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As the Money Flows

As the Money Flows

Just a few short weeks ago, the nonprofit sector was on high alert due to the loss, or delay, of financial contributions caused by COVID-19. Leaders were bracing for a fiscal crisis. There were massive layoffs, reduction in services and the worry for dollars was an agenda item for every Zoom call.

Today, many likely have a sense of relief as witnessed through the public statements from nonprofit leaders expressing their surprise and gratitude for the unplanned generosity the protests has created.

In response to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook pledging $100 million to fight racial injustice, journalist, Michael Tracey, who is White, tweeted, "The nonprofit industrial complex is absolutely loving this, a host of self-proclaimed anti-racism experts will be getting huge paydays to conduct various compulsory trainings."

Recently, Forbes ran a story on Steve Boland, a board member for the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF), founded three short years ago in 2017.

Boland shared the MFF raised $20 million in four days after the death of #GeorgeFloyd. As of this writing, the MFF has raised $35 million. That amount is $11 million more than contributions to George Floyd's family via their GoFundMe account.

What rarely gets connected with such large influxes of unrestricted donations to nonprofits is that they now have funds to pay salaries and provide other benefits to employees. Benefits such as healthcare, retirement accounts, etc. They can upgrade their office space or purchase buildings. They will be able to earn additional revenue through investments. They may also set up an endowment savings fund. Their governing By-Laws may detail how the funds are passed to another nonprofit should they go out of business. It is unlikely an average donor will not pull a nonprofit's 990 tax document next year to ascertain who benefited the most.

And so the cycle continues.

For any business, nonprofit, or otherwise, the MFF, and many predominately White-led organizations, no matter their humbleness, have survived a fiscal tsunami and hit the jackpot.

Meanwhile, Minnesota's Black unemployment rate is double that of Whites. Blacks, and other allies, continue to risk their lives daily by exposing themselves to a deadly disease to declare our freedom. We owe it to them to ask, how many jobs will be created for Blacks who live in Minneapolis, or across the nation from nonprofits? Providing services is no longer enough of an impact.

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