Freedom isn’t free

A little-known Minnesota nonprofit made national headlines in the wake of the Geoge Floyd riots of late spring 2020.

The Minnesota Freedom Fund received a flood of donations after offering to bail out protestors arrested during the unrest in Minneapolis. Future Vice President Kamala Harris, among others, promoted the effort at the time.

It turns out the Minnesota Freedom Fund also bailed out criminals who had nothing to do with the protest/riots. Some of those freed have gone on to commit more serious crimes. (See also (1), (2), (3) and (4).)

WCCO recently reported on the organization’s new leadership and their financial records.

The nonprofit was founded in 2017 and grew steadily for the first three years. But in the wake of the riots, Minnesota Freedom Fund took in more than $41 million. The organization has posted its 2020 tax return on its website. Here is the annual revenue for the organization:

In 2020, the organization reports posting $10 million in bail for 610 individuals. In addition, it posted $2 million in bond for 210 persons in immigration cases.

In 2020, the Fund reports $606,742 in bail fees and forfeitures. It reported only $10,691 in bail forfeitures in 2019.

The group reports granting $4.5 million to the Tides Foundation of San Francisco for grants to other similar bail organizations across America.

The Fund reports granting $293,000 in 2020 to another nonprofit, the Minnesota Solidarity Fund. The tax return does not list an EIN for the Solidarity Fund. According to records on file at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, the MN Solidarity Fund was not incorporated until June 2021. The organization does not appear to be registered with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.

At the end of 2020, the Minnesota Freedom Fund had more than $34 million in cash on hand. A BBC report from May 2021 indicates that the group had still spent less than half of the $41 million at that point. MFF reports giving $1.5 million to an unincorporated group called Minnesota Uprising Arrestee Support.