April 17, 2008

Barack and Michele Obama Donated 5.7% of Income to Charity in 2007

President Obama
Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential candidate, and his wife, Michelle Obama, have released their tax return for last year showing that they donated 5.7 percent of their income to charitable causes.

The tax return shows that the Illinois senator and Mrs. Obama, who reported $4.2-million in income, gave $240,370 to 33 churches and charities in 2007.

Senator and Mrs. Obama made their largest gift, of $50,000, to the United Negro College Fund. They gave $35,000 to CARE, the international relief organization, and $26,270 to Trinity United Church of Christ (whose pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. has made headlines for controversial sermons).

Twenty-two organizations received $5,000 gifts from the Obamas, including the Boys and Girls Club; the Central Illinois Food Bank; the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault; the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans; the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance; and the United Way for the Greater New Orleans Area.

Last month, Mr. and Mrs. Obama released general information about their giving in 2007 and their tax returns dating back to 2000 that showed their charitable contributions had increased over the past three years, when the senator and his wife were making more money and he was beginning to run for president.

In 2006, the Obamas gave $60,307 to charitable organizations, or about 6 percent of their $991,296 in total income that year.

In 2005, the Obamas reported total gifts of $77,315, or about 5 percent of their total income of nearly $1.7-million.

From 2000 through 2004, the Obamas’ total income was much smaller, ranging from $207,647 in 2004 to $275,123 in 2001. During this five-year period their charitable giving represented about 1 percent of their total income.