CHICAGO, Oct. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- BMO Harris Bank announced today a leadership gift of $75,000 to The Chicago Community Trust's recently-launched LGBT Community Fund. With the first installment of $25,000 already received by the Trust, the balance of the donation will be given in equal installments over the next two years.
As the newest member of the Trust's family of identity-based funds focusing on the needs of diverse communities, the LGBT Community Fund will support nonprofit organizations that work to improve the quality of life for members of the Chicago region's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community and identify and focus resources of that community and the institutions that serve it.
Seeded with a $500,000 challenge grant from The Chicago Community Trust, the Fund has committed to raising another $1 million for grant making over the next three years. The LGBT Community Fund is the only one of its kind in the nation at a major metropolitan community foundation.
This key gift is the first the Fund has received from a major Chicago corporation and reflects BMO Harris Bank's deep and continuing commitment to constructing partnerships with the communities the bank serves, along with strengthening and enhancing the lives of those who work, live and play in those communities.
"This donation reflects our ongoing support for leading LGBT organizations and all the work they do to further improve our communities" said Judy C. Rice, Senior Vice President and Head of Community Affairs & Economic Development at BMO Harris Bank. "While our support of Chicago's communities takes many different forms, our overall mission is to enhance and strengthen our communities and demonstrate our commitment to being a trusted partner in the markets we serve."
Terry Mazany, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Trust, stated, "In 1915 Albert W. Harris and the Board of Directors of BMO Harris Bank formed The Chicago Community Trust with a seed grant of $200,000. The leadership grant from BMO Harris Bank to The LGBT Community Fund at The Chicago Community Trust stands as a sterling example of the strong collaborative relationship that has existed between the Trust and BMO Harris over the years, and we are deeply grateful for this recent expression of exceptional generosity."
The gift to The LGBT Community Fund also signifies BMO Harris' multi-faceted commitment to promoting an open and inclusive environment, both at the level of employee diversity and at the level of the diverse communities in the markets that the bank serves.
Formally established in 2010 with a challenge grant from The Chicago Community Trust, the Fund has identified and recruited nine diverse community leaders for its Steering Committee, which will guide the Fund in meeting its $1 million fundraising goal. As the Steering Committee meets this goal, it will develop a grant making strategy that will provide assistance to organizations enhancing and strengthening the region's LGBT community.
"We are both pleased and humbled to receive such significant support from one of Chicago's premier financial institutions," commented Jim Alexander, who, along with Prue Beidler, serves as Co-chair of the Fund's Steering Committee.
"The $75,000 pledge from BMO Harris Bank also qualifies as matching funds for a $150,000 challenge grant from The Elizabeth Morse Charitable Trust," Alexander added. "Thus far, The LGBT Community Fund has raised $243,000 toward its $1 million goal, instilling solid confidence that we will raise the funds necessary to begin our grant making."
About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris BankSM is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.
SOURCE BMO Harris Bank