Finance and business experts from around the world are helping east London charities achieve their goals as part of JP Morgan’s Service Corps scheme.
The programme, which was first launched in Detroit as part of JP Mogran’s $150 million pledge to help aid the once bankrupt city’s recovery, sees top performing employees from across the globe volunteer in not-for-profit organisations for three weeks.
It launched for the first time in east London on Monday, June 5, with employees volunteering at community organisation The Bromley-By-Bow Centre, social financial services charity Fair Finance, anti-poverty organisation Toynbee Hall and Allia, a charity that supports individuals and organisations who work towards social benefit.
Eva Rapp, who usually works in commercial banking for JP Morgan in Los Angeles, has been based with Toynbee Hall, where she and her colleagues are working to help develop team strategies and use resources more efficiently.
She said: “The opportunity to take a sabbatical from my day job for a couple of weeks and give back to an organisation that works every day to give back something to those who need it most was just fantastic.
“Toynbee Hall is an incredible charity. To work for a charity that has been working to try and improve the financial circumstances of the east London community since 1884 is an amazing opportunity.
“We’re there to provide some guidance to make sure they are running their business as efficiently as they can.
“It’s just a fantastic opportunity. It’s a really amazing charity and I’m already looking for ways to keep working with them once this process is over.”
Managing director of Fair Finance, Faisel Rahman OBE, said the advice of experienced JP Morgan staff is a “great opportunity”.
The Hackney-based charity, which helps people get out of debt, helps small businesses borrow small amounts of money and provides free financial advice, is specifically receiving help from the volunteers about how to grow the charity nationally.
Faisel said: “We are completely non-profit. We have been financed by a mixture of partnerships, other banks and socially minded individuals, and JP Morgan is helping us to improve our services and develop our fundraising strategy so we can roll out Fair Finance across the country.
“What we are proposing to do is quite a change. We would grow by several hundred per cent, and it’s something we haven’t done before. It’s a great opportunity to do it with these professionals who know so much and do it for a day job.
“It gives us real confidence, and it’s really great to work with these very interested and focused people who can give us constructive advice and a real strategy. It’s been really effective.”
Head of the JP Morgan Chase Foundation for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Hang Ho, said: “London has a vibrant economy. However, the benefits have not been felt by all, and this disparity is particularly evident in the east of the city.
“Globally, the JP Morgan Chase Foundation makes huge financial contributions to make our local communities more inclusive and fairer, which includes our long-standing commitment to east London. But that financial support shouldn’t be all we provide.
“Following successful programmes in other cities, we’re taking some of our brightest and best people out of their own environments and cultures. Using their different perspectives and skillsets, we aim to offer unique insight to our non-profit partners doing vital work in east London communities.”
Keep up to date with all our articles on Facebook