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Protests Spur Surge in Donations, Giving ActBlue Its Biggest Day of the Year

  • June 02, 2020

One nonprofit in Minneapolis, the Lake Street Council, reported raising $2.25 million as of Monday morning from 27,000 donors. It said it would use the money to help rebuild businesses, “many of which are black- or minority-owned.”

In Illinois, the Chicago Community Bail Fund reported receiving more than $1.6 million from 30,000 people. An effort in Los Angeles, the People’s City Council Freedom Fund, went viral and jumped from $1,500 raised as of early Saturday to more than $860,000 on Monday from more than 21,000 contributors.

“Watching the numbers climb was surreal,” said Sabrina Johnson, an organizer with the Los Angeles group, which was initially raising funds to pay for tickets people received in April protesting the mayor’s response to the coronavirus. Ms. Johnson said the fund was now partnering with a local chapter of Black Lives Matter and the National Lawyers Guild, a progressive group, to distribute the windfall.

The group posted a cautionary note on Twitter after donating went viral. “If you share it,” it wrote of its GoFundMe page, “please let your followers know it’s not just a bail fund!”

For the Minnesota Freedom Fund, which posted a note directing people to other organizations on Saturday, the volume of money was staggering. In the group’s most recent tax form available online, from 2018, it reported receiving $110,000 in donations.

“We have been flooded with tens of thousands donations large and small, totaling around $20 million dollars,” the group said in a note. “We did not ask for or anticipate this massive outpouring of support.”

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