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A ‘dark money’ nonprofit run by one of Black Lives Matter’s founders received $2.5million in donations from a Silicon Valley foundation in 2020, new tax filings have revealed.

Forms filed last month show that Dignity and Power Now – a Los Angeles-based grassroots agency headed by BLM cofounder Patrisse Cullors – secured $4.2million in donations in 2020, with the bulk of that sum coming from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a multibillion-dollar fund based in the Bay Area. 

The firm, which bills itself as ‘a donor-advised community foundation serving the Silicon Valley region,’ is one of the largest funds in the country, and received $2.1 billion in contributions in 2020 alone, tax records show. 

Moreover, the high-powered fund is linked to some of the biggest names in the Valley, including Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Netflix cofounder Reed Hastings, who have all contributed cash to the sizable foundation.

Patrice Cullors dark-money nonprofit has obtained $2.5m in donations from a woke Silicon Valley fund whose benefactors include some of tech's richest tycoons

Patrice Cullors dark-money nonprofit has obtained $2.5m in donations from a woke Silicon Valley fund whose benefactors include some of tech’s richest tycoons 

Cullors Dignity & Power Now obtained more than $2.5m from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Cullors Dignity & Power Now obtained more than $2.5m from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation

Cullors Dignity & Power Now obtained more than $2.5m from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation 

There’s no suggestion any of those tech tycoons donated directly to Cullors’ nonprofit, or of learning whose donations made their way into her charity.  

Cullors, 38, who resigned last May from the activist group in the wake of revelations she’d spent millions on a slew of lavish homes using donated funds, has not commented on the contribution, which amounts to $2.5million, records show.

The ‘dark money’ designation used to describe Cullors’ nonprofit – which was reportedly used to buy BLM brass a 6,500-square-foot mansion in 2020 – is used to describe an entity that does not disclose from where it receives funding.

Speaking to Fox News Friday, the outlet to first report the donation, the executive director for Dignity and Power Now asserted that the transaction was not ‘dark’ and that it was available for the public to see.

Mark Zuckerberg Mark Zuckerberg Jack Dorsey Jack Dorsey

The Silicon Valley Community Fund’s past donors include Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, left, and former Twitter chief Jack Dorsey, right 

‘There is nothing “dark” or non-transparent about money Fox was so easily able to identify the source and documentation for,’ Mark-Anthony Clayton-Johnson told the outlet

‘When we choose to accept philanthropic dollars, it is grounded in the commitment and reality that we move resources directly towards improving the lives of Black and Brown communities whom we serve and are accountable to,’ he continued. ‘Our impact and work speaks for itself and we are proud to continue doing it.’

‘If what you publish contains falsehoods and distortions, we will respond accordingly,’ Clayton-Jonnson warned.

In addition to the funds funneled through the Silicon Valley fund, Cullors’ nonprofit – as well as several other associated charities, have received millions in direct donations from other notable Bay Area tech figures

In 2020, Twitter CEO Dorsey, 45, chipped in $1.5 million to Cullors’ nonprofit.  

That same year, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and Patricia Ann Quillin, the wife of Netflix’s billionaire CEO, both offered generous donations to the tune of millions to Cullors’ PAC and other BLM-linked charities. 

Groups tied to Patrisse Cullors, the activist who co-founded Black Lives Matter, have received at least $7.5 million in donations from tech moguls tied to Twitter, Facebook and Netflix Groups tied to Patrisse Cullors, the activist who co-founded Black Lives Matter, have received at least $7.5 million in donations from tech moguls tied to Twitter, Facebook and Netflix

Groups tied to Patrisse Cullors, the activist who co-founded Black Lives Matter, have received at least $7.5 million in donations from tech moguls tied to Twitter, Facebook and Netflix

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has an estimated net worth of $14 billion, chipped in $1.5 million to Cullors' nonprofit in 2020 Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has an estimated net worth of $14 billion, chipped in $1.5 million to Cullors' nonprofit in 2020

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who has an estimated net worth of $14 billion, chipped in $1.5 million to Cullors’ nonprofit in 2020

Moskovitz – who left Facebook in 2008 but retains a 2 percent stake in the company – his wife Cari Tuna gave to Cullors’ group the most generously, donating more than $5.5 million from 2017 to 2020, according to public records cited by the Post. 

His donations went to Dignity and Power Now, and Reform LA Jails, a California PAC Cullors co-founded to lobby for civilian oversight of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. 

