A combat-disabled U.S. Air Force veteran who started a GoFundMe page to help fund building the border wall now the center of a partial government shutdown wants to shift that cash to a nonprofit with the same purpose.
The new nonprofit is called We Build The Wall Inc. Information on whether paperwork has been filed for the charity was not immediately available.
The GoFundMe effort raised about $20 million. Brian Kolfage, 37, told various media outlets that he hopes to raise $1 billion. Via a statement released on Business Wire, he said, “We are grateful for the president’s steadfast commitment to border security, the single most important issue plaguing our country. 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. I personally will not take a penny of compensation from these donations incurred in the furtherance of this mission.”
The initial glitch in funding the potential new 501(c)(4) is the GoFundMe donations from 300,000 people can’t simply be transferred to the nonprofit. The $1 billion goal on GoFundMe was not met so the money must be refunded to those donors.
Donors will automatically receive a refund unless they manually redirect their donation to go to Kolfage’s nonprofit, according to a GoFundMe spokesperson. They will also be contacted via email about the change.
According to the Business Wire release, a board of directors is being formed “to provide critical guidance on the project’s legal, engineering, contracting, environmental, accounting, maintenance, and real estate issues and serve on the advisory board and or the construction, finance and or audit committees.” One of those listed as a potential board member is Kris Kobach, the former Secretary of State of the State of Kansas from 2011-2019.
The plan is for, segments of the wall to be constructed via private entities through negotiations with landowners along the border. The goal is identifying finding areas that are frequently crossed and methods of erecting barriers.
The organization has established a website at https://webuildthewall.us/