Obama Foundation Raises More Than $230 Million, Announces New Round of Donors
Former President Barack Obama’s foundation collected contributions of more than $1 million in the first three months of 2019. The donor list, which is updated quarterly, included the AT&T Foundation, which targeted its $1 million gift for three programs helping Chicago youths: the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corps, Obama Youth Jobs Corps, and My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. The money donated by AT&T is part of its ongoing “Believe Chicago” programs aimed at helping 19 Chicago neighborhoods “most impacted by gun violence and high unemployment.” The W.K. Kellogg Foundation, along with other family trusts and foundations, is among this quarter's donors. The foundation’s annual report and tax documents show that it raised more than $232 million from private donors during 2017 and spent about $21.3 million on operations. And, for the first time, foreign investors contributed this quarter. They include Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, who is the CEO of AirAsia. In London, he is known as one of the major investors behind the soccer team Queens Park Rangers. And Rumi Verjee, who is a member of the British House of Lords, also contributed. He is the proprietor and chairman of the London-based Thomas Goode and Co. -- sellers of luxury china, silverware, and related items. He committed to contributing in the first quarter of the year between $100,001 to $250,000 from his Rumi Foundation. While the Obama Foundation accepts donations from individuals, the policy is to not take money from foreign governments. Can you imagine a president having financial ties to foreign entities? The foundation plans to build the Obama Presidential Center on about 19 acres of parkland on Chicago’s South Side, barring a lawsuit and federal review. See the full list of donor here.