Dorsey, meanwhile, chipped in $1.5 million to Cullors-run groups that year as well, through his #startsmall philanthropy initiative.

The money went to Black Lives Matter and The Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of activist groups founded by Cullors. 

Quillin, the wife of Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings, donated $250,000 to Reform LA Jails in 2020. 

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz his wife Cari Tuna have given the most generously, donating more than $5.5 million from 2017 to 2020 Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz his wife Cari Tuna have given the most generously, donating more than $5.5 million from 2017 to 2020

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz his wife Cari Tuna have given the most generously, donating more than $5.5 million from 2017 to 2020

Quillin, the wife of Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings, donated $250,000 to Reform LA Jails in 2020. Quillin, the wife of Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings, donated $250,000 to Reform LA Jails in 2020. Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings

Patricia Ann Quillin (left), the wife of Netflix billionaire Reed Hastings (right), donated $250,000 to Reform LA Jails in 2020

Cullors’ own finances are entwined to a degree with Reform LA Jails, which in 2019 paid $110,000 in consulting fees to a company controlled by her and her wife, Janaya Khan, according to the Post. 

There are no rules prohibiting officers of a California PAC from paying themselves or family members for consulting services. 

Cullors, who came under fire earlier this year after a report exposed a $6 million Los Angeles mansion purchased by the Black Lives brass that had been previously been kept secret, left her leadership post with BLM in May 2021 after reports regarding a slew of pricey real estate purchases made by Cullors, amounting to $3million, surfaced.

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Last week, Indiana’s Attorney General Todd Rokita sued Black Lives Matter over its alleged misuse of donations after the group refused to reveal who controls its $60million central fund, to find exactly what the state residents’ donations had gone to. 

Members raised eyebrows by splashing the cash on the $6million mansion in Beverly Hills as well as a $3million home purchased by Cullors in Toronto. 

Last week, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit against activist group Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Last week, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit against activist group Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation

Last week, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita filed a lawsuit against activist group Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation

'I filed a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter organization to protect Hoosiers (any resident or person born in Indiana) from this house of cards,' Rokita tweeted 'I filed a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter organization to protect Hoosiers (any resident or person born in Indiana) from this house of cards,' Rokita tweeted

‘I filed a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter organization to protect Hoosiers (any resident or person born in Indiana) from this house of cards,’ Rokita tweeted

Garza, Cullors and Tometi (left to right) co-founded the group, but Garza and Tometi left, leaving Cullors in charge as executive director Garza, Cullors and Tometi (left to right) co-founded the group, but Garza and Tometi left, leaving Cullors in charge as executive director

Garza, Cullors and Tometi (left to right) co-founded the group, but Garza and Tometi left, leaving Cullors in charge as executive director

‘I filed a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter organization to protect Hoosiers (any resident or person born in Indiana) from this house of cards,’ Rokita tweeted.

‘BLM has concerning patterns of behavior & we’ll do what it takes to get to the bottom of it on behalf of generous Hoosiers who have donated to them.’ 

The suit is demanding the organization respond to investigative demands filed in February.

‘The Office of the Attorney General filed a Petition to Enforce a Civil Investigative Demand, which seeks an order requiring BLM to respond to a Civil Investigative Demand issued to the organization in February 2022,’ the attorney general’s office said in a release.

The AG’s suit is some of the most aggressive action taken against BLM after concerns over the group’s finances have swirled for years.

In February 2022, the group stopped online fundraising following a demand by the California attorney general to show where millions in donations received in 2020 went.

It said the ‘shutdown’ was short term while any ‘issues related to state fundraising compliance’ were addressed.

The group’s co-founder Cullors had stepped down as executive director of the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation in May 2021 amid scrutiny of her use of organization funds.

She demanded people ‘understand the enormous pressure and fear that comes with living under the constant threat of white supremacist terror and real threats on my life.’

