JPMorgan Chase plans to invest $40 million in Chicago's historically underserved South and West sides in an effort to tackle the city's poverty and violence through economic growth.
The three-year initiative by the nation's largest bank is its second-biggest commitment to a single city, following an infusion of $150 million into Detroit. It amounts to a 50 percent increase in JPMorgan Chase's philanthropic contributions in Chicago. The bank typically has invested $8 million to $9 million annually.
The challenge: turning that $40 million into meaningful changes in neighborhoods that have seen decades of decline and uncertain outcomes from previous philanthropic efforts.
Grants from Chase to community groups will fund job training, small businesses expansion, neighborhood revitalization and personal financial health programs through a variety of community partners already working in Chicago. To ensure the money is having an impact, it is funding third-party evaluations and has a local team of Chase experts monitoring the investments along the way to change course if necessary. Opening bank branches in the target communities is not part of the plan.
If you are an employer, you can hire young people at risk. If you are a community leader, you can help improve police-community relations. If you are a health care provider, you can support trauma-informed care to gun violence victims. If you are a funder, you can support any one of these efforts. Whatever you do, your voice matters when you speak up in support of policies that can make our neighborhoods safer. Reach out to learn more.