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Where will GoFundMe money to build Trump’s border wall actually go?



More than 195,000 people have donated to the viral GoFundMe campaign that is raising money to fund the wall between the U.S.-Mexico border. The campaign has a goal of fundraising the $5 billion President Donald Trump has deemed necessary to build the wall. So far, supporters have managed to raise over $12 million in four days.

The high sum has made people wonder — how much money is GoFundMe making out of it? And, how will the money reach the U.S. government?

Though the popular fundraising site does not charge a “platform fee” on campaigns, it does charge a 2.9% fee for “payment processing” and a $0.30 fee on each individual donation. That means that, out of the more than $12 million raised so far, nearly $400,000 will go to GoFundMe. In a statement to INSIDER, Bobby Whithorne, a GoFundMe spokesman, said the funds are currently “safely held” by the platform’s payment processor.

“We will work with the organizer to transfer funds to an appropriate recipient or refund all donors, as stated in the campaign story,” Whithorne said.

Read More: Someone created a GoFundMe campaign to ‘buy ladders’ to counter the fundraiser created to pay for Trump’s border wall

Securing that the rest of the money goes directly to wall-building efforts, however, could get complicated.

According to the Treasury Department, money donated to the government goes to a fund called “Gifts to the United States,” which is for “general use” by the federal government.

“This account was established in 1843 to accept gifts, such as bequests, from individuals wishing to express their patriotism to the United States,” according to the website.

Donating the money directly to the Department of Homeland Security would require approval from Congress, according to a 2008 policy. The DHS cites a law that says “gifts or donations of services or property of or for the Department may not be accepted, used, or disposed of unless specifically permitted in advance” by Congress.

It is unclear if supporters of the fundraiser have found other ways to send the money in. The campaign’s starter, Brian Kolfage, told NBC News that he is working with “someone who is tied in with the White House that’s in their inner-circle” to “guarantee” that the money only goes to the wall, but did not go into specifics.

Supporters, however, continue pouring money into the fundraiser, including Tennessee Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn, who tweeted her support for Kolfage — a veteran who also ran conspiracy-theory websites and a related Facebook page that was kicked off the platform in October.

INSIDER has reached out to Kolfage, who told NBC News that he did not mention his past as a conspiracy-theorist because he “didn’t want it to be a distraction” from the border-wall project.

“I don’t wanna mix the two,” he said. “That shouldn’t be the focus. My personal issues have nothing to do with building the wall.”

Kolfage has been promoting the campaign on TV and social media, sharing it along with links to his coffee business.

Online, many have criticized the campaign for its anti-immigrant nature. Some have even started a counter-campaign that is fundraising for a Texas organization that supports immigrants. GoFundMe’s terms prohibit fundraisers rooted in “intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases.”

In his statement to INSIDER, Whithorne, the GoFundMe spokesman, said the campaign does not violate the platform’s terms of service.

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