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation famously grew into one of the largest international movements against racial injustice in mid-2020 but has now come under intense scrutiny over its finances The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation famously grew into one of the largest international movements against racial injustice in mid-2020 but has now come under intense scrutiny over its finances

The Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation famously grew into one of the largest international movements against racial injustice in mid-2020 but has now come under intense scrutiny over its finances

Black Lives Matter secretly used $6 million in donations to buy luxurious 6,500-square foot mansion with seven bedrooms and parking for 20 cars in Southern California in 2020 Black Lives Matter secretly used $6 million in donations to buy luxurious 6,500-square foot mansion with seven bedrooms and parking for 20 cars in Southern California in 2020

Black Lives Matter secretly used $6 million in donations to buy luxurious 6,500-square foot mansion with seven bedrooms and parking for 20 cars in Southern California in 2020

The home features six bedrooms and a pool in the back. BLM claimed the home was bought to provide a safe house for 'black creativity' but had allegedly tried to hide the home's existence The home features six bedrooms and a pool in the back. BLM claimed the home was bought to provide a safe house for 'black creativity' but had allegedly tried to hide the home's existence

The home features six bedrooms and a pool in the back. BLM claimed the home was bought to provide a safe house for ‘black creativity’ but had allegedly tried to hide the home’s existence 

After the purchase of a multi-million dollar mansion was fully exposed earlier this month in an article by New York Magazine, Cullors fired back in a lengthy Instagram post of her own, denouncing saying it was both a ‘racist and sexist attack’ on the organization.

The property was bought for almost $6million in cash in October 2020 with funds that had been donated to BLMGNF (Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation), the magazine reported.

‘That fact that a reputable publication would allow a reporter, with a proven and very public bias against me and other Black leaders, to write a piece filled with misinformation, innuendo and incendiary opinions, is disheartening and unacceptable,’ she stated.

Cullors called the report ‘a despicable abuse of a platform that’s intended to provide truthful information to the public.’

BLM attempted to justify the purchase of the mansion by saying it was made to encourage ‘Black creativity’ with the property ‘a space for Black folks to share their gifts with the world and hone their crafts as we see it.’

Dyane Pascall, president of the Conscious Capital Investment Enterprise real estate company and a former employ of Cullors, bought the LA property from televangelists Shawn and Cherie Bolz in 2016, according to property records.

The purchase came days after BLMGNF received an injection of $66.5 million in donations that had flooded in from around the globe after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis policeman.

The organization allegedly hoped to keep the house’s existence a secret – despite three of its former leaders reportedly filming a series of videos dining and drinking champagne outside the estate last spring, New York Magazine reported.

Documents and internal communications reportedly reveal the luxury property was handled in ways that ‘blur boundaries’ between charitable use and those that would benefit some of the organization’s leaders – including Cullors, who shared video in June of her enjoying a ritzy brunch outside the estate with fellow officials Alicia Garza and Melina Abdullah, who have both since left the organization.

The foundation’s decision to keep mum on the house until confronted last month is unusual for a supposedly charitable – and tax-exempt – organization such as BLM, and it is one that leaves the organization open to further critique and scrutiny, nonprofit expert Jacob Harold told New York Magazine Monday.  

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‘That’s a very legitimate critique,’ said Harold, a former CEO of GuideStar and the co-founder of Candid, an information service that reports on nonprofits, said of the reported purchase. 

‘It’s not a critique that says what you’re doing is illegal or even unethical; it might just be unstrategic. Why aren’t you spending it on policy or, you know, other strategies that an organization might take to address the core issues around Black Lives Matter?’ 

The revelation could negatively affect further donations to the foundation, Harold added, as it continues to face scrutiny over dodgy finances.

In February, foundation leaders were hit with a notice from the Department of Justice asserting that members could be held personally liable if they fail to disclose financial records about the charity’s $60 million in donations within the next 60 days.  

The DOJ requested a copy of BLM’s annual registration renewal fee report and its 2020 IRS tax forms within two months time. 

If the organization fails to submit these documents, its charity exemption status will be revoked. It could also face fines for ‘each month or partial month for which the report(s) are delinquent.’

The letter, which was obtained by the Washington Examiner, threatened that ‘directors, trustees, officers and return preparers’ would be ‘personally liable’ for ‘all penalties, interest and other costs incurred to restore exempt status’. The DOJ noted that ‘charitable assets cannot be used to pay these avoidable costs’.

Day earlier, it had been revealed that BLM has not had designated anyone as in charge of its finances after co-founder Cullors’ resignation.

In a letter dated Monday, California AG Rob Bonta (pictured) requested a copy of BLM's annual registration renewal fee report and its 2020 IRS tax forms within two months time In a letter dated Monday, California AG Rob Bonta (pictured) requested a copy of BLM's annual registration renewal fee report and its 2020 IRS tax forms within two months time

In a letter dated Monday, California AG Rob Bonta (pictured) requested a copy of BLM’s annual registration renewal fee report and its 2020 IRS tax forms within two months time

It is not clear who is currently in charge of the activist group after all three of its founding members – Cullors, Garza and Opal Tometi  – left the organization. 

