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The Margin: Finances for Shaun King’s nonprofits come under fire in new report


Civil rights activist Shaun King was the subject of a Wednesday report from the Daily Beast examining his fundraising efforts from nonprofit organizations and political bodies he runs.

According to the report, King’s nonprofit Grassroots Law Project had $6.67 million in contributions in 2020 and spent roughly $2.6 million, according to the disclosures, on efforts to “bridge the gap between grassroots organizing and legal expertise to reform the American justice system,” but had little to show in terms of results.

The Grassroots Law Project told the Daily Beast that some of that $2.6 million went to social-justice-reform commissions in big U.S. cities including Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco, but those commissions never launched.

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“The Grassroots Law Project is extremely proud of the civil rights work we have accomplished since our inception,” the organization said in a statement. “We’ve made over 1.6 million phone calls, sent over 100 million advocacy emails, hosted over 1,000 unique events, with 35 brilliant staff members fighting against police violence, mass incarceration and racial injustice.”

According to the report, 2020 tax filings indicate King was paid a salary of $104,167 for his role as executive director of the Grassroots Law Project in the organization’s first 12 months, but his salary has since ballooned to $250,000.

“Because we are constantly under attack, we work with some of the most diligent and experienced attorneys in the field of tax and election law,” the Grassroots Law Project told the Daily Beast. “Any suggestion that GLP is not compliant is totally false.”

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