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Focusing on Key Pillars of Opportunity Focusing on Key Pillars of Opportunity Focusing on Key Pillars of Opportunity
Key Pillars

Focusing on Key Pillars of Opportunity

iconWhat We are Doing

JPMorgan Chase has a long tradition of supporting our communities, and it’s vital that the philanthropic resources we dedicate are making a real difference. So a few years ago, we took a hard look at our approach and — more importantly — our results.

Karen Persichilli Keogh
By Karen Persichilli Keogh, Head of Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase has a long tradition of supporting our communities, and it’s vital that the philanthropic resources we dedicate are making a real difference. So a few years ago, we took a hard look at our approach and — more importantly — our results.

Our efforts, we concluded, were a mile wide and an inch deep — that is, we were supporting many valuable programs, but we weren’t creating deep impact or lasting change. So we listened carefully to what our stakeholders told us were the fundamental barriers to opportunity in low-income communities, and we thought deeply about the assets and expertise our firm could bring to bear to overcome them.

This effort first led us to focus on workforce, because there is nothing more essential to opportunity than a job. From our own and our clients’ experience, we know how difficult it is to hire and retain a skilled workforce; we also know that too many low-income people struggle to build relevant skills and get on a stable career path. At the intersection of those challenges, we saw a set of solutions to build bridges between employers, educators, job trainers and individuals — and we are now investing in these around the world.

We also looked to our assets as a firm, where our deep experience in the banking business — specifically in small business lending, consumer financial health and community development — can inform our philanthropic investments. This drove our focus on providing more opportunities for underserved entrepreneurs — minorities, women and veterans — to access capital. It led us away from traditional financial literacy and toward an effort in which we invite entrepreneurs to compete for capital and advice to create innovative models for improving consumer financial health. And we extended the competition idea by creating a funding competition to incent local community development partners to join forces to magnify their impact.


of our philanthropic investments are focused on these four pillars and on providing other support for nonprofits in economically distressed communities.

We are also drawing more fully on our firm’s nonfinancial resources. One example is the Service Corps, through which we embed teams of our colleagues with nonprofits to help them solve a specific challenge. That program has grown from four employees working with one nonprofit to five teams that worked with 20 nonprofits on three continents in 2017. Our colleagues tell us the experience is life-changing, and our nonprofit partners report they make big strategic jumps based on the teams’ work.

These pillars of opportunity ­– jobs and skills, small business expansion, neighborhood revitalization and financial health – combined with direct investments of our people’s time and expertise, have become our model for driving inclusive growth.

I take pride in how our firm supports our communities and am profoundly grateful to my colleagues across JPMorgan Chase who support this work every day. It is thanks to their dedication, diligence and expertise that we are making a real difference in people’s lives.

Flooded streets in Houston following Hurricane Harvey


Partnership Spotlight

Answering the Call When Disaster Strikes: Flooded streets in Houston following Hurricane Harvey.

JPMorgan Chase’s corporate responsibility efforts are focused on advancing key drivers of inclusive growth. But at the most basic level we are driven by a commitment to be there for our communities. So when disaster hits, our firm is nimble and flexible enough to respond quickly and vigorously when our communities need it most.

In 2017, unfortunately, our firm had many occasions to answer the call for support. During the year, JPMorgan Chase — combined with the generous contributions of our employees — donated $7.8 million to immediate disaster relief efforts, a nearly threefold increase over the prior year. This support helped nonprofits respond to critical needs in the wake of an unprecedented number of natural disasters — including hurricanes in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean; wildfires in California; and two earthquakes in Mexico — and other tragedies that affected our communities.

Immediately following a disaster, we support humanitarian organizations and provide immediate relief. Our employees also want to help, and we give them the opportunity to do that by sponsoring a robust employee-matching program. But our firm’s strategy goes far beyond short-term aid. To support and accelerate recovery, we work with our partners to help rebuild the foundations of strong and resilient communities.

Our response to Hurricane Harvey in Houston — where JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank and employs more than 6,400 people — illustrates this thoughtful approach. In the aftermath of the hurricane, our firm provided more than $30 million in immediate relief, which included donations to nonprofits; waived and refunded fees on mortgages, loans and ATMs; and discounted interest rates on new auto loans. We also provided $1.5 million to LiftFund and PeopleFund, nonprofit lenders that specialize in serving small businesses that are owned by women, veterans, minorities and low-income entrepreneurs. Our firm knows how essential small businesses are in helping a community rebuild, so we activated and expanded our partnerships with these on-the-ground organizations to immediately help Houston’s small businesses get back on their feet.

JPMorgan Chase has long supported LiftFund, having provided more than $11 million to the San Antonio-based group. LiftFund has developed technology that slashes the amount of time it takes to process a loan from several weeks to a few days — a valuable service in the wake of a natural disaster. LiftFund used our post-Harvey support to provide three months of payment forgiveness to clients in the disaster area and provide access to capital for new and existing businesses.

The JPMorgan Chase Institute conducted pioneering research on the financial effects of natural disasters on households and small businesses, which can be used by decision-makers to help direct recovery efforts. The Institute’s analysis of the effects of Hurricane Harvey in Houston revealed:


drop in cash inflows for consumers in the week of landfall


drop in small business cash balances the week after landfall

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