Attorney General James Orders Black Lives Matter Foundation to Cease Solicitation of New York Donations

The Black Lives Matter Foundation, Unrelated to the Black Lives Matter Movement, Was Recently Scrutinized for Accepting Donations Intended for the Globally Recognized Movement 

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today issued a notice to the Black Lives Matter Foundation, and has directed the organization to immediately cease and desist soliciting contributions from donors in New York. The foundation, which has no affiliation with the Black Lives Matter Movement, has not registered as a charitable organization in the state of New York, making contributions solicited within the state illegal.  

The Black Lives Matter Foundation has faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks for accepting donations meant for the Black Lives Matter Movement to end police brutality.  

“Every organization that seeks to solicit donations from New Yorkers must follow state laws,” said Attorney General James. “We will also fight for transparency so that donors’ goodwill isn’t preyed upon by opportunists. The Black Lives Matter Foundation failed to register or file any financial documents with the state, and therefore has failed to provide New Yorkers with information on how their donations will be used. That’s why we are taking action by demanding that the foundation stop soliciting contributions from New Yorkers. I encourage all donors to practice due diligence when giving to charities.”  

The Black Lives Matter Foundation is immediately required to: 

  • Cease soliciting contributions or engaging in any other fundraising activities in New York; 
  • Notify any third parties engaged in solicitation or fundraising activities on its behalf in New York that they must cease such activities, and 
  • File all financial reports as required by law for each year the foundation engaged in charitable solicitation or other fundraising activity in New York. 

To make sure that your contributions go to legitimate organization, please consider these tips:

  • Check Before Giving. Donate to charities you are familiar with and carefully review information about the charity before you give. Most charities are required to register and file financial reports with the Attorney General's Charities Bureau if they solicit contributions from New Yorkers. Check the OAG website, charitiesnys.comfor financial reports of charities or ask the charity directly for its reports. 
  • Ask How Your Donation Will Be Used. Find out how the charity plans to use your donation, including the services and individuals your donation will support.
  • Be Wary of Newly Formed Organizations. Often, in the aftermath of tragedies, new organizations are formed with claims that they will assist victims. While some of those organizations may be doing just that, others turn out to be scams. Before making a contribution to a new organization, find out who is running it and how it plans to use donations.
  • Be Careful When Giving Through Social Media. Social media sites are often used to raise money for charitable causes. Before giving through these sites, check out who is behind the fundraising efforts and ask the same questions you would of a charity.
  • Exercise Caution Before You Text A Contribution. Check the charity’s website or call the charity to confirm it has authorized contributions to be made via text message.
  • Don't Give Cash. Give directly to the charity either by check made payable to the organization or through the charity's website.
  • Be Careful About Personal Information. Avoid giving credit card or personal information over the phone or by text message. In all cases, make sure you are familiar with the organization to which you give such information and check to see that the fundraising campaign is legitimate.
  • Report Suspicious Organizations. If you believe an organization is misrepresenting its work, or that a scam is taking place, please contact the Charities Bureau at