Skip navigation

BMO Financial Group provides support for Obama Presidential Center

The Obama Foundation is on track to hit its $1.6 billion fundraising goal in support of the Obama Presidential Center thanks to donations from a large group of individual, community, foundation and corporate partners, including BMO.

The ambitious fundraising goal will support the Foundation’s work in three primary avenues: building the Obama Presidential Center on the South Side of Chicago, sustaining the Obama Foundation’s global programs and operations, and seeding an endowment to sustain the Obama Foundation’s work in the future.

BMO’s $1 million donation will specifically support workforce development initiatives associated with construction and operations for the Obama Presidential Center, which will provide recruitment, pre-apprenticeship programs and career placements to residents from Chicago’s South and West Side communities, areas that have been impacted by historic economic disinvestment. 5,000 jobs will be created during construction and 2,500 permanent jobs will be supported after the Center is completed. These initiatives will create the most diverse, local construction workforce in Chicago history and will serve as a nationwide model for others to use.

“The support the Foundation has received since our founding in 2014 is remarkable. It is truly affirming to see how our work resonates with other passionate individuals around the world who are also driven by the idea of turning hope into action,” said Obama Foundation President Valerie Jarrett. “I am grateful for our generous donors, who, in many ways, embody the spirit of the organization—the spirit of togetherness. I look forward to the day we can celebrate our achievements together at the Obama Presidential Center.”

BMO was part of a group of early supporters of the organization, committing to significant gifts before the Foundation officially broke ground on the Obama Presidential Center in August of this year. Anchored by a world-class museum and public gathering space, the Obama Presidential Center celebrates our nation’s first African-American President and First Lady. The Center is expected to open in approximately four years.

“As a Founding Donor for the Obama Presidential Center, BMO is proud to support the impactful work of the Obama Foundation and their ambitious goals to inspire, empower and connect,” said Eric Smith, Vice Chair, BMO Harris Bank. “Aligned with BMO’s commitment to zero barriers to inclusion, our donation supporting workforce development initiatives will proactively address the barriers that have historically hindered people of color and women from successfully pursuing careers in the construction trades.”

Check out the full list of Founding Donors and read more about the Foundation’s progress in the Obama Foundation 2020 Annual Report.

Related Insights