HYDE PARK — The Obama Foundation raised $5.4 million in 2014, and spent $1.9 million on planning the presidential library before a site has been picked, according to tax records released Monday.
The foundation, which spent its first year in 2014 soliciting ideas for the presidential library and whittling it down to four finalists, got its largest donation, $1 million, from Fred Eychaner.
Eychaner, the chairman of Chicago-based Newsweb Corp., was listed among 11 top donors to the group planning President Barack Obama’s presidential library in tax filings released Monday by the foundation.
The list also includes several Chicagoans including Michael Sacks, the CEO of Chicago-based Grosvenor Capital Management, and his wife, Cari, who donated $666,666, and the Joyce Foundation, which committed $1 million.
The first $5.4 million came without public solicitation by Obama, who is not expected to start actively fundraising until after leaving the White House in 2016.
Consultants took the largest chunk out of the fundraising, with $1.4 of $1.9 million in expenses going to outside firms.
Jones, Lang LaSalle in Chicago topped the list, doing $615,523 in business with the foundation in 2014.
Julianna Smoot and Paul Tewes, veterans of the Obama presidential campaigns charged $476,551 for fundraising consulting with the Smoot Tewes Group, which raised all of the $5.4 million in donations, according to the tax filings.
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