The first annual report issued by the Obama Foundation shows that the Chicago-based foundation raised nearly $232.6 million in the twelve months after Barack Obama left office and it began fundraising in earnest.
According to the foundation's 2017 annual report, 94.9 percent of total contributions, or $220.7 million, came from individual donors, with the remaining 5.1 percent, or $11.8 million, coming from corporations and foundations. In July, the foundation made public the names of and general amounts contributed by its donors during the second quarter of the year, including twenty new gifts of at least $1 million.
In addition, the foundation reported $22.1 million in operating expenses in 2017 — including nearly $12.6 million (56.8 percent) in program costs, $5.3 million (24 percent) in general and administrative expenses, and $4.3 million (19.2 percent) in fundraising costs. Pre-construction spending in 2017 for the Obama presidential center in Jackson Park — which foundation officials have estimated will cost between $350 million and $400 million — is listed at just under $12.8 million.
The report also highlights the planned center's design and economic development benefits to Chicago's South Side, the foundation's commitments to the local community and community-based organizations, and its emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
"The past year saw many new initiatives at the [f]oundation, but it was also a year of listening," wrote Obama Foundation CEO David M. Simas in his CEO's letter. "Both at home and abroad, we looked to citizens, advocates, and leaders to help us understand how we could create a global network of change. We're already putting what we learned into practice, incorporating community feedback into how we shape our programs, our trainings — even the [c]enter."