FACT CHECK: Do Donations Made Through A Link On The Black Lives Matter Website Go Directly To Democratic Candidates?
A video shared on Facebook claims donations made through the link on the Black Lives Matter website go directly to Democratic candidates.
ActBlue Charities processes online donations for Black Lives Matter. It does not direct those funds to Democratic candidates.
In the video, the man attempts to use the ActBlue Charities link on the Black Lives Matter website to support his claim. He also opens up a page on OpenSecrets.org, a campaign finance database, that shows what appear to be large contributions by ActBlue to Democratic candidates.
But, according to experts, the video misrepresents how ActBlue works and where donations to Black Lives Matter actually go. (RELATED: Image Claims To Show Website For Hiring Professional Protesters)
ActBlue is a nonprofit online fundraising platform for progressive entities. One of its arms, ActBlue Charities, helps “501(c)3 charities build small-dollar fundraising programs with our online fundraising tools,” according to its website. The ActBlue Charities link on the Black Lives Matter website, run by the Black Lives Matter Global Network, simply processes online donations.
“Many charities – especially left-leaning charities – choose to use ActBlue Charities’ services to raise money,” explained Michael Beckel, research director at the “crosspartisan” political reform group Issue One, in an email to the Daily Caller. “Any charity wanting to raise money online must choose one company or another to process its online donations. This is something charities of all stripes hire vendors for.”
Paul S. Ryan, vice president of policy and litigation at the nonprofit campaign finance watchdog Common Cause, told the Caller via phone that a donation for Black Lives Matter is “going through ActBlue” but does not stop there.
“When Black Lives Matter asks people to contribute to Black Lives Matter, and then those donors click on a link and end up on the ActBlue page, that money is going to Black Lives Matter,” Ryan said. “That money is going through ActBlue, it’s not stopping at ActBlue. It’s not stopping at ActBlue and being given to Joe Biden.”
OpenSecrets.org, run by the Center for Responsive Politics, also disputed on Twitter the notion that money raised by Black Lives Matter through ActBlue Charities goes to Democratic candidates.
ActBlue is a fundraising platform used by Democrats & progressives. Like WinRed on the right, many candidates use it to process donations but that money isn’t pooled to be shared across candidates or groups. A donation to BLM through ActBlue goes just to BLM, not any other group. https://t.co/rb5sF7VbwA
— OpenSecrets.org (@OpenSecretsDC) June 11, 2020
“ActBlue is a fundraising platform used by Democrats & progressives. Like WinRed on the right, many candidates use it to process donations but that money isn’t pooled to be shared across candidates or groups,” reads the tweet. “A donation to BLM through ActBlue goes just to BLM, not any other group.”
A spokesperson for ActBlue confirmed in an email to the Caller that when a person donates on an ActBlue or ActBlue Charities page, the donation is earmarked for the group on the form and goes directly to that receiving entity. Funds earmarked on ActBlue Charities for Black Lives Matter go to the group through its fiscal sponsor, nonprofit Thousand Currents.
The inaccurate claim started circulating online amid nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality following George Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis police custody.