The Obama Presidential Center won't be a part of the presidential library network operated by the National Archives and Records Administration.
That move will free the Obama Foundation from amassing an endowment equivalent to 60 percent of the construction cost, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The foundation won't have to adhere to the agency's architectural and design standards, and it won't have to pay NARA to help run an agency-controlled portion of the center.
Freedom from the National Archives could save the foundation tens of millions of dollars, more than making up for the loss of federal funds.
Foundation spokeswoman Amy Brundage characterizes the arrangement with NARA as "mutually beneficial."
Former President Barack Obama has said construction of the center on Chicago's South Side would take about four years.