Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Fund the First is the first online verified financial contribution platform designed by first responders, for first responders. Every day, first responders put their lives on the line and so many fellow citizens want to be able to help them when there is a need – whether it is to help families when a father or mother die in the line of duty, provide financial support directly to first responders who suffer injury or illness or even to help provide a financial jump start to a first responder looking to start a new business.

Unfortunately, too often criminals and scammers like to take advantage of people’s generosity and create fake online donation campaigns using the likeness of first responders. Fund the First stops the cycle of scams and corruption by fully verifying every campaign to ensure that it is legitimate and proceeds go directly to the first responder or his/her family.

Fund the First fully verifies every campaign to ensure that any fundraising to support a first responder or his/her family goes directly to the intended beneficiary. We are leveraging advanced authentication and verification technologies from ID.me. ID.me fully authenticates the accuracy of first responder credentials to prevent fraud.

In addition, Fund the First leverages a manual, investigative process to ensure that all campaign claims of need are legitimate.

It comes down to trust and verification. No other online contribution platforms conduct the extensive verification process performed by Fund the First. Definitively, Fund the First provides contributors with the peace of mind that their money will go to the campaign’s designated beneficiary.

Yes, we highly recommend that first responders become “pre-verified.” It is a simple process. Just go to https://api.id.me/en/registration/new and create a free account. You will be asked for identification (Driver’s License or Passport, as well as Agency Identification) and will receive an email once your identification is verified. Simply ensure that the same email address you use for ID.me is used for any Fund the First campaign and you are pre-verified.

Verification is completely FREE. Our goal is to have all first responders registered on the network prior to a need or hardship.

Founded by first responders for first responders, Fund the First was started to create a trusted way to financially support those who put their lives on the line to protect us every day.

Campaign Questions

Anyone can host a campaign to raise money for a first responder in need. First, you will be asked to provide a beneficiary for the campaign (unless you are creating a campaign for yourself). If the beneficiary has not already been verified as a first responder, a notification will need to be emailed to the first responder to initiate the verification process. Once the beneficiary is verified, the campaign will launch within 24 hours.

On Fund the First’s home page, click “START A CAMPAIGN.” This will bring you to a new screen, which will ask, “Who is your campaign for?,” at which point you will select “Someone else.”

On the next screen, if your intended beneficiary is already a verified Fund the First member, select “YES,” which will allow you to search for the beneficiary’s registered email. Once the correct email is entered, the beneficiary’s profile information will populate. Click “Continue” to proceed with the Campaign set up.

In the event the intended beneficiary is not yet a verified Fund the First member, select “NOT YET.” This will prompt you to enter the intended beneficiary’s name and email address in order to send an invitation for him or her to sign up on the platform. Once the invitation is sent, you will be directed to the campaign set up page. It should be noted, the campaign will not go live until the beneficiary has verified.

On Fund the First’s home page, click “START A CAMPAIGN.” This will bring you to a new screen, which will ask, “Who is your campaign for?,” at which point you will select “Someone else.”

On the next screen, if your intended beneficiary is already a verified Fund the First member, select “YES,” which will allow you to search for the beneficiary’s registered email. Once the correct email is entered, the beneficiary’s profile information will populate. Click “Continue” to proceed with the Campaign set up.

In the event the intended beneficiary is not yet a verified Fund the First member, select “NOT YET.” This will prompt you to enter the intended beneficiary’s name and email address in order to send an invitation for him or her to sign up on the platform. Once the invitation is sent, you will be directed to the campaign set up page.

In the case of a line of duty death, or off duty death, the family member, or next of kin of the fallen first responder, must be manually verified through Fund the First. This can be accomplished by submitting a manual verification request. Our Campaign Director will work directly with the family member or next of kin of the fallen first responder to ensure verification. It should be noted, the campaign will not go live until the beneficiary has been verified.

If Someone Has Started A Campaign That is For You and You Already Have a Fund the First Account – The following information will be emailed to you:

A campaign organizer has started a campaign with you as the beneficiary, but you have not yet verified your first responder status.

A first responder (retired & active) is defined as Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, EMS, Corrections, Dispatch, and Medical Professionals.

Please follow these steps:

  • Click the link below (within email) to sign in to your account.
  • Click “Verify 1st Responder Status” within your dashboard.
  • Click “Verify with IDme.”

Some tips:

  • The same email you have on IDme must be used for Fund the First.
  • If you have a previous IDme account, you can login. However, you may be prompted to provide more information. We recommend providing your drivers license if asked.
  • If you do not have a previous IDme account, please sign up and follow all prompts. Again, we recommend starting with your drivers license.
  • When you reach the final page, please keep window open and you will be redirected to Fund the First upon verification.

Once you are verified with IDme, you will now be a verified 1st responder with Fund the First and you can view the campaign created for you, create a new campaign for yourself or someone else, or contribute to other campaigns.

 

If Someone Has Started A Campaign That is For You and You Do Not Have a Fund the First Account – The following information will be emailed to you:

A campaign organizer has started a campaign with you as the beneficiary, but you have not yet created an account and verified your first responder status.

A first responder (retired & active) is defined as Military, Law Enforcement, Firefighters, EMS, Corrections, Dispatch, and Medical Professionals.

Please follow these steps:

  • Click the link below (within email) to sign in to your account.
  • Click “Verify 1st Responder Status” within your dashboard.
  • Click “Verify with IDme.”

Some tips:

  • The same email you have on IDme must be used for Fund the First.
  • If you have a previous IDme account, you can login. However, you may be prompted to provide more information. We recommend providing your drivers license if asked.
  • If you do not have a previous IDme account, please sign up and follow all prompts. Again, we recommend starting with your drivers license.
  • When you reach the final page, please keep window open and you will be redirected to Fund the First upon verification.

Once you are verified with IDme, you will now be a verified 1st responder with Fund the First and you can view the campaign created for you, create a new campaign for yourself or someone else, or contribute to other campaigns.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact [email protected]

A campaign will not be permitted on the platform if the scope of the campaign is for a first responder’s defense fund, bail or any other form of disciplinary action. See the Terms of Service for further information on prohibited use.

Payment Questions

A check will be written and sent to the verified beneficiary of the campaign. Payouts may be requested once a campaign has run for at least 30 days. Subsequent payouts can be requested 30 days after the previous payout. 

A contributor must contact Fund The First directly at [email protected]. Once the refund is approved, it will be credited to the contributor’s debit or credit card by Stripe, Fund the First’s payment processor.

92% of every dollar contributed to a campaign goes to the beneficiary, whether the campaign has reached its goal or not. Approximately 3% goes to payment processing, which is the same across all fundraising platforms, with 5% additional for the cost of providing the IDme verification process and operating the platform.

In comparison, other crowdfunding site fees range from 8-13 percent on average, with some hiding their fees as “tips” of as much as 10% that are automatically added to a contribution, and very difficult to remove. Plus, there is of course the additional hidden cost of giving money to a campaign that may be fraudulent because of the lack of validation or verification.

Verification, validation and transparency are the foundational cornerstones of the platform we have specifically designed to help first responders.

The Fallen First Reserve is a national campaign hosted by Fund the First. The goal is to build a fund that is capable of providing the family of every first responder that dies in the line of duty with $5,000 immediately to help with urgent needs.