There are many, many ways to financially support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, including donating directly (opens in new tab), supporting individuals doing the work, and financially supporting the families (opens in new tab)of victims of racially motivated violence. There is also plenty of information online about how to further the movement in general (and advocates are starting to see real change (opens in new tab)). But what if you want to help (opens in new tab) but can't protest or donate money right now? Thankfully, there are a number of alternatives available, from donating your points to signing petitions. There's always a way to help—you just have to be willing to support the cause with your time and energy.
Support Black creatives, activists, and causes with visibility and amplification.
One of the aspects of being an ally/co-conspirator against racism (opens in new tab) is education and support. This is also a way to support the BLM movement financially, either directly or indirectly.
- Can you rent or ask for anti-racist works to be given to you? Can you share articles or resources by Black writers with your personal and professional network? Can you follow anti-racist causes, like the revival of antislavery newspaper The Emancipator (opens in new tab), by promoting and following along? More generally, can you share links and amplify causes with your personal and professional network—encouraging others to donate and subscribe?
- Can you support or otherwise promote the work of Black artists? Can you go to an art exhibit when it's available? Can you attend a talk and encourage friends to show up too? Can you take the time to watch movies and TV shows written by Black directors and starring Black actors? Showing that a particular work of art is popular and that you like it is critically important in indicating you want more of the same.
- Can you deepen your anti-racism network by following relevant people, organizations, and causes? From your state representatives to anti-racist social media accounts, can you show your support by following, liking, sharing, and actively contributing to positive dialogue? Can you volunteer time, energy, and expertise—including getting the word out to help nonprofits raise money?
It's also worth noting that it doesn't necessarily have to be with well-known causes. You can help in your everyday professional life, too. Can you help bring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) to your workplace or serve as a mentor to help others be paid more or gain more work opportunities? Can you contribute to the work of anti-racism through time, energy, and discussion?
Watch and share YouTube fundraisers.
Back in 2020, Black YouTuber Zoe Amira created (opens in new tab) a nearly hour-long video filled with ads that highlighted Black creatives. One hundred percent of the associated revenue went to BLM organizations. Others followed suit, but YouTube took a number of them down (opens in new tab) or demonetized them because of a "policy not to run ads on videos about tragedies." All told, the video has 10.5 million views, and YouTube apparently matched the amount of money raised in a donation ($45,000+ (opens in new tab), which went to the Bail Project). Amira's said she's working with YouTube and Google to change the policy.
YouTube will allow users to start fundraisers from their videos (opens in new tab), as with Eugene Lee Yang from the Try Guys in a profoundly educational video about anti-Asian hate (opens in new tab). And even though ads don't play in the video (so you can't just watch and raise money), viewing it raises visibility, and sharing it increases the likelihood that people will donate. So watch out for relevant, verified YouTube fundraisers.
Donate your travel points or cash back.
The full article with instructions is here (opens in new tab), but there are a few ways that you can dedicate points or credit to relevant causes right now:
- AmEx JustGiving (opens in new tab) lets you choose to donate points via eligible cards to causes that include Black Lives Matter, chapters of the ACLU, the NAACP, the Innocence Project, and many more.
- Hilton has partnered with PointWorthy (opens in new tab) so you can donate your points, too. Go to the Hilton Honors portal and click on the Donate With Points button. Causes include the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.
- On many credit cards, you can redeem points for cash back (which appears as a credit)—and then you can take the amount and donate it wherever you like.
Sign petitions for important causes.
On Change.org, when you sign one of these petitions, it asks for a super-small donation (think: $3) to help push the movement forward. Or, if you'd prefer, you can amplify the message on social media instead, encouraging others to donate and thus contributing to the cause indirectly.
Here are just a few of the worthy petitions to sign. (There's debate about the efficacy of donating to Change.org petitions versus donating to GoFundMes for families, but signing centralized and organized petitions shows the immense amount of public support for the issue.)
Justice for Ma’khia Bryant (opens in new tab)
Justice for Daunte Wright (opens in new tab) (there's also a GoFundMe (opens in new tab))
Free Greg Mingo (opens in new tab)
Justice for Ahmaud Arbery (opens in new tab)
Justice for Jacob Blake (opens in new tab)
Justice for Casey Goodson (opens in new tab)
Justice for Breonna Taylor (opens in new tab) (now focused on passing federal legislation)
There are many more, so look out for causes that speak to you. The Black Lives Matter carrd (opens in new tab) has been updated with links.
Set up a fundraiser of your own on Facebook or GoFundMe.
This one's probably the most time-intensive (and you'll want to educate yourself about picking the most appropriate cause), but Facebook allows you to set up a simple fundraiser that donates directly to a nonprofit. You'd set it up in the same way you'd set up a regular post: Click on the pencil icon to create a post from your page, click the three dots, then click Raise Money. You then select a nonprofit to support and go from there.
If you're not using Facebook, GoFundMe (opens in new tab) will let you set up a donation page on behalf of others. The same idea applies here, however: You'd want to do your homework, see what else is out there, and assess your network to maximize the chances your page will be successful. There are also virtual fundraising ideas (opens in new tab) gaining popularity—so if you belong to a volunteer organization, club, nonprofit, or even a cause-focused workplace, this could be an opportunity to sync resources.
If none of these options are available to you and you still want to help, brainstorm with friends and colleagues. How else can you help raise visibility and contribute?
Black Lives Matter
Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.
A Celebrity Colorist Explains Why You Should Always Wash Your Hair After Coloring It
Every color needs a good cleanse.
By Gabrielle Ulubay
Lizzo's Game-Changing Eyebrow Hack Is About to Revamp Your Makeup Routine
She also gave us a peek inside her makeup bag.
By Samantha Holender
This Is the Only Dry Shampoo That Makes My Hair Feel Clean—Not Crunchy
Bonus: It’s only $8 per bottle.
By Samantha Holender
36 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
It's just one of the many ways women still aren't equal to men.
By Brooke Knappenberger
How New York's First Female Governor Plans to Fight for Women If Reelected
Kathy Hochul twice came to power because men resigned amid sexual harassment scandals. Here, how she's leading differently.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
Why the 2022 Midterm Elections Are So Critical
As we blaze through a highly charged midterm election season, Swing Left Executive Director Yasmin Radjy highlights rising stars who are fighting for women’s rights.
By Tanya Benedicto Klich
Tammy Duckworth: 'I’m Mad as Hell' About the Lack of Federal Action on Gun Safety
The Illinois Senator won't let the memory of the Highland Park shooting just fade away.
By Sen. Tammy Duckworth
This Bill Wants to Stop Anti-Abortion Groups From Getting Your Private Data. Period
Post-Roe period tracking apps and search history suddenly have serious implications.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
Post-Roe, Pregnant People Will Become Suspects
“We anticipate a very dramatic increase in the rate of criminalization of all pregnancy outcomes.”
By Lorena O'Neil
As a Pregnant Woman Post-Roe, I'm Terrified to Travel in America
One author wonders: If my pregnancy turns tragic in a trigger ban state, will I get the life-saving care I need?
By Jo Piazza
Roe Is Gone. We Have to Keep Fighting.
Democracy always offers a path forward even when we feel thrust into the past.
By Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland, hosts of Pantsuit Politics Podcast