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How J.P. Morgan Uses Tech For Social Good

As J.P. Morgan’s Tech for Social Good program celebrates its 10-year anniversary, Anish Bhimani speaks to Head of Tech for Social Good, Ali Marano, about building something greater than volunteerism and how giving back can truly enhance your business. If there’s a specific topic you’d like us to cover, email us at: tech.trends@jpmchase.com.

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Anish Bhimani:

Welcome to TechTrends. TechTrends is a podcast series that provides the latest insight into technology, fintech, and digital. In today's episode, we'll take a look at how technology can be used in philanthropy and corporate responsibility, why it's important and what makes it so exciting for businesses and how they can make a real connection to their community. I'm Anish Bhimani, Chief Information Officer for Commercial Banking and joining me today is Ali Morano, Head of Tech for Social Good at JPMorgan Chase. Ali, welcome to TechTrends.

Ali Morano:

Thanks Anish. It's great to be here.

Anish Bhimani:

So Ali, we've seen philanthropy and corporate responsibility play an increasingly important role across corporations, JPMorgan Chase included. You run a program called Tech for Social Good. Can you tell us all about what it is, how it works, and what was the story behind starting the initiative?

Ali Morano:

Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, I was working at a nonprofit that did tech assistance for other nonprofit businesses. And it was really during the times, it was probably about 11, 12 years ago during the time of the Great Recession that companies that were giving financially to organizations like mine started saying, "We're going to shift the way that we're donating, where instead of giving us dollars, we were going to now give you people." And honestly, I think they thought they were doing the right thing and they said, "This is great. We're going to give you our resources. You can find great ways to engage." And then organizations like mine were getting overwhelmed by that. We needed the dollars, like any other business to be sustainable, but we also didn't know how to handle corporate talent coming in and trying to provide their skills.

 

So we figured, this is happening. What are we going to do to adjust for it? And myself and a colleague sat down and said, "We need to find a meaningful way to match up these two resources that are very well intentioned." So what we did was we designed a matching portal. This is dating back 10, 12 years before the time of match.com. At the time we like to say, this is like match.com for nonprofit IT needs and skilled volunteers. I guess today you might see something like a Bumble. That said, what we did was we created a safe space for nonprofits to come in and figure out how do I log my tech needs? And for volunteers like from companies like J.P. Morgan to come in and say, "How can I give back my skills in a meaningful way that I can really ensure that I'm making an impact to these organizations?"

 

And it started working. And I found myself sitting in a meeting one day with some senior leaders who are some of our funders at J.P. Morgan, describing what we were doing. And the leaders were saying, "This is great, that we're using this. This is the first time we're starting to think about how can we be giving back in meaningful ways and start organizing our staffing around this? We'd love to do this even more."

 

I went home that night and thought, it's been a while. I've been at this organization and what if I had a bigger platform? What if I had a bigger platform to take companies that were engaged, like J.P. Morgan and say, "How could I expand this across their staff to get even more people to engage?" So I shot off an email to one of the leaders of J.P. Morgan said, "By the way I could do this, I could build a strategy. I could find ways for your organization to be meaningful, engaged and to make true impact in communities that you're both living in and working in on a regular basis." So that was 10 years ago. I was invited to come in and I started what became Tech for Social Good today.

Anish Bhimani:

That's great. 10 years is a long time. It's great to sort of see how the program's progressed since then. Can you talk a little bit about the impact that the program has had on the staff at the firm, how people get involved, what gets people motivated to participate in Tech for Social Good?

Ali Morano:

It's been tremendous. To be fair, it started slowly. It was a bit of what we like to say in the nonprofit space as dialing for dollars. There's a bit of convincing both the nonprofits who's like, "Yes, companies like J.P. Morgan do have tech skills." Nonprofits were fine. Hey, if you want to work with my money, that's fine. But tech skills, that's not immediately what people would think of when they would engage with J.P. Morgan. We had to convince them of our talent and of the breadth of where we can go with our abilities to help their organizations.

