According to a report from Marketwatch, millions were donated to the wrong “Black Lives Matter” foundation.
Per Marketwatch, donors tried to send an estimated $4.35 million to a California-based nonprofit called the Black Lives Matter Foundation, BuzzFeed News reported, but it has no connection with the Black Lives Matter social justice movement.
Most of the money didn’t end up at the Black Lives Matter Foundation, because officials at companies involved in raising the cash realized the mistake and froze the funding.
The incident shines a light on the growing role that third-party companies play in collecting and distributing the roughly $300 billion that individual Americans give to charity every year.
It’s also a reminder that it pays to do your own research about any organization you want to give money to, especially if you’re donating through online fundraising platforms or employee-matching programs.
“This unfortunate scenario demonstrates the importance of donor diligence,” said Yael Fuchs, president of the National Association of State Charity Officials. She added, “Many online platforms only require that entities raising money prove that they have 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, but having (c)(3) status does not mean that the organization is legitimate or well run.”
Per NBC NY, President Donald Trump blasted New York City’s plan to paint the phrase “Black Lives Matter” on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, calling it a “symbol of hate” and demanding the city spend the money on policing instead.