JP Mor­gan Chase’s Hang Ho on aid­ing not-for-prof­its

JP Mor­gan re­veals how it is help­ing east Lon­don non­prof­its through Ser­vice Corps

The Wharf - - News - Go to jpmor­ Erica Bush

T he im­pact that we are re­ally striv­ing for is how do we use our re­sources to en­able so­cial and eco­nomic mo­bil­ity, par­tic­u­larly amongst res­i­dents and communities who are un­der­served?” said Hang Ho, head of the JP Mor­gan Chase Foun­da­tion.

She runs the firm’s Ser­vice Corps in Lon­don, a global vol­un­teer pro­gramme that mar­ries the bank’s top per­form­ers with lo­cal non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions.

“From the fi­nan­cial side we have a very long stand­ing com­mit­ment to Lon­don to in­vest di­rectly into non­prof­its and char­i­ties who support peo­ple with skills de­vel­op­ment, ac­cess to jobs and support with fi­nan­cial health,” she said.

“Now of course the fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion is re­ally, re­ally im­por­tant be­cause with­out it none of this could hap­pen.

“But I think what’s also very unique about our com­mit­ment is how we look at the broader pool of tal­ent, skills and ex­per­tise of our peo­ple and use that as­set to en­hance the im­pact that we’re try­ing to reach with our fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion.

“In most cases the feed­back that we have had from our non­profit part­ners is that the hu­man cap­i­tal in­vest­ment is re­ally rare, unique and, in most cases, the kind of re­sources that money can­not buy.”

The Ser­vice Corps pro­gramme nom­i­nates and se­lects the best of the firm’s global tal­ent – usu­ally vice pres­i­dent and ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor level – and de­ploys them on a three-week, pro bono con­sul­tancy pro­ject.

In teams of four, they are part­nered with non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions and work with them on the ground to solve a strate­gic or­gan­i­sa­tional chal­lenge, which can range from man­age­ment dash­board to com­mu­ni­ca­tion and out­reach strat­egy to orig­i­na­tion plans to ac­cess more cap­i­tal.

This year’s UK co­hort, which con­cluded last week, saw 16 global em­ploy­ees work­ing with four east Lon­don-based or­gan­i­sa­tions, in­clud­ing MyBnk, Al­lia, St Giles Trust and City Gate­way.

“All of the or­gan­i­sa­tions across the years have to be an ex­ist­ing part­ner that the JP Mor­gan Chase Foun­da­tion al­ready in­vests in fi­nan­cially,” said Hang.

“Then we look at the or­gan­i­sa­tional ca­pac­ity, but also the readi­ness to host a team of four peo­ple over a very in­tense three-week pe­riod.

“They also have to have a suit­able chal­lenge that peo­ple can ac­tu­ally solve within three weeks, where the out­put can be em­bed­ded into the or­gan­i­sa­tional growth.”

Hang said such hu­man cap­i­tal in­vest­ment was as much com­ple­men­tary to mon­e­tary fund­ing as it was vi­tal to un­der­served non­prof­its.

She said: “If you think about non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions, ev­ery­body’s op­er­at­ing very much on the shoe­string be­cause the ma­jor­ity of the re­sources are go­ing into end ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

“So non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions have very, very lit­tle re­sources to in­vest in the back end of the or­gan­i­sa­tions, from in­fra­struc­ture to tech­nol­ogy to HR and all the stuff that is the back­bone of run­ning an ex­ec­u­tive, ef­fi­cient or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“They are still clas­si­fied very much as over­heads, which not a lot of other fun­ders would like their money to go towards.

“Even non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tions who have the means to in­vest in this, clearly their abil­ity and re­sources to pro­cure the best of the tal­ent to look at some of these chal­lenges will be lim­ited by what they have in their budget.

“So for us, clearly the fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment to make sure that they have the best ser­vices for the ben­e­fi­cia­ries is im­por­tant, but also the hu­man cap­i­tal in­vest­ment through ef­fec­tively the best brain and ex­per­tise in JP Mor­gan to help them solve some of these in­fra­struc­ture or­gan­i­sa­tional chal­lenges are equally as im­por­tant.”

Launched in 2013, the pro­gramme has al­ready had far reach­ing ef­fects, namely in Detroit where, along­side a com­mit­ment of $150 mil­lion, do­nat­ing ef­fi­ciency via the Ser­vice Corps has been in­stru­men­tal in the healing of a bro­ken city.

From one co­hort in its pi­lot year, the pro­gramme has grown to de­ploy six teams this year across Lon­don, Detroit, Chicago, New York and, new for 2018, Paris.

“We want to do this prop­erly,” said Hang. “Whether or not it’s our fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment or through Ser­vice Corps hu­man cap­i­tal in­vest­ment, we’re in it for the long term.”

Hang Ho, who runs the Ser­vice Corps pro­gramme at JP Mor­gan

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