Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Fund the First is the first and only online verified financial contribution platform designed by first responders, for first responders, military personnel, and medical professionals. Every day, first responders and members of the military 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 and members of the military 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, military member, medical professional, or his/her family.

Fund the First fully verifies every campaign to ensure that any fundraising to support a first responder, military member, medical professional, or his/her family goes directly to the intended beneficiary. We are leveraging advanced authentication and verification technologies through ID.me. ID.me fully authenticates the accuracy of first responder, military, and medical 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.

Fund the First was founded to create a trusted way to financially support those who put their lives on the line to protect us every day. The idea for Fund the First was born when a fellow first responder’s daughter was diagnosed with a rare illness. Robert Garland (Fund the First CEO) wanted to provide a trusted and verified way to support the family during such a stressful and financially draining time. The concept was actualized as a team was formed and together, they decided to create Fund the First to provide all first responders, military personnel, and medical professionals with a trusted place to get the support they need, when they need it. 

Campaign Questions

Anyone can host a campaign to raise money for a first responder, member of the military, or medical professional 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 on our platform, a notification will need to be emailed to the eligible party to initiate the verification process. Once the beneficiary is verified, the campaign will launch within 24 hours.

The following individuals are eligible to become a verified member of Fund the First:

First Responders (Retired or Active Duty)

Law Enforcement

Fire and Rescue

Paramedics

Corrections

Dispatch

Military (Active Duty, Retired, Veteran, Military Spouse)

Army

Navy

Air Force

Coast Guard

Marines

Medical Professionals

Doctor

Nurse

Physician Assistant

Dentist

Dental Assistant

Certified Medical Assistant

Chiropractor

Clinical Counselor, Psychologist, or Therapist

Clinical Technician (ex: Pharmacy Technician, Dialysis Technician, Laboratory Technician, etc.)

Diagnostic Medical Personnel

Registered Dietitian

Respiratory Therapist

Physical or occupational therapist

Physical or occupational therapy assistant

Licensed clinical social worker

Pharmacist

Nurse Practitioners

Speech Language Pathologist

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Practical Nurse

Professional Nurse

Public Health Nurse

Registered Nurse

Registered Professional Nurse

Vocational Nurse

On Fund the First’s home page, click “START A FUND THE FIRST” 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 FUND THE FIRST” 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 by e-mailing [email protected]. 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, military, or medical professional 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 member 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, military, or medical professional 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 member 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.