Jpmorgan Chase Foundation: Should You Pursue Their Grants?
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation is committed to uplifting communities and creating opportunities for all by making ongoing investments, advancing business initiatives, and making philanthropic commitments directly to marginalized communities, nonprofit organizations, and charities.
JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s grantmaking might be a good funding source to help strengthen the work of your nonprofit and support innovative programming and initiatives your organization is leading. However, prior to pursuing any grant opportunities, it is crucial to understand the funder’s approach to grantmaking, their priorities, and verify if their grants will yield a high return on investment for your nonprofit.
In this article, we’ll dive deep into JPMorgan Chase’s mission, vision, and grantmaking priorities, and discover surprising funding insights. We will also provide you with next steps to prepare a successful grant proposal, and if the funder is not a good fit, don’t fear!
We will direct you to foundations with similar grantmaking priorities to the JPMorgan Chase Foundation so that you can connect with additional prospects that may better align with your work.
JPMorgan Chase Foundation: Mission and Background
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is one of the oldest established financial institutions in the United States and operates on a global scale. JPMorgan Chase’s total assets of December 2021 were $3.7 trillion.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation (JPMCF) is the financial institution’s philanthropic arm that focuses its grantmaking on community development and capacity building, workforce development, and wealth building for disinvested and marginalized communities.
The foundation prioritizes giving to organizations and communities located in areas of JPMorgan Chase’s major operations, including states such as California, Texas, Illinois, and New York.
Although their focus is where their banks have the greatest operational footprint, JPMCF’s philanthropic work is global.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation addresses environmental social inequities through its grantmaking in addition to making strategic investments in communities and people working to close the racial wealth gap and create an inclusive and sustainable economy where everyone can prosper.
Since 2019 alone, JPMCF has awarded over $13 million in grants to help address climate change specifically with $5 million awarded in 2021 alone.
Grantmaking makes up only a piece of JPMorgan Chase’s community impact. The Foundation has made a commitment to invest $2.5 trillion in sustainable development through a variety of investments including green bonds, supporting the development of green infrastructure, and advancing economic inclusion in developed markets.
It is important to identify if your nonprofit aligns with the interests of JPMCF’s grantmaking, including an alignment with their mission. Take a look at the criteria below to begin developing a score that will help indicate your fit with JPMCF.
Criterion #1: Add a score in the range of 1-3 to indicate how closely your nonprofit’s mission aligns with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
Add this when there is little to no understanding of the alignment between you and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation
Add this when there is a distant alignment between you and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation - e.g. Foundation supports a broader funding category.
Add this where there is an evident close alignment between you and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
JPMorgan Chase Foundation: How to Apply and Active Grants
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation awards grants to organizations across a variety of philanthropic focus areas including:
Art and culture
Health and medical research
Human and social services
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation accepts online grant applications through their website and grants portal. Any opportunities or RFP released by JPMCF are available directly on their community impact webpage.
Opportunities through philanthropic organizations that receive backing from JPMorgan Chase are available on Chase’s search page. This includes opportunities available through foundations, trusts, and other philanthropic organizations that receive financial support from Chase.
Chase provides general application guidelines via their website. Proposals are evaluated based on a set of guidelines laid out by JPMorgan Chase and by the foundations they represent. Chase’s evaluation guidelines include:
Demonstrated effective management across the organization and program
Diversity in revenue sources
Demonstration of a valid community need that is superior to other competing applicants and
Evidence of previous programmatic success and/or evidence to expect programmatic success in the future
While the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s grants are not available currently from the foundation directly, you can access their search page to find opportunities available through their network of philanthropic partners that align with your nonprofit’s work and priorities.
Instrumentl stays up to date with current RFPs and grantmaking opportunities for hundreds of foundations and other grantmaking organizations, including the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Keep track of JPMCF’s current grant opportunities by signing up for a 14-day trial with Instrumentl.
Click to find the best grants for your nonprofit from 12,000+ active opportunities.
The best way to identify if the JPMorgan Chase Foundation grants are a good match for your nonprofit is to evaluate key data from their recently filed 990 forms.
Analyzing the information found in a funder’s 990 can seem daunting, especially for larger foundations with the reach and scope of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Funders’ 990 forms are long and comprehensive tax documents and nonprofits that are smaller may not have the staff to go through each funder’s reports through the prospecting process.
Not to worry! Instrumentl examines and disseminates foundations’ 990 records into accessible and highly useful information that allows users to identify critical giving trends across several years.
Instrumentl identifies the most important information in a funder’s 990 records including overall assets, average giving, number of awards given, giving by NTEE code, and the foundation’s openness to new grantseekers.
