Donations to border wall GoFundMe to be refunded

Brian Kolfage             
    CBS News

Brian Kolfage CBS News

According to GoFUndMe spokesperson Bobby Whithorne, the border wall online campaign's founder promised donors that all donations would go toward building the wall along the southern border proposed by US President Donald Trump - if the campaign met its $1 billion target, cited by the Insider.

An attempt to raise funds for the southern border wall touted by President Trump fell short of its $1 billion goal, prompting GoFundMe to return the $20 million raised so far.

Donors will get their money back on April 11, unless they choose to donate their contribution to campaign creator Brian Kolfage's new venture.

The switch broke GoFundMe's donation rules and prompted the refund offer.

In a statement, GoFundMe cited Kolfage's initial statements on the fundraising page as proof that the initial campaign had failed to achieve its goal.

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"Eight days before Christmas I started this GoFundMe campaign because I was exhausted of watching the US government's inability to secure our southern border", he posted.

While there are a range of estimates to fully build a border wall along the southern border, many estimates exceed $20 billion.

But donations slowed and Kolfage said the group had concluded that the government won't be able to make use of them in the foreseeable future.

The organizers of a GoFundMe campaign to fund the construction of a wall along the southern USA border have scrapped plans to hand $20m over to the federal government and plan to build the wall privately instead. "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".

Personal checks mailed to the effort will not be guaranteed, according to a GoFundMe.

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"There was a change in the use of funds", Whithorne said in statement to TIME on Saturday. "We will promptly refund your donation unless you tell us you approve our new plan for action".

"However, that did not happen", he added.

However, the more than 339,000 contributors now have the option to either receive a refund or to forward their donation. If a donor does not want a refund, and they want their donation to go to the new organization, they must proactively elect to redirect their donation to that organization.

"When I created this fundraiser, I said if we did not reach our goal we will refund donors", he wrote. "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.

Kolfage, who was severely wounded in Iraq in 2004 and is a triple amputee, was still soliciting funds on Friday.

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The viral GoFundMe campaign to pay for President Donald Trump's border wall has, predictably, hit a snag.

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