GoFundMe is refunding all donations made to the 'Build the Wall' fundraiser

  • The GoFundMe campaign that was raising money to build a wall between the US-Mexico border did not meet its $1 billion goal, which means the platform will begin issuing refunds to donors. 
  • On Friday, Brian Kolfage, who created the fundraiser, updated the campaign's GoFundMe page, urging donors to redirect their donations to a new501(c)(4) non-profit Florida Corporation named “We Build the Wall, Inc.” 
  • The campaign, created in December of last year, had raised $20 million.

The GoFundMe campaign that aimed to raise $1 billion for the border wall is shutting down, and the $20 million raised will be refunded to donors. 

GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne told INSIDER that when the campaign was started, founder Brian Kolfage promised donors that all donations would be used to pay for a border wall between the US and Mexico if the $1 billion goal was met.

"However, that did not happen," Whithorne said. "This means all donors will receive a refund." 

Kolfage, a US veteran and Trump supporter, updated the campaign's GoFundMe page on Friday announcing the refunds. He also introduced a new 501(c)(4) non-profit Florida Corporation named “We Build the Wall, Inc.,” where donors can redirect their refunds to if they still wish for their money to be used, in one way or another, to build a wall.

In his update, Kolfage said that upon seeing the fundraiser's "success," he reached out to several experts in "politics, national security, construction, and finance" and created a team that "has spent countless hours over the holidays reviewing all issues pertaining to the construction of a southern border wall."

Read more: Donations to the GoFundMe campaign that's raising $1 billion to pay for the wall have slowed down — but the fundraiser is about to hit $20 million

"Unanimously," Kolfage wrote, "we have all come to the conclusion that the federal government won’t be able to accept our donations anytime soon."

This is why, he wrote, his new non-profit will now accept any donations previously made to the GoFundMe.

Among the group of "experts" listed on the GoFundMe page are Erik Prince, an American businessman known as the founder of the security firm Blackwater (he is also Betsy DeVos' brother), Sheriff David Clarke, the former Milwaukee County sheriff known for his controversial views on immigration, and frequent Trump campaigner Steve Ronnebeck, whose 21-year-old son Grant was murdered by an undocumented immigrant in 2015. 

