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Go Fund Bean Makes Leadership Change Following Financial Investigation


Go Fund Bean logo

Following an in-house financial investigation, United States-based nonprofit Go Fund Bean has named a new executive director.

Go Fund Bean Director of Marketing Valorie Clark officially assumed the position on an interim basis in September, replacing the organization’s co-founder, Adam JacksonBey.

Go Fund Bean, which launched during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 to support baristas and other hourly coffee workers, declined to name any individuals related to the internal investigation, which was led by Go Fund Bean’s board of directors.

Clark said the board was first alerted to potential financial discrepancies in April of this year before eventually discovering misappropriation the group’s disaster relief fund. That fund was established initially to provide $500 grants to coffee workers who lost income or property due to Hurricane Ida in New Orleans in 2021. It was most recently tapped to provide micro grants to coffee workers affected by the Maui wildfires.

Clark told DCN that the organization’s board found that “more than $5,000, less than $50,000” from the fund was used by an individual for unapproved uses such as personal expenses and travel expenses. An announcement from Go Fund Bean published today (Instagram) described the amount in question as “tens of thousands of dollars.”

“The amount misappropriated represents less than 15% of the total amount raised for Disaster Relief since the fund’s inception in 2021,” Go Fund Bean said. “It is less than 8% of the total amount ever raised for Go Fund Bean.”

coffee barista

Clark told DCN that the group filed a police report about the alleged misappropriation for insurance- and tax-related purposes, but is not currently pursuing criminal or civil charges. 

“As an organization, we feel pretty strongly about the anti-carceral movement and finding more compassionate therapeutic approaches,” Clark told DCN. “We’re still pursuing getting the money back in any way we can, but it’s just a matter of doing that within a value system that doesn’t involve something that could become violence, like a police encounter.”

Go Fund Bean said it has been alerting major donors of its financial situation. The group has also initiated new oversight protocols, and plans to host three online public forums, on Oct. 9, 10 and 17.

“It’s really going to be a matter of pausing and saying ‘Ok here’s how people reacted. Do we think we can move forward as an organization?'” Clark said. “So we’re looking at probably having those conversations in late October.”

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