The billionaire co-founder of Twitter is among the new donors to the Obama Foundation, which on Thursday made public the names of almost two dozen major donors from the first three months of the year.
Evan Williams and his wife, Sara Morishige, gave between $750,000 and $1 million to the foundation. Forbes put Williams’ net worth at $1.29 billion.
Michael Sacks and his wife, Cari, of Highland Park, were one of two couples who have given money in the past and whose overall gifts now exceed $1 million. Sacks is chairman and CEO of GCM Grosvenor Capital Management, was once a top fundraiser for former President Barack Obama and is a close ally of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Sacks is vice chairman of World Business Chicago, a group — chaired by the mayor — that seeks to foster economic growth in the city.
Silicon Valley venture capitalist John Doerr and his wife, Ann, have also now given more than $1 million, according to the foundation. He sits on the Obama Foundation’s board, and Forbes put his net worth at $5.4 billion.
Another big giver: Joe Kiani and his wife, Sarah, whose overall giving is in the range of $500,000 to $750,000. He is founder and CEO of Masimo, an Irvine, Calif., company that makes medical monitoring devices.
Other Chicagoans who were previous donors also gave more. John Rogers Jr., a close friend to Obama, and his daughter, Victoria, are now in the range of $500,000 to $750,000 in overall gifts. He is the chairman and CEO of Ariel Investments. They previously were in the $250,000 to $500,000 range.
Gifts from Daniel Levin and his wife, Fay Hartog-Levin, now total $250,000 to $500,000. He is the founder of The Habitat Company, a major developer in Chicago. She was U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands from 2009-11 during Obama’s first term.
The foundation’s report for the first quarter of 2017 represents its first disclosure since Obama left office. Foundation officials had planned to ratchet up fundraising after he left.
Construction of the presidential center is expected to begin in 2018, and it is to open in 2021. The design of the prestigious project has not yet been revealed, but the center is to house Obama’s archives, a museum and community gathering spaces to create a “center for citizenship.” The cost is expected to be at least $500 million.
The foundation was created early in 2014 and had raised $7.35 million by the end of 2015. It has not yet released the amount raised during 2016, Obama’s last full year in office.
The new donors were posted on the foundation’s website. Every three months, the nonprofit group posts the names of contributors and their gift, which is listed in a range of dollars.
While Obama was in the White House, his foundation took no money from for-profit entities, federal lobbyists, or foreign nationals or agents. The restrictions no longer apply, but a foundation official said Thursday it will “continue to vet and publicly disclose all large contributions.”
The posting Thursday reflects some changes. Top donors are in the $1 million-plus category, and there is also greater specificity for smaller donors, including some who gave in the range of $200 to $500.
Earlier, gifts of $200 or more were placed in a broad category: $200 to $100,000.
The foundation’s quarterly postings lack the specificity of Federal Election Commission filings, which give the exact contribution to candidates for federal office. FEC reports also give information about donors, including their address, employer and occupation.
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