If you’ve been participating in the recent protests and want to do more, or if you’re unable to participate and want to do something, one way to help is to donate your money or your time. There are a range of organizations that are providing activists with bail bonds and legal help, or that are helping small businesses and other community resources that have been adversely affected.
What follows is only a limited list. Two things should be kept in mind:
First: before you click on a link to donate to an organization or fund, make sure that it is legitimate. Unfortunately, whenever there is a crisis, there are also those out there who will try to take advantage of the larger community’s eagerness to help. In addition, some well-meaning people may start a GoFundMe or other fundraising campaign without first finding out the best way to help or if there are already existing resources. So, as laid out in this helpful Lifehacker article, it’s a good idea not to just click on a social media link; instead, once you’ve picked out a group you want to donate to, go to that group’s website and check them out. You can also investigate more established charities by using sites such as Guidestar or Charity Navigator (although many of these groups are too recent or small to be listed with either).
Another reason to go to a group’s website is that some local organizations, such as the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund and NorthStar Health Collective, are being overwhelmed with donations and are directing contributors to other organizations that may be more in need of help. By doing a bit of research, you can find out where the current need is greatest.
Here are some places to start. We’ve provided links to the organizations and to their donation pages; if you are local to any of them and want to volunteer, there will be links for that on these sites as well.
Bail and legal funds
According to the website: “The Community Justice Exchange is a national hub for developing, sharing, and experimenting with tactical interventions, strategic organizing practices, and innovative organizing tools to end mass incarceration.” It also is the home of the National Bail Fund Network, which links to over 60 community bail and bond funds, including the Minnesota Freedom Fund. You can check out the list of protest bail funds by state if you want to give to a local fund. You can also donate directly to the Network. Donate
According to the website: “Our mission is to provide the highest quality criminal defense and restorative justice services to low-income people, in particular people of color. Our focus is Hennepin County, our priority is juveniles, and our services are at no cost.” Note: Hennepin County is the county in which Minneapolis is located. Donate
According to the website: “Our mission is to use law for the people, uniting lawyers, law students, legal workers, and jailhouse lawyers to function as an effective force in the service of the people by valuing human rights and the rights of ecosystems over property interests.” The National Lawyers Guild and The Legal Rights Center are the two organizations working with the Minnesota Freedom Fund on bail set for protesters. Donate
According to the website: “Our mission is to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities through education, self-empowerment, mass-mobilization and the creation of new systems that elevate the next generation of change leaders.” Set up by Colin Kaepernick, the fund is now providing legal services for those in the Minneapolis area. Donate
According to the website: “CPJ is investigating reports of attacks and arrests in recent days in Louisville, Kentucky; Las Vegas, Nevada; Atlanta; and Washington, D.C.” These incidents include Linda Tirado, the freelance photographer who lost an eye, or Omar Jimenez, the CNN reporter who was taken into police custody even after he identified himself. Donate
Rebuild the community
According to the website: “The Lake Street Council (501c3) will donate 100% of funds to help rebuild Lake Street, starting with direct support to small businesses and nonprofits to help them rebuild their storefronts, reopen their businesses and serve our neighborhoods.” Donate
A Facebook page sponsored by Minnesota’s Bethlehem Baptist Church, it sponsors food and supply drop-offs and distributions around the neighborhoods that are being adversely affected by the disturbances. Donate
According to the website: “Reclaim the Block began in 2018 and organizes Minneapolis community and city council members to move money from the police department into other areas of the city’s budget that truly promote community health and safety.” Donate
According to the video description: “This video project was created to offer people a way to donate and financially contribute to #blacklivesmatter without having any actual money or going out to protest themselves ... 100% of the advertisement revenue this video makes through AdSense will be donated to the associations that offer protester bail funds, help pay for family funerals, and advocacy listed in the beginning of the video.”
For the long term
From the website: “The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. is America’s premier legal organization fighting for racial justice. Through litigation, advocacy, and public education, LDF seeks structural changes to expand democracy, eliminate disparities, and achieve racial justice in a society that fulfills the promise of equality for all Americans.” Donate
From the website: “Funds donated to Campaign Zero support the analysis of policing practices across the country, research to identify effective solutions to end police violence, technical assistance to organizers leading police accountability campaigns and the development of model legislation and advocacy to end police violence nationwide.” Donate
From the website: “We are a news trade organization with a mission of increasing the ranks, retention and profile of reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting.” Donate
According to the website: “With more than 1.5 million members, nearly 300 staff attorneys, thousands of volunteer attorneys, and offices throughout the nation, the ACLU of today continues to fight government abuse and to vigorously defend individual freedoms including speech and religion, a woman’s right to choose, the right to due process, citizens’ rights to privacy and much more.” Donate
According to the website: “We exonerate the innocent through DNA testing and reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice.” Donate
Update June 4th, 10:30AM ET: This article was updated to include additional organizations and links.