Donations to anti-racist movements pass £1.5m

11 Jun 2020 News

Fundraising appeals to support movements and charities fighting racism, including Black Lives Matter, have collectively raised more than £1.5m so far.

More than half of the money (£820,000) was raised for the UKBLM Fund, which supports the work of the UK Black Lives Matter coalition.

Most of the appeals, including the UKBLM one, are raising money for organisations and networks that are not registered charities.

Fundraising platform GoFundMe has set up a dedicated section where donors can see all related fundraisers in the same place.  

Mental health

The fundraising appeals support a wide range of different causes within the anti-racist movement, but there seems to be a growing focus on mental health.

Black Minds Matter, a new fund that pledges to link black individuals and families with professional mental health services across the UK, has raised more than £300,000 in 10 days. 

The fundraiser was set-up by Bristol-based Agnes Mwakatuma and Annie Nash. On the fundraising page, they say that for many black people, the cases of racism and violence such as the death of George Floyd “are deeply triggering” and that “treating mental health must be a priority in the fight for equality and welfare of black people in the UK”. 

A similar fund, called I Am Enough, was set up by TV personality Vas J Morgan, who is known for his role in the reality series The Only Way Is Essex. The fund has raised more than £40,000. 

Sharing funds

Many of the appeals have now passed their fundraising targets. Some of them have announced that they will be passing on some of the funds to other organisations doing similar work.

The Black LGBTQIA+ Therapy Fund appeal was originally started on 2 June with the aim of raising £1,000 to pay for therapy sessions for two black people. It has now raised more than £50,000.

Organisers have opened applications for individuals who need the support and are planning to donate part of it to other charities. They said they are currently in communication with the Albert Kennedy Trust, Unmuted Brum and Gendered Intelligence.

Similarly, youth worker Tanya Compas set out to raise £10,000 for her Exist Loudly Fund, which aims to support queer black young people in London. She is planning to set it up as a community interest company (CIC).

Her appeal has raised more than £80,000 since 2 June, leading her to raise her target to £85,000. She plans to keep £52,000 for her own organisation and share the rest between the Colours Youth Network, Gendered Intelligence, Rainbow Noir, Unmuted Brum and Kamp Kiki.

She wrote on the fundraising page: “Thank you to everyone who has donated. You have quite literally made it possible for me to start up a CIC to support queer black young people.

“Whilst I'm incredibly grateful for all the donations, I think it's also imperative to acknowledge and support the QTIBPOC youth groups that exist already, as I am not the only one here that does this work.”

QTIBPOC is an acronym that refers to “queer trans intersex black people and people of colour”.

Fluid structure

Most of the fundraisers are for organisations and groups that are either just starting out or have only just raised their profile on the back of the ongoing protests.

UK Black Lives Matter, for example, has existed as a coalition since 2016, but is not a registered charity and this is the first time that it has started a fundraising effort of this scale.

In an update on 3 June, it said it would be publishing more details around the organisation and how the funds will be used.

It said: "We completely understand some of the questions around our transparency; watch this space for a full press release and update with clarifications soon.”

One of the few registered charities that has been actively fundraising as part of this movement is StopWatch, which campaigns for a fairer and accountable police and has raised £88,000 so far.

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