The Washington Post

Obama campaign to become nonprofit, Organizing for Action

The former Obama campaign will become a non-profit that will advocate for the president's policies, the first such transition for a major political organization, First Lady Michelle Obama announced Friday.

Obama for America campaign manager Jim Messina will become chairman of the new group, called Organizing for Action, and White House aide Jon Carson will join as executive director. The group will disclose its donors.

The new group will accept donations form individuals and corporations but not from lobbyists or PACs, the AP reported.

"Now in terms of the specifics of what this organization will look like, a lot of that will be up to you," the first lady said. "It will be determined by your energy and ideas and feedback — because after all, this is your movement."

Since the election, Obama's team has been debating what to do with its vast campaign apparatus. Democrats have pressured Obama for America to share its sophisticated and massive compilation of voter data with other Democratic candidates. But no existing group has the technical resources to manage the data, which the campaign took great care with and wanted to protect.

After the 2008 election, Obama for America was moved into the Democratic National Committee and renamed Organizing for America. Supporters were directed to call lawmakers during fights over the budget and health care, but the organization never achieved the grassroots energy or power of the campaign.

OFA has been active recently, reaching out to supporters during the "fiscal cliff" fight and more recently, over gun control.

Campaign officials are holding a "Campaign Legacy Conference" in Washington this weekend to discuss the future of the organization with former staff and volunteers.

This post has been updated.

Natalie Jennings is a senior producer for Washington Post Video.

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