Taken together this information will help inform the likeliness of success should your organization choose to apply for an opportunity and if the pursuit of a grant will yield a high return on investment (ROI).
Let’s take a look at some of these key insights on the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
#1 General Giving Trends
To begin, let’s take a look at JPMCF’s giving trends over the past several years. Information about a foundation’s giving history often can show us the likelihood of the foundation giving in similar ways in the future. This is a great place to start when identifying if a funder is a good fit for your organization!
In 2020, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation gave a total of $217,569,162. This only includes grants awarded directly from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation and not through any of the foundations or philanthropic organizations they sponsor.
Over the past three years, JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s overall giving has increased by a significant amount–13.7%. This increase indicates that the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s capacity to give is slowly increasing overtime.
This is a great sign for new grantees or returning grantees who may be interested in asking for a higher amount when it comes time to renew the grant.
Now take a moment to add to your score to help determine the alignment with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
Criterion #2: Add 1 point to your funder score to reflect JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s positive giving trend for the last 3 years.
Add this since JPMorgan Chase has had an increasing overall giving trend for the last 3 years.
Total giving trends are only a small part of what you will need to analyze to determine your alignment with JPMorgan Chase’s grantmaking program. You should also look at the number of grants awarded and their average grant size.
Analyzing all of these giving trends will provide you with greater insight into the foundation’s priorities and capacity to give. A foundation’s overall giving might go way up, but if the number of awards they grant has gone up even more, this could potentially mean they may not have the capacity to award larger grants, but are simply open to making more smaller awards to many organizations.
In 2020, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation awarded 6,274 grants. While the number of grants awarded by JPMCF has increased over the past three years, this amount represents a decrease over the past ten years with the foundation awarding 15,614 grants in 2011.
This is where an analysis of the number of grants given is especially helpful!
While it may appear that the JPMorgan Chase Foundation was giving much, much more back in 2011 the overall giving amount in 2011 (136,201,550) was nearly half of what the foundation gave in 2020.
While the foundation might be giving out fewer grants, because we know their total giving has increased, we can safely assume that their average size for each individual award has gone up.
Luckily, Instrumentl shows us a breakdown of average grant size over the years so we can confirm whether our assumption is correct. Let’s take a look at average grant size!
Identifying if average grant size has increased or decreased can help advise how much to ask for when applying for a grant.
In the most recent reported year, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation had an average grant size of $34,677. Over the past three years, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s average grant size has increased by 7%.
Now take a moment to add to your score to reflect the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s positive trend in giving.
Criterion #3: Add 1 point to your funder score to reflect the increase in the average grant amount given by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation for the past 3 years.
Add this when the average grant amount awarded by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation has increased for the past 3 years.
Instrumentl makes tracking and calculating average and median grant size simple, removing all the arduous research and analysis required to pull this information directly from foundations’ 990 forms.
#2 Funding by NTEE Code
Understanding if a funder has the capacity to give is one thing, but it is also very important to identify a funder’s willingness to fund nonprofit organizations, projects, and programming that are similar to yours.
You can better understand this by evaluating a foundation’s giving based on the NTEE (National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities) code.
According to Instrumentl’s breakdown of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s giving by NTEE code, JPMCF is most interested in awarding grants focused on Community Improvement and Capacity Building, giving a total of $139,347,731 to organizations that share this type of NTEE code over the past three years.
The foundation also focuses their grantmaking on organizations working in Education, Philanthropy, Voluntarism and Grantmaking Foundations, and Housing and Shelter.
While this can tell us a great deal about JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s giving priorities, we can delve even deeper into NTEE code classifications to get a more accurate sense of how JPMCF invests in nonprofit organizations and where they direct their grants.
For example, even within the broader Community Improvement category, funding varies significantly.
See how your organization aligns with these subcategories to accurately determine whether the specific funding you’re looking for fits with how the foundation has given in the past.
Criterion #4: Add a score in the range of 0-2 to your funder score to indicate whether the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s funding for your niche is what you desire.
Add this when JPMorgan Chase Foundation's funding for your niche lies below your desired amount.
Add this when JPMorgan Chase Foundation's funding for your niche is around your desired amount.
Add this when JPMorgan Chase Foundation's funding for your niche is greater than your desired amount.
#3 Openness to New Grantees and Average Giving Amounts
When you are approaching a new organization about an RFP or other grant opportunity it is important to understand that organization’s level of openness to new grantees.
According to trends available on Instrumentl, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation has a preference for giving to repeat grantees, but is still fairly open to accepting new grantees as well.
