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CharityWatch Update On Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation

   Mar 23, 2022

CharityWatch has issued a rating of "?" to Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation (BLMGNF), which indicates that we have specific concerns about the organization's financial reporting. 

According to BLMGNF's IRS Form 990-EZ for the fiscal year ended 12/31/2019, BLMGNF raised $0 in contributions or other revenue and reported $0 in total expenses. As of 12/31/2019, BLMGNF reported having $0 assets, also according to its 2019 Form 990-EZ.

In October 2020, BLMGNF received a transfer in the amount of $66,490,000 from its former fiscal sponsor, Thousand Currents, according to the fiscal 2020 audited consolidated financial statements of that sponsor. CharityWatch contacted Black Lives Matter Global Network (BLMGN) on January 28, 2022 to request a copy of the fiscal 2020 audited financial statements and IRS Forms 990 of BLMGNF, as well as its related organization, Black Lives Matter Grassroots. As of March 23, 2022, we have not received a response. Two previous inquiries sent by CharityWatch in June 2020 to BLMGN about its organizational structure also went unanswered.

CharityWatch anticipated being able to assign a letter grade rating to BLMGNF in early 2022 by obtaining its IRS Form 990 and audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended 12/31/2020 from public sources (such as the IRS or state charity regulators). Unfortunately, this information was not available in any state or federal databases that we checked. BLMGNF's 2020 IRS Form 990-EZ filing was later provided to us by a private source on February 14, 2022, at which point we discovered that BLMGNF changed its fiscal year-end from December 31st to June 30th. Therefore, BLMGNF's 2020 IRS Form 990-EZ reporting is only for the six-month period of 01/01/2020 through 06/30/2020. For that six-month period, BLMGNF continues to report $0 for total revenue, total expenses, and net assets, respectively. 

Due to this change in fiscal year, the $66,490,000 transfer that BLMGNF received from its fiscal sponsor in October of 2020 was not reflected in its 2020 IRS Form 990-EZ. Any expenses the charity incurred between July 1, 2020 and 12/31/2020 were also not reflected in this document for this reason. 

According to a "Delinquency Notice and Warning of Assessment of Penalties and Late Fees, and Suspension or Revocation of Registered Status" (Delinquency Notice) posted on the State of California Department of Justice website issued earlier this year: "The organization BLACK LIVES MATTER GLOBAL NETWORK FOUNDATION, INC. is delinquent with The Registry of Charitable Trusts for failing to submit required annual report(s). An organization that is delinquent, suspended or revoked is not in good standing and is prohibited from engaging in conduct for which registration is required, including soliciting or distributing charitable funds..."

The Delinquency Notice warned BLMGNF that failure to file required reports may result in the suspension or revocation of its registration. It further warned that if required reports are not filed within 60 days of the date of the letter (January 31, 2022), the California Franchise Tax Board may disallow or revoke the organization's tax-exempt status and instead treat it as a taxable corporation, subjecting it to the minimum tax penalty. In addition, failure to file within the 60-day time limit will result in late fees being imposed, according to the Delinquency Notice, which further states, "Directors, trustees, officers and return preparers responsible for failure to timely file these reports are also personally liable for payment of all late fees" (emphasis in original). 

The State of California Department of Justice website has since been updated to reflect Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation's filing status as "Current-Awaiting Reporting." A "Renewal Filing" dated February 11, 2022 includes a copy of the charity's 2020 Form 990-EZ covering the 6-month period previously described. Meaning, this filing does not include any reporting on how the $66,490,000 was spent, or the names of the charity's current board of directors. A March 23, 2022 search on the charity's website for information detailing its current governing body produced no results. 

For more information about CharityWatch's concerns about Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, please read our article, "Concerns Raised Over $60 Million in Black Lives Matter Funds."

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