GoFundMe will refund over $20M in donations made to border wall campaign
GoFundMe will refund over $20 million raised in a campaign to crowd-fund the construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the campaign.
The campaign's founder, Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage, promised donors that all donations would be used to pay for a border wall, "like the one President Donald Trump has proposed," if the campaign met its $1 billion goal.
On the campaign's page, Kolfage wrote that he, and a team of advisers, had decided instead to form a 501(c)(4) nonprofit to raise money for a border wall instead.
The organization, called We Build The Wall, Inc., is able to receive GoFundMe donations, Kolfage writes. Those who previously donated to Kolfage's campaign who wish to have their money diverted to the new organization rather than refunded are given the option of doing so. The decision was made in part, Kolfage writes, because "The federal government won't be able to accept our donations anytime soon."
Kolfage says he and his team realized that people "are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border," he writes.
Moreover, he argues he and his team are "highly confident we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government." Specifically, he says the team believe they can complete segments of the wall for less than half the government's estimated cost per mile.
Those who donated to the original campaign, who would like their money to instead go toward Kolfage's new project, "must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization," the company spokesperson reportedly told INSIDER.
The updated campaign page contains a link where donors can elect to do just that. INSIDER reports the company said it will send emails to all 337,935 donors with more information about the refund process.
Kolfage's campaign was started Dec. 16 and raised over $17 million in just the first nine days. It appears donations stagnated at that point, with just over $3 million more coming in over the next 16 days.