 

But even on the other side, it was going into J.P. Morgan staff saying this was a great way to utilize your time. We had permission from the top leadership down within J.P. Morgan to say, "You can do this during your day job." You didn't have to now go home after a long day of work and say, "Now, how do I start volunteering or giving back to causes that are meaningful to me?" So with that buy-in and with that commitment from leadership, it made a huge difference to getting people excited about what we're doing and slowly starting to evolve into more organized, structured programs so that we could even give back in deeper ways.

Anish Bhimani:

Can you talk a little bit about how companies can leverage the skills of their employees? Like you said, people don't always think about tech skills as the first thing when they talk to a financial institution. Same thing's true about any company out there. What kind of, if a company wanted to incorporate something like this into their firm, what are the kinds of technology skills they can use to give back to the community?

Ali Morano:

There's so many different skills that they could give back. I think a lot of organizations don't realize how valuable their tech skills are. When you think about a small to medium size nonprofit, think anything from an all volunteer organization to an organization of 20 to 30 people. That size organization often doesn't have any type of dedicated tech team let alone, even a tech staff. What they have is the individual who one day got caught fixing somebody's computer because they had that blue screen of death or even tinkering with the printer and all of a sudden that person, even though their job is development and I don't mean software development, it's really fundraising or their job was even administrative assistant or something in finance, they are now what we call the accidental techie.

 

That's a term that has become so pervasive in the nonprofit space that there are programs around it. There are courses that you can sign up for, like how do you do this in addition to your day job? Think about this. You've got this core of accidental techies in the social good space without a lot of support. And that's where companies like us can come in and really kind of lift them up and allow them to go back to what their core job is, where we can come in and supplement.

So when you do it though in a structured way, because a lot of these organizations don't know where to start, you help frame the conversation and it's not come in and say, "Hey, tell me what your tech problems are. Tell me where I can fix things." It's really just come in and have a dialogue. Let's talk about your mission. Let's talk about where you're trying to drive to and how can you better serve your constituents. And then coming at it with a tech mindset, we can start framing that into solutions and ideas that can really bring them to some great projects where we can actually help them better serve their constituents through technology.

Anish Bhimani:

Right, so you're not coming in and saying, "Hey, outsource your help desk to us. We'll take care of all of your individual problems." But rather, what are those problems that are core to your mission that we can help you advance that maybe you may not have the resources to do on your own, right?

Ali Morano:

Exactly. Because a lot of nonprofits can't articulate their problems in terms of technology, but having a thoughtful conversation in a very structured way, we can actually walk them to it and then we can think about what are some different solutions that could address this? Whether it be we're going to build out a mobile app, we're going to take their technology to the web. It might be that we need to refine a database or allow them some mapping or search software or something that's really about artificial intelligence. It can go down a lot of different paths, but just because they don't have the vocabulary doesn't mean they don't need the technology. And that's where we come in and help kind of make that connection.

Anish Bhimani:

This sounds great. It sounds like it's something that people feel really good about being involved in and they feel like they're doing good back for their community and society and all that. What about the business angle for this, right? Why should companies think about incorporating these kinds of initiatives into their model? What's in it for the company?

Ali Morano:

It's so simple and it's kind of almost laughable. It's a win, win, win. When you look at it, you're thinking about it, it's a win for the community. It's so easy now to give back to the communities where we live and work. The communities where you drive home at the end of the day and you can actually look at the organization that you helped at the end of the day. You can actually help an organization that you have a family member at, that means something and has a personal connection to your staff. So from a community standpoint, it's huge.

 

Employees, that goes back to community as well. But also from an attraction standpoint. Employees really like to give back in their day job. And this isn't just the most junior employees or your millennial generation, it's everybody. It's everybody at all different stages of their career who feel like this is a great way for me to give back. And we also like to talk about the halo effect. So even if you don't directly engage in a particular project or with an organization, you love to talk about it. You love to be at the cocktail party and be able to say, "I work for an organization that allows me to do this or allows my staff to do this." It's this halo effect that's really fantastic for others.

 

And then it's just general business. People want to work for a company, want to do business for a company, want to be a part of a company that cares about their community and not just in the one off opportunities where some organizations engage, but this is embedded into the thread of what we do. And I think that really matters for staff who choose to stay here, who choose to work here, who choose to do business with us overall.