19 PHOTOS
Migrants in Tijuana trickling over and under the border wall
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Migrants in Tijuana trickling over and under the border wall
Honduran migrant Joel Mendez, 22, passes his eight-month-old son Daniel through a hole under the U.S. border wall to his partner, Yesenia Martinez, 24, who had already crossed in Tijuana, Mexico, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Moments later Martinez surrendered to waiting border guards while Mendez stayed behind in Tijuana to work, saying he feared he'd be deported if he crossed. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Central American migrants planning to surrender to U.S. border patrol agents climb over the U.S. border wall from Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, late Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Thousands of migrants are living in crowded tent cities in the Mexican city of Tijuana after undertaking a grueling, weeks-long journey to the U.S. border. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
In a photo taken from Playas of Tijuana, Mexico, Honduran migrants climb over a section of the U.S. border fence before handing themselves in to border control agents, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. A steady trickle of Central American migrants have been finding ways to climb over, tunnel under or slip through the U.S. border wall to plant their feet on U.S. soil and ask for asylum. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Honduran migrants who jumped the border wall to the U.S. side, help other members of their families to jump the wall, in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Thousands of migrants who traveled via caravan are seeking asylum in the United States, but face a decision between waiting months or crossing illegally, because the U.S. government only processes a limited number of cases a day at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Honduran migrant Joel Mendez, 22, feeds his eight-month-old son Daniel as his partner Yesenia Martinez, 24, crawls through a hole under the U.S. border wall, in Tijuana, Mexico, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Moments later Martinez surrendered to waiting border guards while Mendez stayed behind in Tijuana to work, saying he feared he'd be deported if he crossed. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Yesenia Martinez, 24, carries her eight-month-old son Daniel as she looks for a place to cross the U.S. border wall to surrender to border patrol and request asylum, in Tijuana, Mexico, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Martinez surrendered to waiting border guards while her partner Joel Mendez stayed behind in Tijuana to work, saying he feared he'd be deported if he crossed. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A woman climbs the U.S. border wall, planning to surrender to U.S. Border Patrol agents and apply for asylum, as she crosses from Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018. Often within minutes, border guards quickly arrive to escort migrants to detention centers and begin "credible fear" interviews. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A woman holding a baby peers through the U.S. border fence as she tries to reach a point where scores of migrants have been crossing in recent days, now blocked by private security, in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. Legal groups argue that federal law states that immigrants can apply for asylum no matter how they enter U.S. territory. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Honduran migrant Leivi Ortega, 22, wearing a rosary, looks at her phone while she, her partner and their young daughter, wait in hopes of finding an opportunity to cross the U.S. border from Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. In early December, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said that the San Diego sector experienced a "slight uptick" in families entering the U.S. illegally with the goal of seeking asylum. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
Yesenia Martinez, 24, reaches back from the San Diego, California side of the U.S. border wall to get her baby's bottle, after crossing underneath from Tijuana, Mexico, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Martinez is among a wave of Central Americans getting past the imposing barrier between Mexico and California and expediting their asylum claims by readily handing themselves over to U.S. agents. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)
A Honduran migrant helps a young girl cross to the American side of the border wall, in Tijuana, Mexico, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. In November, President Donald Trump issued a proclamation suspending asylum rights for people who try to cross into the U.S. illegally from Mexico, although a divided U.S. appeals court has refused to immediately allow the Trump administration to enforce the ban. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
Salvadoran migrant Cesar Jobet, right, and Daniel Jeremias Cruz hide from U.S. border agents after they dug a hole in the sand under the border wall and crossed over to the U.S. side, in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. When the two youths were detected by agents they ran back to the Mexican side. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
A Honduran migrant walks with his son in his arms after jumping the U.S. border wall with plans to turn himself over to U.S. border patrol agents in order to apply for asylum, seen from Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. In twos or threes, or sometimes by the dozen, migrants arrive at the U.S. border wall and manage to cross over. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
A Honduran migrant walks with his son in his arms after jumping the wall to the U.S that separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Aid workers and humanitarian organizations expressed concerns Thursday about the unsanitary conditions at the sports complex in Tijuana where more than 6,000 Central American migrants are packed into a space adequate for half that many people and where lice infestations and respiratory infections are rampant. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
A Honduran migrant walks with his son in his arms after jumping the wall to the U.S that separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Aid workers and humanitarian organizations expressed concerns Thursday about the unsanitary conditions at the sports complex in Tijuana where more than 6,000 Central American migrants are packed into a space adequate for half that many people and where lice infestations and respiratory infections are rampant. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
A Honduran migrant walks after jumping the wall to the U.S that separates Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, in Tijuana, Mexico, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Aid workers and humanitarian organizations expressed concerns Thursday about the unsanitary conditions at the sports complex in Tijuana where more than 6,000 Central American migrants are packed into a space adequate for half that many people and where lice infestations and respiratory infections are rampant. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In a photo taken from the Tijuana, Mexico, side of the border wall, a guard on the U.S. side, at left, watches Honduran migrants jump the wall into the United States, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Thousands of migrants who traveled via caravan are seeking asylum in the U.S., but face a decision between waiting months or crossing illegally, because the U.S. government only processes a limited number of cases a day at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In a photo taken from the Tijuana, Mexico, side of the border, two immigrants on U.S. soil try to jump the second wall before border police arrived and arrested them, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Thousands of migrants who traveled via caravan are seeking asylum in the U.S., but face a decision between waiting months or crossing illegally, because the U.S. government only processes a limited number of cases a day at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
In a photo taken from the Tijuana, Mexico, side of the border wall, a U.S. Border Patrol agent is seen as Honduran migrants who jumped the wall surrender on the U.S. side, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018. Thousands of migrants who traveled via caravan are seeking asylum in the U.S., but face a decision between waiting months or crossing illegally, because the U.S. government only processes a limited number of cases a day at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
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The group also includes Kris Kobach, former Kansas secretary of state, who in a statement said that "when government fails in its most important duties — protecting its citizens and preserving the country's sovereignty — We the People have the right to do it ourselves." 

In the update, Kolfage said the group "is highly confident" that it can complete "significant segments of the wall in less time, and for far less money, than the federal government, while meeting or exceeding all required regulatory, engineering, and environmental specifications."

In a statement provided to INSIDER, Kolfage said the group is "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-cost easements on their property for wall construction."

"Better equipped than our own federal government, we have made significant progress in less than a month, having begun extensive due diligence and commenced feasibility studies," he said. 

SEE ALSO: Someone created a GoFundMe campaign to 'buy ladders' to counter the fundraiser created to pay for Trump's border wall

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. If they do not take that step, they will automatically receive a full refund."

"All donors will be contacted by GoFundMe via email and they can also find additional the donor form directly on the campaign page," he said. 

The GoFundMe campaign went viral during the week of its creation in December 2018. Soon after, reports followed of Kolfage's previous endeavours, which included stints running conspiracy-theory websites and a related Facebook page that was kicked off the platform in October.

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