The Chicago-based Obama Foundation has disclosed the names of and amounts contributed by donors during the second quarter of 2019, including gifts from foreign donors.
According to the foundation's website, which lists cumulative contributions in dollar amount ranges, new donors who made cash contributions or commitments of at least $1 million between April 1 and June 30, 2019, include the Aliko Dangote Foundation in Lagos, Nigeria; the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; the Kapor Center for Social Impact in Oakland; the Chicago-based Polsky Foundation, which was founded by Michael Polsky, a major Obama donor and founder, president, and CEO of Invenergy; Boston-based Fidelity Charitable; Houston Astros owner and chair James Crane and his wife, Whitney Wheeler Crane; and Laura DeBonis and her husband, Scott Nathan, a private equity investor and former White House and State Department official.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the Dangote Foundation contributed $5 million, the MacArthur Foundation pledged $5 million toward Obama's presidential library project, and the Alphawood Foundation in Chicago made its $2.5 million contribution in the first quarter but was mistakenly left off the quarter's list of contributors. Dangote, chair and CEO of the Dangote Group and, by some estimates the richest man in Africa, served on a panel at the Obama Foundation’s 2018 Africa leadership summit.
Three donors made additional contributions during the second quarter to boost their cumulative total to at least $1 million: Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw's Wunderkinder Foundation; the Someland Foundation (formerly the Sara and Evan Williams Foundation); and Microsoft chair John W. Thompson and his wife, Sandra.
"This is an initial gift," Alphawood Foundation executive director Jim McDonough told the Sun-Times, adding that additional contributions from the foundation were "likely." The "only condition on our gift," said McDonough, "was it had to be used to build the Presidential Center in Chicago."