Anish Bhimani:

So in 10 years, you've built a lot of different components of Tech for Social Good. Can you talk a little bit more, let's delve a little bit deeper into the program at the firm, understand the difference between we have Tech for Social Good, we have Code for Good, we have Force for Good. Can you give our listeners just an overview of the program and what the various components are?

Ali Morano:

Sure, so Tech for Social Good, you could describe it as the umbrella brand, if you will. It's the umbrella program and in full disclosure, we tried to come up with something a little bit catchier at the beginning. And we, every time we had focus groups and we would say, "Well, it's we do tech for social good." And we kept talking about it. It's what we do. It's what we are. And at one point somebody just said, "Just call it that." So that is the umbrella term with Tech for Social Good and it makes sense. Our mission is to lift up communities through the power of people and technology. We're giving back through a suite of programs.

 

So we have three course programs and then a couple of other sub ones. But at the start, we're really focused on what we call youth and crayon to career. So we're starting with young people and we're helping them get exposed to and really learn about different areas of technology. And that could be everything How do you be cyber safe when you go online? What do you think about with passwords?

 

And then talking to their parents. And how do you start thinking about what does a tech career even look like? Because there's so many different ways. There's no typical job. There's no typical day. They all want that. How do we give them an introduction to all the different ways that you could use technology? And we do that through different events and through different opportunities for them to engage.

 

Then we think about Code for Good, that you mentioned. So Code for Good is a hackathon. So at its core, think really fast, intense environment where you're coming in for 24 hours and we're presenting to young people this opportunity to actually code solutions, to technology challenges that organizations are facing in delivering on their missions. Now, when we did this from day one, we said, "This isn't going to be fake. This isn't going to be a fake challenge. This isn't going to be a fake organization. We're going to do this and it's going to matter." But as you can imagine in 24 hours, what happens is you get amazing prototypes coming out of this, but you're not going to get a full blown solution.

 

But what we are doing is it also has become this 24 hour job interview. So now we have young people coming in and think about it. When you come in for an interview on a typical day, you probably shower, you probably rehearse, you've probably just really prepared, but in 24 hours, while you might be like that in your first couple of hours, your true self comes out. And that's what we love. The individual who might've been a little bit more of the wallflower a little bit quiet, suddenly comes out of their shell. Somebody else who might've come off really polished suddenly is this now like, okay, well I can see their true self and I can see how they collaborate. I can see how they network. And that's really hard to replicate in a traditional interview. And you just see who they are as people. And that allows us to make much more thoughtful hiring decisions coming out of that.

 

And then they also are seeing us as an organization who loves giving back to their community. We are being interviewed just as much as we're interviewing them and they're seeing how true we are to our mission and how much we believe and actually giving back. That said, because we only complete these events with prototypes, we go into a sister program that we call Force for Good. And in Force for Good, we then take everything that started in Code for Good and some other projects that will go directly into Force for Good and we actually build out the solutions over the course of that eight months.

Anish Bhimani:

Yeah. Having been to a number of these Code for Good hackathons, it's always something special to watch, right? You got hundreds of students working in close quarters on rolling up their sleeves on these projects and you've got the nonprofits there, very passionate about their mission. The energy in the room is really palpable. Over the years we've done, I don't know how many of these. Can you talk about some of the nonprofits with which your team has worked?

Ali Morano:

So the first example I'll give you is with the Fundación de Red Comunidades Rurales. That's in Buenos Aires. It's been a great project. It quickly translates to Rural Communities Network Foundation and through this project, which is ongoing right now, we're working to improve the living conditions of rural Argentinian inhabitants, who are living both in critical situations and sometimes in isolation as well. And the project is very focused on building a mapping tool that will allow for a database of the country's rural population. And with this information that we'll glean from this mapping tool, we'll be able to then figure out with them, how does the country target needed resources to these populations to help protect those individuals and to build sustainable environments for which they can live.

 

So it's been an amazing project. We're really excited. And along the way, we've been able to actually connect them with one of the highest scientific bodies in Argentina. And that's the National Scientific and Technical Research Council in Argentina. And they're giving over all of their mapping technology that's allowing us to kind of make even more detailed information into this overall too. So that's been a fun one.

