As of May 16, 2012, the George Zimmerman Legal Defense Fund has raised $15,424. The fund was established on May 3, after approval was received from the Florida Division of Consumer Services. This fund replaces a PayPal account set up by Mr. Zimmerman that raised just over $200,000. The week of April 26, Mr. Zimmerman, on advice of counsel, shut down that account in favor of a new account that is independently maintained by a third party who can insure the monies raised are allocated to reasonable living expenses for Mr. Zimmerman, defense costs, and legal fees.
The majority of the donations have come from the PayPal link on the www.gzdefensefund.com website, and about $3,700 has been received in the form of checks and money orders. Approximately $30,000 from the initial fund was spent making Mr. Zimmerman’s complicated transition from a private life in Sanford, FL to his new life in hiding as the defendant in a high-profile case. Approximately $20,000 has been kept liquid to fund Mr. Zimmerman’s living expenses for the next several months. None of the funds have yet been allocated for legal fees or defense costs; however it is expected for some of the funds to be used for this purpose in the near future.
The largest donation received was $3,000, then $2,000 and the lowest was one dollar. Most donate between $25 and $100, and many include notes of support for Mr. Zimmerman and his family.