Obama grassroots group almost doubles fundraising haul
July 12th, 2013
04:37 PM ET
9 months ago

Obama grassroots group almost doubles fundraising haul

Washington (CNN) – The grassroots group Organizing for Action, the successor to President Barack Obama's campaign organization, reported Friday it almost doubled the amount of money it brought in during the second quarter of this year compared to the preceding three months.

OFA, a non-profit, is a private advocacy group formed following the 2012 election to push the policy priorities of the White House. It has access to the Obama re-election campaign's list of supporters. Several former officials from the campaign now work with OFA.

An official with the group said it brought in $8.2 million between April and June – compared to $4.89 million from January through March – bringing its total raised to $13.1 million. The official also said it now has almost 238,000 donors.

"In just our second quarter, OFA more than doubled the number of donors have stepped up and taken ownership of the future of this organization. Ninety-eight percent of OFA's contributors have been from small donor donations with an average contribution of $55 making this truly a grassroots funded organization," the official said.

The group helped build its list of backers by sponsoring a contest in which three of its supporters and guests will be flown to meet Obama at an event.

"One of them could be you – all you have to do is add your name today to be entered for the chance to be there. Meeting President Obama backstage is an opportunity you definitely don't want to miss out on," read the email to supporters. A donation was not required to enter.

The group, which has come under criticism for not publicizing a lot of information about its donors, did put on its website a list of all supporters who contributed at least $250 and their home cities. The group also emphasizes it does not accept contributions from lobbyists or corporations.

Some of the biggest donors this past quarter included: Fred Eychaner, president of Newsweb Corporation, and David Shaw, co-founder of the global investment firm D. E. Shaw, each of whom gave $500,000.

How much influence OFA can have is still a major question as it figures out exactly how to maximize the use of its list of supporters. It sponsored a host of of activities around the effort in the Senate to pass a bipartisan measure to expand background checks on gun sales, but that measure was defeated in April.

After that vote, the organization put up online ads to keep the pressure on a group of senators who voted against it, including Republicans Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Rob Portman of Ohio and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. It also has sponsored events to build support for immigration reform and is airing a series of television ads this summer touting the benefits of Obamacare.

Later this month OFA will hold what it is calling an "action August" summit in Washington to plan its activities during the August congressional recess. Obama will speak to the group as well as talk with activists and leaders from the organization.


Filed under: Fundraising • OFA • President Obama
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Richard Long

    Fortunately the OFA is not on the IRS's BOLO lists!
    Wonder how much they helped Obama pay off his campaign debt while he was fundraising instead of running the country?

    July 12, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. ATL Guy

    2014 would be the year we send the rest of this tea party nonsense into the trash can where it belongs.

    July 12, 2013 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    No surprise. Liberal priorities are under attack. Maybe the hipsters who normally sit out mid-term elections will be mad enough to vote in 2014.

    July 12, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. jinx9to88

    Easy answer, people are sick and tired of these GOP trolls that are stuck in the 1950's. Time for a house remodel!!!

    July 12, 2013 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    Wait a second, they are all pure and "grassroots" and do not except from corporations or lobbyists. Then a head of a corporation and an investor each give half a million. What kind of grassroots is that? That lawn is in a pretty nice neighborhood.

    July 12, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  6. Ed1

    Just stupid people wanting to continue to bring our Country down to a third world status.

    July 12, 2013 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. MaryM

    And the OFA will get a lot more donation in the future. Americans are sick and tired of the Religious right wing American Taliban shoving their religious beliefs into government. Keep it up Red states legislators and governors , you will be voted out asap.

    July 12, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    And Mittens donates a mere $5200 to Ayn Ryan.

    July 12, 2013 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Lathrope

    Would't vote republican, even if there was a bruise at my temple where a gun barrel had been pressed.

    July 12, 2013 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  10. rs

    That's a lot of cash in a non-election year... The GOP should be worried, very worried.

    July 12, 2013 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  11. Chris

    I See Acorn has change their name.

    July 12, 2013 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  12. don in albuquerque

    Just a little bit longer and Pres. Obama will be out of office. Then hide and watch the GOP drop the teabaggers like a bad habit. But then it probably won't matter by then as we continue to watch the GOTP implode. Another couple of years and they will probably all be history. That happens when you try to re-install fiefdom.

    July 13, 2013 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  13. tom l

    Is this group tax exempt? Is this one of them 5034c r2d2 organizations that should require "BOLO" list status?

    July 13, 2013 02:51 am at 2:51 am |
  14. Gurgyl

    These idiots though they work for Piggly-Wiggly these claim Republicans–how pathetic. Shhh, I am not talking about the guy that owns it that works in it....uneducated bunch... No wonder we bring educated from India, china,

    July 13, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  15. dixie

    @ data driven I am a registered voter and plan to vote for anyone that is not in office at this time. I don't care which party they are in. I'm tired of the mess we have at this point and my dog could do a better job. All I hear is "it's the other guys falt" I don't care who did what just make it right!

    July 13, 2013 09:20 am at 9:20 am |