Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Wall donations refunded or shifted to non-profit effort

Wall donations refunded or shifted to non-profit effort

A Florida veteran's GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a border wall will be refunding money to its donors after falling short of the $1 billion goal.

Business Insider reports that when the campaign was started, founder Brian Kolfage promised all donations would be used to pay for a border wall between the US and Mexico once the $1 billion goal was reached.

"Our team strongly believes that we can complete our segments of the wall for less than half of the government's estimated costs on a per mile basis", Kolfage said.

Kolfage writes that he consulted with "politics, national security, construction, and finance" experts and came to several conclusions, including that "The federal government won't be able to accept our donations anytime soon" and "We are better equipped than our own government to use the donated funds to build an actual wall on the southern border".

It's unclear if GoFudMe is taking steps to verify the charity's legitimacy.

GoFundMe Director of North America Communications Bobby Whithorne said in a statement that all donors will automatically receive a refund unless they decide to send the money to Kolfage's nonprofit, which is classified by the IRS as a "social welfare organization".

Whithorne told INSIDER that if a donor to the original GoFundMe campaign does not want a refund and instead want the money to go to the new organization, "they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization".

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Kolfage explained his reasoning for shifting gears and establishing the corporation.

"We are already taking action on identifying the most densely crossed areas of the border, soliciting affected landowners along the Southern border, and ascertaining the willingness of border landowners to provide no or low-priced easements on their property for wall construction".

A construction crew works as new sections of the U.S. -Mexico border barrier are installed on January 11, 2019 as seen from Tijuana, Mexico.

On Saturday, the shutdown officially became the longest closure in the nation's history. It quickly went viral and has amassed more than 338,000 donors. Right Wing News was deleted in October.

Brian Kolfage, 37, created the fundraiser titled "We The People Will Fund The Wall", which had raised around $20 million as of Friday afternoon.

"If the Democrats won't provide the funding for what the American people voted for in 2016 then we the people will. With the help of our highly experienced team, and your support, we will make this work!"

In addition, some 800,000 federal employees have been on furlough or are being forced to continue working without pay, costing the U.S. economy an estimated several billion dollars, Sputnik previously reported.

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