Black Lives Matter organization has $30 million in assets, not bankrupt | Fact check

Demonstrators gather outside Cup Foods to celebrate the murder conviction of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd, April 20, 2021, in Minneapolis.

The claim: Black Lives Matter is 'officially bankrupt'

A May 24 Facebook video (direct link, archive link) shows a screenshot of a tweet from conservative commentator Benny Johnson.

"BLM Is Officially BANKRUPT," reads the tweet. "Bye Bye!"

The video was shared more than 6,000 times and viewed more than 700,000 times in less than two weeks.

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Our rating: False

There is no evidence the nonprofit Black Lives Matter is bankrupt. A recent tax filing from the organization shows it lost money in the last fiscal year, but still had $30 million in assets. A spokesperson said the organization isn't at risk of going bankrupt.

BLM not bankrupt, per latest tax filing

A document filed in May by Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation Inc., a global organization founded in 2013, shows it raised slightly more than $9 million in its last fiscal year, which ran from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022.

That's far less than the $90 million the group raised amid a wave of social justice protests in the summer of 2020, the Associated Press reported. The 60-page tax filing also shows the organization spent more than it earned in its last fiscal year, coming away with about $30 million in assets, down from the roughly $42 million in assets it reported the previous fiscal year.

However, there is no evidence the organization is "officially bankrupt," as the post claims.

While it's true the organization lost money during the last fiscal year, that isn't necessarily a sign that it's at risk of going bankrupt, Kevin Rich, chair of the accounting department at Marquette University, told USA TODAY.

"Bankruptcy is a pretty well-defined thing where your assets aren't enough to cover your liabilities," he said. "From that perspective, they've got a $30 million net asset balance, so they're pretty far away from bankruptcy."

Fact check: No, California has not approved $1.2 million in reparations for Black residents

Shalomyah Bowers, who is on the organization's board of directors, told USA TODAY that "the organization is not in any danger of going bankrupt," and described the group's financial position as "strong and stable."

He explained that expenses outpacing revenue for a single year don't mean the group is bankrupt, "particularly when the organization already has substantial assets on hand from previous fundraising."

The organization received a massive influx of donations in 2020 following the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose death at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer led to protests around the world.

"Record-breaking fundraising is just that: record-breaking," Bowers said. "(The organization) obviously does not expect to continue fundraising at such exceptional levels – even as it continues to raise millions of dollars – and has therefore planned its budget and future spending accordingly to ensure a stable and strong financial future."

A group of local chapters and activists known as BLM Grassroots filed a lawsuit last summer in California against Bowers and the organization, alleging he and his consulting firm "broke an agreement to relinquish control of BLM’s digital presence and its finances to the grassroots organizers of BLM." Bowers has called those claims "frivolous" and untrue, according to the Associated Press.

USA TODAY reached out to Johnson for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Black Lives Matter has millions in assets, not 'bankrupt' | Fact check