According to federal documents, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman contributed $200,000 to President Biden’s re-election campaign.
The donation was divided into two transfers of $100,000 each, which were sent to the Biden Victory Fund, as the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) reported.
Altman’s contribution is part of a more significant trend of prominent donors who have contributed significantly to Biden’s fundraising efforts for the 2024 campaign.
Altman’s donations were made on June 14, just before President Biden visited Open AI’s San Francisco headquarters.
The Biden Victory Fund has received substantial donations from affluent supporters in the Bay Area of California, as well as in New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.
While Biden’s campaign has seen substantial contributions from major donors, it has been trailing behind recent Democratic campaigns, including Biden’s own 2020 campaign, in terms of small-dollar donations.
According to the New York Times, small-dollar donations, defined as amounts under $200, accounted for $10.2 million in fundraising for Biden during the three months ending on June 30.
These donations fall short of President Barack Obama’s $21 million received during the same period during his 2012 re-election campaign.
Biden’s fundraising efforts rely heavily on wealthy donors compared to the leading Republican presidential candidates. The outlet reports that ten donors have contributed over $500,000 each, while another 82 donors have given at least $100,000 each.
In contrast, the various Republican candidates have been reporting millions of dollars in donations during the early stages of their campaigns.
For instance, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis raised $20 million in the first six weeks of his campaign, and the Trump campaign and Save America, former President Donald Trump’s political action committee, collected over $35 million between April and June.
According to top-level Biden officials, the slower pace of donations can be attributed to the absence of an evident Republican opponent. They believe that once the Republican field narrows down to a single nominee, contributions will increase.
Biden campaign co-chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg told the Times that the current period is characterized by a lack of daily competition, and the current donors are the most loyal and dedicated supporters.
However, he anticipates that donations will increase over time.