In 2020, the average grant size for repeat grantees was $35,633 while the average grant size for new grantees was $17,763.
While this does indicate that the JPMorgan Chase Foundation gives more to repeat grantees, this should not be a deterrent. The foundation is still investing in new organizations and projects.
Now take a moment to work on your score to help you determine your alignment with JPMCF.
Criterion #5: If you are a new grantee, add JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s proportion of giving to new grantees to your funder score.
If you are a repeat grantee, add the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s proportion of giving to repeat grantees to your funder score.
The numbers below are based on percentages of returning vs. new grantees over the last three years.
Add this when you are a new grantee for the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
Add this when you are a repeat grantee for the JPMorgan Chase Foundation.
[BONUS TIP] Geographic Distribution of Past Grantees
Before making a final decision about your organization’s alignment with the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, consider the geographic distribution of JPMCF’s giving.
Take a look at the map below from JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s profile on Instrumentl to see their geographic giving during the past ten years.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation focuses its giving in the United States, with special attention given to states where JPMorgan Chase has a large presence including New York, Illinois, Texas, Florida, California, and Ohio.
While JPMorgan Chase focuses its giving in the U.S., as a major financial institution with a global reach, JPMCF’s grantmaking impacts regions throughout the world with grants awarded to organizations operating in South and Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.
While geographic focus is one consideration for determining your fit with grantmakers, it shouldn't be the sole deciding factor. Take into account other data and elements (e.g. openness to new grantees) when making a final decision about your compatibility with the foundation.
Now that you have analyzed JPMC’s giving by geographic area, take a moment to incorporate this information into your overall score.
Criterion #6: Add a score in the range of 0-3 to your funder score to indicate whether or not your organization’s state has been historically represented.
Add this when your state isn't historically represented - shaded in white - among past grantees.
Add this when your state is sparsely represented - shaded in light purple - among past grantees.
Add this when your state is represented more heavily - shaded in darker purple - among past grantees.
Add this when your state is represented most heavily - shaded in darkest purple - among past grantees.
JPMorgan Chase Foundation: Key People and Past Grantees
If you have made your way through this post and determined the JPMorgan Chase Foundation is a good fit for your nonprofit, you are ready to take on these next steps by making critical connections with key people, past funders, and other stakeholders.
Get in Touch With Key People
When it comes to the nonprofit sector, it is sometimes all about who you know.
Knowing who to reach out to when you are getting started on making an ask of a new foundation can be daunting. Foundations have huge networks of executives, board members, and trustees, and other important stakeholders—and because of the reach of their connections, it can be difficult to determine who are the best people to reach out to.
Luckily, Instrumentl curates this information, identifying important individuals from each foundation so you do not have to go through any additional research. Hopefully, you already may find that many of the people in your existing network have connections to funders and key people working at the foundation!
As one of the largest financial institutions in the world, the JPMorgan Chase Foundation has a robust network to tap into that includes board members, trustees, staff, and executives.
While Instrumentl keeps information about key people at foundations as up to date as possible, you should always check and see if there have been any changeovers so you can be certain you are contacting the right individuals.
Contact Past Grantees
Another way to establish a relationship with JPMC and learn more about the organization is to reach out to former award recipients. In fact, because of the scope of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s work, it may be much easier to connect with a recent grant recipient than connect with JPMC’s leadership, considering the global scale of the organization.
Developing relationships with former awardees can give you crucial insight into the funder’s specific grantmaking process, and help you determine if your organizations and projects are in strong alignment with JPMCF’s opportunities.
Connecting with past awardees is another great way to connect with key people, as long-time grant recipients can sometimes have the capacity to make introductions to notable individuals that they work with.
Take a look below at the list of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation’s grantees from 2020 and visit Instrumentl for a more in depth analysis.
Foundations Similar to JPMorgan Chase Foundation
Now that you have taken a comprehensive look at the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, you may have come to the conclusion that the funder is just not a great fit for your nonprofit’s work.
Don’t panic! Throughout prospect research it is just as important to identify which funders are not a good fit so you do not waste any time in pursuit of a grant that won’t result in a high-ROI for your organization.
Here is a list of other foundations that are similar to the JPMorgan Chase Foundation for you to look into:
Byline Bank Foundation
Associated Bank Community Grants
Webster Bank Corporate Giving
Old National Bank Foundation
U.S. Bank Foundation
Finance of America Cares
M&T Charitable Foundation
Bank of America Foundation
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Wrapping Up: JPMorgan Chase Foundation and YOU
Whether you have discovered the JPMorgan Chase Foundation is a good fit or a poor fit for your nonprofit, you are still one step closer to securing new funding for your organization.
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