Included in the the scrutiny into BLM’s finances was a report that the group transferred $6.3 million to Cullor’s spouse, Janaya Khan, and other Canadian activists to purchase a mansion in Toronto in 2001.

California’s warning follows an order from Washington state instructing BLM to ‘immediately cease’ fundraising in the state due to its ‘lack of financial transparency’.

However, the Washington Examiner alleges BLM continues to solicit and receive contributions from Washington state residents despite the order.

The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, is reportedly preparing to file a complaint against the charity. 

‘The National Legal and Policy Center will be filing a formal complaint with the Attorneys General of Washington and California to impose the maximum penalties on BLMGNF for their flagrant and repeated violations of the charity disclosure laws in those states and it seems in many others,’ attorney Paul Kamenar told the newspaper Tuesday.   

The watchdog group’s complaint comes as charity auditors have expressed alarm at the management of BLM’s $60 million in donations, after it emerged that people announced as leading the organization never took up the role, and no one seemed able to say who was handling the finances.

In a letter issued to BLM Monday, the California Department of Justice also accused the charity of failing to submit its annual financial reports and alleged it was in delinquent status In a letter issued to BLM Monday, the California Department of Justice also accused the charity of failing to submit its annual financial reports and alleged it was in delinquent status

In a letter issued to BLM Monday, the California Department of Justice also accused the charity of failing to submit its annual financial reports and alleged it was in delinquent status

Prior to the release of BLM’s 2020 tax records, a 2019 tax filing gave an address for the manse in Los Angeles that does not exist, with the two remaining BLM directors left on the group’s dwindling board not able to assist with tracing the money trail.

Laurie Styron, executive director of CharityWatch, said the findings were deeply troubling, and said they should have filed their 2020 form by now. 

‘Like a giant ghost ship full of treasure drifting in the night with no captain, no discernible crew, and no clear direction,’ she said.

Kamenar told the paper a full audit was needed, describing the situation as ‘grossly irregular’. 

Expert allege the problem began in earnest in May 2021, when Cullors stepped down as director of BLMGN, the national body representing all the individual local chapters. 

Cullors co-founded BLM in July 2013, after a Florida jury acquitted George Zimmerman in the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. 

Alicia Garza, an Oakland activist, posted what she called a love letter to black people on Facebook, writing, ‘Our lives matter.’ Cullors, a friend of Garza, replied with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.

New York activist Opal Tometi then used the words while building a digital network of community organizers and antiracism activists. 

Garza (center) and Tometi (left) are no longer affiliated with BLM. Cullors (right) was its figurehead and leader throughout the George Floyd protests in 2020 - which saw huge donations flood in Garza (center) and Tometi (left) are no longer affiliated with BLM. Cullors (right) was its figurehead and leader throughout the George Floyd protests in 2020 - which saw huge donations flood in

Garza (center) and Tometi (left) are no longer affiliated with BLM. Cullors (right) was its figurehead and leader throughout the George Floyd protests in 2020 – which saw huge donations flood in

In the summer of 2020, leaders sought nonprofit status with the IRS, which was granted in December 2020 – allowing the organization to receive tax-deductible donations directly.  The designation requires the foundation to file public 990 forms, revealing details of its organizational structure, employee compensation, programming and expenses. 

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Patrisse Cullors (pictured) co-founded BLM in July 2013. In September 2020, Cullors signed documents with Thousand Currents transferring $66.5 million into BLM's accounts.. She left BLM in May 2021 Patrisse Cullors (pictured) co-founded BLM in July 2013. In September 2020, Cullors signed documents with Thousand Currents transferring $66.5 million into BLM's accounts.. She left BLM in May 2021

Patrisse Cullors (pictured) co-founded BLM in July 2013. In September 2020, Cullors signed documents with Thousand Currents transferring $66.5 million into BLM’s accounts.. She left BLM in May 2021

In September 2020, Cullors signed documents with Thousand Currents transferring $66.5 million into BLM’s accounts. 

In February 2021, Black Lives Matter confirmed it took in $90 million throughout 2020, distributed to their partner organizations, and had $60 million remaining in its accounts. 

In its report, a snapshot of which was shared with AP, the BLM foundation said individual donations via its main fundraising platform averaged at $30.76 each. 

