Protesters demonstrate against police brutality and the death of George Floyd outside the St. Louis City Justice Center and City Hall on June 1, 2020 in St Louis, Missouri. | Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images
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