(Gray News) – GoFundMe is refunding donors who contributed to a fundraising campaign that sought to pay for the construction of a border wall, or giving them the option of redirecting their money to a non-profit started by the person who launched the campaign.
A spokesman for GoFundMe, Bobby Whithorne, confirmed to multiple outlets that the organization would give refunds to the more than 338,000 people who raised more than $20 million after the campaign’s founder, Iraq War veteran Brian Kolfage, announced on Friday a new organization to accept the funds.
He had set a goal of $1 billion to be donated to the federal government for a wall when he launched the campaign last month.
“However, that did not happen,” Whithorne told outlets in a statement. “This means all donors will receive a refund.”
People who submit a request to GoFundMe can have their donation directed to a nonprofit that will work to build the wall on its own.
In an update on GoFundMe, Kolfage wrote that “the federal government won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon” and announced the forming of the nonprofit.
“Our highly experienced team is highly confident that we can complete significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government,” he wrote.
He also announced an advisory board that included conservative figures like Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state and candidate for governor, former Colorado congressman Tom Tancredo and Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
“Rather than subsidizing the federal government, which has betrayed the American people by obstructing President Donald Trump’s agenda, ‘We Build the Wall’ is taking the president’s signature campaign promise into our own hands,” Kolfage said in a release.
He said the group is already “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-cost easements on their property for wall construction.”
According to Whithorne, if donors do not request that their donation be redirected to Kolfage’s organization, “they will automatically receive a full refund.”
As of Friday evening, people continued to donate thousands of dollars directly to the GoFundMe.