community bail funds are usually organized by public defender coalitions to help alleviate the cost of paying bail for those who aren’t able to afford it. The Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF) has been the most publicized one so far, and they’ve received nearly $20 million in donations in the four days following George Floyd’s murder. They’re now requesting that any MFF donations be put towards other organizations doing similar work. Below are direct donation links to bail funds in different cities across the country.

  • This ActBlue campaign allows donors to split their donation across 38 different bail funds. You can even choose which specific ones you want to donate to and how much money you want to go to each of them.
  • The Las VegasLouisvilleCincinnati and Tucson bail funds are some of those with the greatest need for donations right now.
  • The Florida Justice Center fund is helping protestors being held in jails across Florida, maybe even in your hometown!

In Memory of the Deceased

  • Official George Floyd Memorial Fund
  • Ahmaud Arbery Memorial Fundraiser– “This fundraiser was designed to assist Ahmaud's mother, Ms. Wanda Cooper-Jones and her immediate family with financial support during this extreme[ly] difficult time and in their struggle for justice for the murder of Ahmaud Marquez Arbery.”
  • Tony McDade Memorial Fund– “This fund is established to cover funeral and burial expenses, mental and grief counseling, and to assist Tony's family in the days to come as they continue to seek justice for Tony.”
  • More here

Organizations that Need Our Help

Behind every protest and demonstration you’ve ever attended or seen on TV is the direct result of the tireless work of community organizers. Here are some organizations, most of them Black-led, that have been fighting for equity and justice in their communities. It’s important to remember that these groups will continue to need donations long after the topic of police brutality stops “trending” on social media, so if you choose to donate to one of these organizations, please consider making your donation reoccurring or monthly!

  • Black Lives Matter - National
  • If you’re passionate about small businesses and the losses many of them have experienced during the riots this week, here is a public Google Doc compiling different donation funds for small businesses who need help rebuilding. See if you can find one from your city!
  • Reclaim The Block is a Minneapolis nonprofit that’s working to reduce the negative effects of police presence in low-income neighborhoods in the city. They also provide significant community resources to the people in these neighborhoods.
  • Black Visions Collective is a Black empowerment organization based in Minneapolis. Right now, many of their members are working to clean up the damage to low-income neighborhoods in the wake of the city’s riots.
  • The ACLU is working right now to secure vote-by-mail ballots for every voter and to release prisoners who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, is running for Miami-Dade County Commissioner on a platform of affordable housing, improving city transportation and ending gun violence. Donate to her campaign here!

Even More Important than Money:

Donating is great, but perhaps the most important thing we as non-Black allies can do right now actually costs nothing at all. We need to look within ourselves and examine our own privilege. How does my privilege benefit me? In what ways do Black and brown people have to fear for their lives and safety that I don’t? How might I be subconsciously treating my Black friends, colleagues and community members differently? When friends or family members make racist jokes in my presence, do I confront them or do I let it slide? How do I feel when I see a homeless Black man on the street or when a homeless Black man approaches me? Why is that?

This work is not easy, and it’ll never be fully complete. None of us are born with a complex understanding of how our privilege unjustly prioritizes us. But in order to begin understanding it, we have to listen to our Black friends about the issues that affect them and validate their feelings. We need to be careful that, when we’re speaking out against racism and injustice, we’re not accidentally making it about us and our feelings. We need to be critical of the systems in place (such as the police and the criminal justice system) that protect us at the expense of Black people. We have to visibly show our support for the Black community, today and every day. Black lives matter.

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