         

On a completely different genre, if you will, is one that's happening up in the U.S. and that's actually with an organization called Canine Assistance. We often say that when people like to get back, it becomes puppies and babies. And it's really hard not to love this project with Canine Assistance. And what we're doing with this project is we're actually building technology for dogs. So we are helping to create a mobile app that will allow service dogs to be able to better assist people with disabilities.

 

Think you have an iPad and you have a dog come over and based on certain binary responses, they can now react in an emergency situation by sticking their paw on different parts of the application to then trigger to get help for their handler. It's a pretty cool application that we're working on. Hasn't been done before and we can see a lot of ways that this can then translate into other uses, into other organizations as well. We're excited about this one. It'll be something fun to demo.

Anish Bhimani:

Very cool. Both of those are not things you would not necessarily associate with technology, but very cool. Can you talk a little bit about how we identify these nonprofits or identify these projects with the nonprofits?

Ali Morano:

Sure. It's multiple different ways. So we have an amazing partnership with our foundation within J.P. Morgan and that's critical. So we go to them and we talk about which organizations can we help you augment? Maybe they're grantees or organizations who have come for assistance, but aren't the right fit for our giving priorities, but we can help them that way. That's one way, so a lot of them come in through there. I mentioned before that we do a lot of repeats. So that's some of our favorite clients where they've come in earlier on and are coming back for kind of the next iteration, if you will. Sometimes they're two, three, four or five cycles in in how we've been working with them.

 

Then there's referrals. So referrals will come from friends and family within J.P. Morgan, which is great. We initially had people coming in and saying, "I'm sorry, but I just have to tell you about this great organization." And they almost felt like they had to apologize by saying my brother-in-law, my sister, my mother, my husband works at this organization, can I tell you about them? It's an amazing benefit that at J.P. Morgan, we can give back. How better, we love to give back to organizations that are going to be meaningful to their staff, whether they've been volunteering or have a personal connection.

 

And then we spend a lot of times going to conferences. So we go to these nonprofit social good conferences, where we meet these organizations hands on. We talk about what we're able to do and even referrals through our existing clients. So one organization will engage with us, they'll say, "That was a great experience. I have another organization that could also benefit." And then we'll partner with those organizations down the road as well.

Anish Bhimani:

That's great. And you talked before about talent and how people are excited to get engaged and other things like that. How has starting Tech for Social Good and evolving the program over the years helped to attract and retain talent?

Ali Morano:

Yeah, to be honest, it wasn't the initial intent. We didn't think about let's start these social good programs and that will make people want to come work here. I guess a little bit of a Monday morning quarterbacking, if you will, we should have considered that because we realize for certain generations it's so important. And actually it's not just one generation, it's all generations of our staff that this matters to. That's been a major piece of it. But what was interesting is when we started Code for Good, that I was talking about before, we initially started it with the intent to let's teach young people about how amazing their tech skills are and how they can apply them for social good. These individuals and students started walking out of these hackathons saying, "But no, no, I want to apply for J.P. Morgan. I want to work for a company that actually is this dedicated and can give back."

We've built deeper partnerships now with our recruiters to tell them more about our programming so that when they're talking to individuals who are interested in coming to work at J.P. Morgan at all levels of their career, this is a part of their script. This is a part of the sales pitch, if you will, because we can be saying with confidence that this is a great organization and not only can you give back, you can give back to organizations that are meaningful to you. You can give back within a couple of hours of volunteerism, or you can actually give back over a few months of volunteerism, whatever fits within their schedule.

 

That's a huge piece of it and why people want to come work here. And again, it's that halo effect that I mentioned earlier. It doesn't matter if you don't have the time or are ready to engage at any particular day, just being able to talk about it and being proud to work for a company that does this, I think is a huge factor for both recruiting and also retaining staff longer term.

Anish Bhimani:

So we said earlier that philanthropy, corporate responsibility, connecting with the communities, becoming a bigger, bigger part of the business conversation, right? So let's say you're a company that wants to get more engaged with nonprofits and wants to get more engaged with things like Tech for Social Good. How should people get started? How do they even think about putting something like this together for their firm?

