The Obama Foundation has made public the names of and general amounts contributed by its donors through March 31, 2017, revealing an uptick in contributions since the former president left office in January.
Listed in descending order, with dollar amounts given as cumulative ranges (instead of exact totals), the foundation's new donors include two couples who contributed more than $1 million in the first quarter of 2017 — billionaire venture capitalist John Doerr and his wife, Ann; and Michael J. Sacks, chairman and CEO of GCM Grosvenor Capital Management, and his wife, Cari. Both Doerr and Sacks, a former top fundraiser for Obama and an advisor to Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, serve on the Obama Foundation board. Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, now CEO of the website Medium, and his wife, Sara Morishige, donated between $750,000 and $1 million through the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, while Masimo founder and CEO Joe Kiani and his wife, Sarah, gave between $500,001 and $750,000 through the Masimo Foundation.
Previous donors who increased their contribution in the first quarter of 2017 include Ariel Investments chairman and CEO John Rogers, Jr. and his daughter, Victoria, who moved up from the $250,000-$500,000 range to the $500,001-$750,000 range; and Habitat Company founder Daniel Levin and his wife, Fay Hartog-Levin (who served as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands during Obama's first term), whose giving now totals between $250,000 and $500,000. The foundation's website lists ten new donors who contributed between $10,000 and $100,000.
Established in early 2014, the Obama Foundation had raised $7.35 million as of the end of 2015; it has yet to disclose the amount it raised in 2016. With plans for a presidential library and global foundation that could require an infrastructure and endowment costing as much as $1 billion, the foundation is expected to ramp up its fundraising now that Obama is out of office. The foundation also announced last week the names of the firms that will lead project management for the Obama Presidential Center. While Obama was in office, the foundation did not accept donations from for-profit entities, federal lobbyists, or foreign nationals or agents, or raise funds directly from the public.
"The bulk of those small donor amounts have come in through Web online contributions," Obama Foundation president Martin Nesbitt told the Chicago Sun-Times. "We didn't turn that on until the president was out of office."