Brian Kolfage created the private fundraiser because he was "tired of watching the USA government's inability to secure our southern border", he wrote on the GoFundMe page. "Like most Americans, I see the porous southern border as a national security threat and I refuse to allow our broken political system to leave my family and my country vulnerable to attack".
In a Friday update on the GoFundMe campaign page, Kolfage wrote that his team spent "countless hours over the holidays reviewing all issues pertaining to the construction of a southern border wall". The message tells donors they can get a refund if they do nothing or they can redirect their donation to 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 on his fundraising page.
While there are a range of estimates to fully build a border wall along the southern border, many estimates exceed $20 billion.
"There was a change in the use of funds", Whithorne said.
President Trump is still demanding that Congress fund his wall and partially shut the government down on December 22, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal workers without pay.
"However, that did not happen", he added.
That's part of the reason donors are getting refunds.
People who want their donations redirected to Kolfage's new organization will have to proactively elect to do so, a GoFundMe spokesperson explained to Business Insider.
But since the project wasn't fully funded and won't go directly to the government, unless those who donated submits a request to GoFundMe, the money will be automatically refunded.
At the end of his statement, Kolfage acknowledge the refund. The new nonprofit is called We Build The Wall Inc. and Kolfage says he hopes to raise $1 billion. "We will promptly refund your donation unless you tell us you approve our new plan for action".
CNBC Make It contacted Kolfage and GoFundMe but did not immediately receive a response.
Kolfage raised $16,246 for a veteran mentorship program, but BuzzFeed News reports that after collecting the funds, he didn't use the money as promised: none of the partners he claimed to have worked with - including Walter Reed, Brooke Army Medical Center and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany - have any records that Kolfage worked with their patients or donated money, according to representatives at the centers that BuzzFeed News spoke to.
The campaign was originally set up under the goal of raising $1 billion and giving however much they raised directly to the federal government for a wall.