by Robert Stilson JUNE 18, 2020
The May 25 killing of George Floyd by a police officer Derek Chauvin—who was subsequently charged with Floyd’s murder—touched off a nationwide wave of protests and riots that have thrust Black Lives Matter back into the forefront of America’s consciousness. But what exactly is Black Lives Matter as an organization?
However, a number of distinct entities operate to one degree or another within the broader Black Lives Matter framework, and they make use of the term or a closely related variant. Two groups in particular—the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation and the Movement for Black Lives—appear to be networks of particular coalescence.
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation
Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation is probably the central Black Lives Matter organization. It claims Garza, Cullors, and Tometi as co-founders and operates the BlackLivesMatter.com website. It has been a fiscally sponsored project of Thousand Currents, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, since 2016. Fiscal sponsorship is an arrangement through which an organization that does not have its own IRS tax-exempt status can operate as a “project” of an organization that does. In the case of 501(c)(3) fiscally sponsored projects, this allows for tax-deductible donations.
Things are further complicated by the existence of a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit named “Black Lives Matter Foundation,” based in Santa Clarita, California (EIN: 47-4143254). Recent reported statements from both this organization and BLM Global Network Foundation have emphasized that they are not in any way affiliated. But Thousand Currents (the fiscal sponsor of BLM Global Network Foundation) reported a combined $90,130 in grants to the Santa Clarita–based Black Lives Matter Foundation on its fiscal year 2018 and 2017 tax filings.