Ali Morano:

So I think it depends on how much they really want to do. I think the first thing I always say to people is, start with this. This didn't happen overnight. It took us 10 years. That doesn't mean it takes somebody else 10 years to build it to this point, but it took us a while to get there. And we do it with dedicated staff. Too often I hear about organizations, we're going to do something like this and I'm being given a few hours of my week where I can volunteer outside of my day job and try and build something like a Tech for Social Good. That's the difference and I think that's the key differentiator that we have dedicated staff who are doing this as part of their full time job and then we have this hub and spoke model.

 

So that means we've got a team of 10, 30 people, and those individuals then work with a pool of volunteers across the organization to make this work. That means they have begun getting buy-in from the most senior leadership, we get buy-in from the more junior people as well, who they want this to be part of their day job, but it's really making them kind of meet in the middle so that this becomes part of every day. People see it as an opportunity to hone your skills, to be able to give back and it's not just about volunteerism, it's actually about how do you think more strategically in your day job? The best success stories are when we actually see that I can go do something at a nonprofit, I can develop something for an organization and actually I could learn something and doing so that I can take back to J.P. Morgan. And when managers start seeing that, that's even more of a reason to get their staff engaged. And I think it's a real selling factor for people to participate.

Anish Bhimani:

Basically you're saying you got to dedicate staff to it, put the resources behind this. Don't have this be something somebody does off the side of their desk in their spare time, right? And set up the ability to sort of recruit volunteers and engage the population at large, right? I think a lot of companies have the infrastructure to do this, whether it be for days of service or things like that, it's really just an expansion of that, in an area of people may not have thought about, right?

Ali Morano:

Absolutely. You need the buy-in at the most senior levels, but you need the buy-in actually at all levels to be fair, but then you also need different flavors of engagement, if you will. So allowing somebody to volunteer eight months out of the year for a few hours a week is amazing, but that may not fit for somebody's lifestyle, for what they're able to do within their day job at a given time. So giving somebody the opportunity to volunteer for a few hours in one week, just kind of a one and done volunteerism is also important.So to have different blends or different flavors of volunteerism has been critical to keeping people engaged so when they're ready to engage, we have the right fit for what their needs are at that time.

Anish Bhimani:

Yeah. And I think that's been sort of our experience as well, if I think about my own team's engagement with the program, it started out with people says, "Look, I enjoy volunteering on these days that we have and such, but I'd like to do a little bit more. Hey, this thing sounds cool. Let me check it out." And then they dig into it and they get much more engaged.

Ali Morano:

We also, we talked about repeat organizations before, but we also have repeat volunteers. It's really fun when we have staff within the organization coming back and actually evolving with a particular project because they just don't want to let it go and they can actually watch that particular thing grow or they're just coming back and trying different types of volunteerism. So we tend to celebrate them at our different events and we say, "So and so has been doing this for five years" or, "This is his eighth project that he's engaged with us." And that becomes more and more common and they're not so much the outliers anymore because people are really finding this as a great way to supplement their day job as opposed to be kind of more of an extracurricular activity.

Anish Bhimani:

Ali, I think it's fair to say that 2020 is not your usual year, right? So obviously we've all had to make a lot of changes the way we work, et cetera. We're thinking differently about students that we have coming in for internships and things like that. How has that affected the Tech for Social Good program? Or how do you keep it going in this current environment?

Ali Morano:

I think the fact that our baseline is technology and we've been doing a lot online to start, has made our ability to pivot in this environment rather easy. So what we've been able to do is think about taking all of our programs virtual and actually learned a lot and in some ways are thinking this might be something that we do longer term is to keep many of them virtual, which has been a really great asset. So we can be more global when we're virtual. We can have individuals in different parts of the world mentoring and engaging with each other in a much easier way in this virtual way.

Anish Bhimani:

So in 10 years of running this program, I'm sure you've seen a lot and I'm sure it also hasn't all been smooth, right? What are some of the lessons learned that you have over those 10 years that you feel like people could benefit from as they look to start their own programs?

