#NoDAPL Activists Raised at Least $11.2 Million for Protests Through 285 Different Online Accounts

Veterans march with activists near Backwater Bridge just outside the Oceti Sakowin camp during a snow fall as "water protectors" continue to demonstrate against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Dec. 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

To date the State of North Dakota’s cost for responding to the often unlawful, often violent protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline adds up to around $17 million. That cost will likely go up as some of the protesters insist that they’ll remain in their camps through the frigid North Dakota winter despite calls to leave from Governor Jack Dalrymple, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (whose land they’re illegally occupying) and Standing Rock Chairman David Archambault.

But the protesters raised big bucks of their own according to a thorough analysis of hundreds of online fundraising accounts. Through yesterday, December 8, over $11.2 million had been raised for the protesters through at least 285 different online accounts on sites like GoFundMe, Generosity, FundRazr, Crowdrise, and Indiegogo.

Through yesterday, December 8, over $11.2 million had been raised for the protesters through at least 285 different online accounts on sites like GoFundMe, Generosity, FundRazr, Crowdrise, and Indiegogo.

Of that total, 44 have been marked as completed while 241 are still open.

You can see a detailed spreadsheet below, complete with links to various fundraising accounts.

This is hardly a comprehensive list. The pace of new fundraising accounts accelerated in November as the protests garnered more national attention. Search results show potentially thousands of additional accounts on various services which weren’t included in this tally because it was difficult to tell if they were intended to raise money for the #NoDAPL movement specifically or because they didn’t seem to be getting much in the way of donations.

I do think this list represents most of the serious fundraising efforts.

The actual dollar figure raised by the protest movement is almost certainly a great deal higher as there were certainly plenty of offline donations of money and supplies. Also there is no public dollar figure available for some online fundraising efforts done through services like PayPal, such as the one on the official Standing Rock Tribe website.

What’s not clear is how many of these accounts were endorsed or sanctioned by organizers of the #NoDAPL protests, or what accountability there is ensuring these funds were used for the purposes donors intended. Some are clearly backed by the various protest organizers. Others seem to be run by volunteers with good intentions. Quite a few are of dubious origin and intent.

It seems like hundreds of people/organizations – maybe thousands – put up online fundraising accounts to catch some funds out of the fire hose of online money being directed at #NoDAPL.

And it seems some are starting to ask questions about it all, per this Facebook post from former Standing Rock Tribal Council member Archie Fool Bear:

Also, as I wrote yesterday, the fundraising for the veterans who came to stand in solidarity with Standing Rock earlier this month has come under scrutiny as well by some of the veterans participating.

I hope they get some answers.

Regardless, if you’re intent on donating to the #NoDAPL cause, maybe be careful about which account you choose. The sheer volume of fundraising accounts makes this situation one that’s ripe for fraud and abuse.

Here’s the full spreadsheet:

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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