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Minnesota Freedom Fund Gets Dragged After It Spent $200K Of Millions In Donations
The nonprofit has raised over $30 million in the past few weeks following George Floyd's death.
The Minnesota Freedom Fund is under fire after it publicly revealed it had only spent $200,000 to bail out protestors after raising millions over the past few weeks.
After George Floyd’s death, the MFF which was founded in 2016 received tens of thousands of donations from around the world, according to the New York Times. The small nonprofit's emeritus board president Octavia Smith shared most of the donations stemmed from social media. To be clear, on the MFF’s official website, they publicly shared that they’d raised over $30 million to assist protesters.
On Twitter, the organization shared:
"Appreciate all those calling for transparency. We see y'all. Our values and mission have not changed since 2016. Be on the lookout for things coming on our end. Be well.”
The Minnesota Freedom Fund also added, "Without jeopardizing the safety of the folks we bailed out we paid well over $200k in the weeks since the uprising alone. We are working on doing more."
After these tweets, social media users began to demand for the nonprofit to divulge where the rest of the donations were. One user wrote the lack of transparency made her “absolutely sick” especially because the majority of donations are probably “broke college students, bipoc, or queer.” The user also added it doesn’t sit right with them.
Another person who called out the MFF noted other bail funds were sharing where donations were going. This includes the Portland Bail Fund and the Silicon Valley Bail Fund who both send donors daily breakdowns.
On a FAQ page on their official website, the MFF noted that they are small and typically pay out only $1,000 in the course of a normal day. Additionally, the organization shared they are grateful for the overwhelming support they’d been receiving.
The response on the FAQ page also read, “We did not anticipate nor ask for this, but we will continue to do our part. Our work is deeply grounded in our support for racial and economic justice. The money raised allows us to continue our mission.”
The Minnesota Freedom Fund has temporarily stopped accepting donations, according to their website. The nonprofit also noted that they "will prioritize posting bail for those arrested demanding justice for George Floyd."
Early in the morning, the MFF decided to clear the air on the ongoing social media debacle. In a series of tweets, the nonprofit shared facts critics should know. One main point included: "All protest-related bail so far that has come our way has been paid and we're going to keep that up." Additionally, the MFF noted their work includes coordinating supporting for individuals fighting charges. This is not limited to "legal representation, court fees, and transportation."
Take a look at the thread below.
\u201cWe stand ready to pay all protest-related bail (that isn't for Nazis - we're here for community). \n\nBut what about "catch-and-release" protesters? Many people had no bail but were scooped up and charged, and now have ongoing legal costs.\u201d— Minnesota Freedom Fund (@Minnesota Freedom Fund) 1592315222
\u201cTo say again: we are paying, and have paid, all protest bail that's come our way. There are a lot more people in jail on bail. Now, we can help on a scale impossible last month. We want to spend this money down to get people out of cages (ICE too) and we want to do it right.\u201d— Minnesota Freedom Fund (@Minnesota Freedom Fund) 1592315222
This article was published on Tuesday, June 16, it was updated the same day.