Ali Morano:

I think one of the biggest lessons learned is just to remind our staff, we come at this from a corporate mindset when we're starting to engage with organizations and the most important thing that we can do for these organizations, the nonprofits that we're helping, is to make them comfortable. To show them that we recognize we're not going to take a corporate-level enterprise type solution and try and retrofit it for a nonprofit. That we're there to listen. That we don't come at this and say, "What are your tech problems?" We say, "Talk to me about your organization." We're truly interested in what the mission is that they're each trying to achieve. And when we can show them that level of compassion and interest in what they're doing, we can really pull out what's most needed to help them drive success and better serve their constituents.

 

So I think one of the last lessons learned has been to allow ourselves to be mission agnostic, which means we don't say that we only will engage with certain types of organizations, or organizations with a particular type of mission. What we do is we engage with organizations that matter to our staff. So we really let our organization selection be driven by the interests of our staff. Meaning, where do they have family members that are engaged? Where is there a personal connection? What organizations are in each one of their communities?

 

What we call it is we saw like giving back in your backyard. We want staff to be able to go home at night and pass by the organization site. That's where we're engaged. That's where we're giving back. To be able to kind of pass it and to say this is a moment of pride for them as opposed to something where I gave back to the organization who's in this city that I don't actually ever get to see and I can't make that connection. It's those connections that have allowed us to be more successful and to continue to grow the programs over the last 10 years.

Anish Bhimani:

Yeah. The one thing I might add to that too, is as companies were thinking about getting started with this is, it could be intimidating to sort of look at everything we've talked about today. We've got youth programs, you got Code for Good, you got Force for Good, all this stuff together. And you got people around the world and all that. Start somewhere, right? You didn't start out saying, "I want to have all these things." We started out doing Code for Good then we said, "Hey, that's great. But we only do so much in a weekend. How do we expand that out?" That led to Force for Good, et cetera, right? So don't feel like you have to do everything all at once. I would say just start somewhere.

Ali Morano:

I think that's a great piece of advice and what starting somewhere also meant actually learning what you're already doing in your organization, because that's what was already happening in J.P. Morgan. People were doing flavors of what Tech for Social Good ultimately became. So we didn't invent all this from scratch. We talked to what our colleagues were doing in different parts of the world and we learned from the best. And we said, "Great, now let's expand this. Let's bring this firmwide and let's let everybody benefit from these really great ideas." So it didn't have to come from just one place. And I think the fact that we allowed it to grow somewhat organically in the beginning and leverage some of those best ideas, allowed people to be that much more connected and willing to engage and wanting to be a part of this longer term.

Anish Bhimani:

Lastly, Ali, can you talk a little bit more about how we're sort of taking this more broadly, right? We've been focused on just tech skills, but there's other skills that people need. And I also know that you're starting to sort of look beyond the walls of J.P. Morgan with some of this as well. Can you talk a little about that?

Ali Morano:

Sure, so to think about it how we're doing it beyond just tech skills and we've always been questioned,"Why just tech, why just tech?" Organizations need more than tech. And it really came down to where we initially had our commitment and where we were funded from within the organization. But it's so true. It's not just a tech conversation.

 

And we talked about it. We'd love to do this one day for other areas of the organization. We'd love to do it in finance or HR. And then along came COVID and the pandemic allowed us to actually experiment beyond the walls of technology. It was really interesting. So we had thousands of interns coming in this summer and really trying to think about this wasn't an ideal experience to take their internships virtual, but we were committed to giving them an amazing experience and in doing so, what we said was, "Why not supplement that experience with what we cleverly called Interns for Social Good?" And said, "What if we gave them this?"

 

And what we did was we took a hybrid of Code for Good and Force for Good and we gave them-- we're giving them, excuse me because it's still going on. We're giving them a three and a half week experience where they are coming in and they're getting paired with organizations and they're building out needed technology solutions. Now we just finished this in India. We just finished with our Indian interns. And what's super interesting is that we already have a major lesson learned. Our expectation was that they'd finish these and then we roll them in as we do with all typical Code for Good, into Force for Good. What we didn't consider was three and a half weeks of intensive daily work on this particular project, means you actually can almost finish it. So it wasn't a strong prototype like we were expecting coming out of these projects, they're actually finishing these solutions.

