Obama foundation raises millions from first corporate donors

Obama foundation raises millions from first corporate donors
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Donations for former President Obama's presidential library have been open since January, and the cash is already rolling in.

On Friday, the Foundation's website released a list revealing millions of dollars in donations from a number of big-ticket donors, including the Microsoft corporation, Exelon, and top wealthy donors like Ann and John Doerr.

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According to the website, at least eight donors had given the foundation donations in excess of $1 million dollars.

An official with the Obama Foundation told the Chicago Sun-Times that the organization would no longer follow self-imposed "restrictions" on donations now that Obama has left the White House.

“While President Obama was still in office, the Obama Foundation applied self-imposed restrictions on its fundraising activity," an official told the newspaper.

"Now that the President is no longer in office, those restrictions no longer apply, but the Obama Foundation will continue to vet and publicly disclose all large contributions.”

According to disclosures, the library raised more than $1.2 million in the second quarter of fiscal year 2017.

The development of the Obama Center was announced in January. In May, the former president and first lady unveiled the designs for the building.

The Obama Foundation said the center, located near Chicago's historically African-American Woodlawn neighborhood, will revitalize the Jackson Park neighborhood by attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and creating new jobs on the South Side.

“More than a library or museum, it will be a living, working center for citizenship,” Obama said in a video message in January. “That's why we want to hear from you. Tell us what you want this project to be.”

The Obama Foundation is run by the family's longtime friend Marty Nesbitt and former White House political director David Simas. The library, which is being built in Chicago, will cost $500 million and will be completed by 2021.