More than 10 percent of the donations were recurring. 

The report does not state who gave the money in 2020, and leaders declined to name prominent donors. 

Expenses were approximately $8.4 million — that includes staffing, operating and administrative costs, along with activities such as civic engagement, rapid response and crisis intervention. 

BLM said at the time that they were sharing the details in a bid to be more transparent – admitting that their structure and finances had previously been opaque.

But two months later, in April 2021, reports began emerging – provided by the National Legal and Policy Center – which showed Cullors had amassed a $3.2 million property empire by buying four properties – three in the Los Angeles area and one outside of Atlanta. 

Cullors bought this house in South Los Angeles - one of four she owns Cullors bought this house in South Los Angeles - one of four she owns

Cullors bought this house in South Los Angeles – one of four she owns

The activist also bought a home in Conyers, Georgia The activist also bought a home in Conyers, Georgia

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The activist also bought a home in Conyers, Georgia

Cullors now owns three properties in Los Angeles - including this one in the hills above the city Cullors now owns three properties in Los Angeles - including this one in the hills above the city

Cullors now owns three properties in Los Angeles – including this one in the hills above the city

She also owns the above home, which is located in Topanga Canyon She also owns the above home, which is located in Topanga Canyon

She also owns the above home, which is located in Topanga Canyon

The revelation saw many within BLM turned against Cullors, questioning where she had accumulated the money. Cullors has written two books, has a deal with YouTube, and signed a production deal with Warner Bros. in 2020 to develop programming ‘for children, young adults and families.’ 

However, amid the furor she stood down and announced that two people were taking over as executive directors – Makani Themba and Monifa Bandele.

Yet Themba and Bandele in September said that they had never taken up the roles, following disagreements with leadership.

‘Although a media advisory was released indicating that we were tapped to play the role of senior co-executives at BLMGN, we were not able to come to an agreement with the acting Leadership Council about our scope of work and authority,’ they said in a statement.

‘As a result, we did not have the opportunity to serve in this capacity.’

Themba and Bandele said they did not know who was now running BLM, as their discussions never progressed.

Two other people remained on the board, after Cullors’ departure – Shalomyah Bowers and Raymond Howard, according to undated documents obtained by The Washington Examiner. 

Makani Themba was announced as a director of BLM in May 2021, but never agreed terms and never took the job Makani Themba was announced as a director of BLM in May 2021, but never agreed terms and never took the job Monifa Bandele was also named a BLM director, but like Themba did not take the job Monifa Bandele was also named a BLM director, but like Themba did not take the job

Makani Themba (left) and Monifa Bandele were announced as directors of BLM in May 2021, but never agreed to the terms and never took the job

Demonstrators protest in May 2020 response to the death of George Floyd Demonstrators protest in May 2020 response to the death of George Floyd

Demonstrators protest in May 2020 response to the death of George Floyd

Protesters demonstrate on June 2, 2020, during a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City Protesters demonstrate on June 2, 2020, during a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City

Protesters demonstrate on June 2, 2020, during a Black Lives Matter protest in New York City

Bowers served as the treasurer for multiple activist organizations run by Cullors, The Washington Examiner reported, including BLM PAC and a Los Angeles-based jail reform group that paid Cullors $20,000 a month and spent nearly $26,000 on ‘meetings’ at a luxury Malibu beach resort in 2019.

Bowers has not commented on the current status of the $60 million in the BLM coffers.

Howard also refused to comment when asked by the paper, and has since updated his LinkedIn page to remove references to his work with ‘an international social justice organization’.

Meanwhile, Cullors has been tied to even more charities whose finances raise ‘red flags’ after the organization donated hundreds of thousands to the nonprofits which then made payments to Cullors and her business partners, according to a new report on the organization’s spending. 

Cullors had designated some of the $90 million the nonprofit made in 2020 to prison reform charities. 

One of the groups, Reform LA Jails that Cullors founded, had received $1.4 million, of which $205,000 went to the consulting firm owned by Cullors and her spouse, Janaya Khan, New York Magazine reported.  

Reform LA Jails then gave $270,000 to Christman Bowers, treasurer of the Black Lives Matter PAC; $211,000 to Asha Bandelle, a friend of Cullors’ who co-wrote her memoir; and another $86,000 to Trap Heals LLC, an entertainment, clothing and consulting company started by Damon Turner, the father of Cullors’ child.

 

 

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