The nonprofit launched in early 2014 to finance and oversee the future Obama presidential library collected $5.4 million last year from 11 donors, many of them longtime Obama backers, the Associated Press and the Chicago Sun-Times report, citing tax filings released Monday. The Barack Obama Foundation received two $1 million pledges, from major democratic donor Fred Eychaner and the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation, on the board of which Mr. Obama served before his 2008 U.S. Senate run.
A week after officially naming Chicago's South Side as the library's future home, the Obama Foundation said it planned to scale back solicitations this year, dropping the use of an outside fundraising firm. A spokesman for the group said that "given its finite fundraising needs at present, the foundation doesn’t need a sophisticated level of fundraising infrastructure." The organization is expected to eventually raise several hundred million dollars for the library and museum.