         

So where we would typically come out of a Code for Good, with four or five really cool prototypes and then what we do is we mash them up together and then we build out the full blown solution in Force for Good. Now we have four or five really cool solutions and now we're actually in this different situation of how do we pull these functioning pieces into a new project? So So what's excited is that we can accelerate the timeframe. These amazing nonprofits that took this ride with us and said, "We'll do this with you," are now getting these solutions built out and they'll probably get them in a couple of months. And it's not just technology. So what we did was we said, "We can do this in HR." All of our HR interns are engaged. We can do this in finance and they're all engaged. We can do this with process improvement and we can do it with organized people who are sitting in other parts of the bank as well.

 

So we're now experimenting with different genres if you will. And it's really working. And what's fun is when we actually take on one of these projects all with one organization. So we're looking at all aspects. We were talking about one that we were doing with the museum this morning and what was really cool about it is, think about it, because of the pandemic everybody's doing business differently. You can't have your gala. People can't come into your physical space in a regular way. They have to think about social distancing. How are you going to do your finances when you are now actually not getting in the money in the way that you used to and people are trying to donate money differently?

 

It's not too dissimilar to where we started this around the Great Recession when people said, "I'm not going to give you dollars, I'm going to give you people." Well now people are going to give you dollars, but they're going to expect different results from it. So our interns are really thinking through these ideas creatively and building out some amazing things for these organizations. And again, giving them more than what we expected because we had this intensive period of focus on it. So I'm really excited to see where this lands towards the end of the summer.

Anish Bhimani:

Yeah, it's really exciting. It's exciting to see both how the program's evolved and also sort of seeing what you've been able to do over the last 10 years. Engaging talent in ways that really gets people excited again, right? Helping the communities in a way that, maybe deeper than we were able to before. And frankly, fulfilling the organization's mission of giving back to the community as it is. Ali, in addition, as you mentioned, we've started looking beyond the walls of J.P. Morgan. Can you talk a little bit about the Tech for Good symposium?

Ali Morano:

Absolutely. So this has been a conversation that's been a long time coming. As I mentioned earlier, we go to conferences all over the world and we meet colleagues who are like minded and very excited about giving back through their companies. And we started talking about, let's share these best practices. It's not a competition in this space. So while we see this as, I guess you could say a competitive advantage because we can bring talent into the firm, we're really focused on the giving back portion of it and the impact we can all have in our communities. And if we can get more companies thinking in this way and delivering services to their communities, just think about this forward impact we can have.

 

So we built this consortium of about 30 different companies right now, and it's open for others to join where we meet on a monthly basis. And we just talk about what we're doing. We share what is Code for Good like? What is Force for Good? We share more of the blueprint and we say, "Here's how you would do it." We learn what our colleagues are doing at other companies. What's working? What's not working? How can you not take 10 years to get here so that you can actually hit the ground running? And that's been tremendous to have this comradery. When we first started this, we felt a little bit isolated, but now to have this peer group of other like minded companies, some of them are tech companies, some of them are financial services. It really cuts across all different spaces of industry, but people talking about this and genuinely interested in how can we learn from another and broaden our impact to the sector?

Anish Bhimani:

Ali, you've worked at a lot of nonprofits over the years, so supposing one of our listeners either works for a nonprofit or has a nonprofit in mind, they'd like to connect with Tech for Social Good. How do they do that?

Ali Morano:

You just have to go to our website. So you go to J.P. Morganchase.com/techforsocialgood and you're going to find a nonprofit interest form. You fill it out and we'll be in touch with you to figure out what's the right fit.

Anish Bhimani:

That's great. Ali, it's been so fulfilling to sort of see how this program has grown over the years, right, from just a handful of people 10 years ago, through the original Code for Good, through Force for Good and now being able to connect with communities on multiple levels, right? Engaging talent, helping them give back to the community and fulfilling the organization's mission of really making a difference in the communities in which we operate. So Ali, thanks very much for joining us today and for sharing your insights on such a meaningful topic.

Ali Morano:

Thank you. This was fun. It was great to be here.

Anish Bhimani:

And to all of our listeners, thanks for joining us today. Remember if you enjoyed today's episode, you can subscribe and rate us on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Tune in next time. The TechTrends podcast is a JPMorgan Chase original series. To learn more, visit the jpmorganchase.com/techtrends.

END

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