One Year In… Leveraging our Expertise


Leveraging the Power of our Employees: Detroit Service Corps

Helping build the capacity and expand the scale of Detroit’s robust nonprofit community is one of the best investments we can make in the city’s future. We are doing so by providing not only financial resources, but also the skills, expertise and time of some of our most talented managers.

Launched in November of 2014, our Detroit Service Corps is a program for high-performing JPMorgan Chase managers to volunteer to work full-time, on-site for three weeks with Detroit nonprofits on projects that the organizations have identified as critical to expanding their ability to serve the city. The inaugural group of 12 managers came from all our lines of business and from around the world – Australia, Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Mumbai, the Philippines and the United States. The second group of volunteers arrived in Detroit in May 2015 to work with the Detroit Land Bank Authority, Accounting Aid Society of Detroit, Eastside Community Network and the Youth Development Commission, and we plan to send two teams to Detroit every year.

The initial results are highly encouraging. Our nonprofit partners tell us that the projects our employees led have strengthened their organizations’ capacity and accelerated their ability to have lasting impacts. Our volunteers tell us that the experience was among the best of their professional careers.

2014 Nonprofit Partners and Projects

Focus: HOPE

Nonprofit Focus: Meet basic needs and distribute food, provide workforce development and education and revitalize neighborhoods through the HOPE Village Initiative

Project Goal: Deliver a comprehensive, integrated human resources talent management system

"The executives on loan here at Focus: HOPE bring a whole set of different perspectives to our organization. They bring to us not only deep knowledge of best practices, but also a sense of the urgency in getting these things done. So, I think it’s a brilliant move on their part to help us build capacity here in Detroit. That’s one thing that is all too often overlooked. So, it’s smart, it’s precise, it’s value added and I love it."

William Jones, President, CEO

Michigan Community Resources

Nonprofit Focus: Support community and economic development in low-income areas by providing pro bono legal services and technical assistance to community-based organizations

Project Goal: Deliver a comprehensive marketing plan to attract businesses in commercial corridors in five Detroit neighborhoods and help cultivate entrepreneurs in low-income communities of color

“The team was able to provide an invaluable perspective to our work in Detroit from the lens of an investor, which has shaped our product so that it can be used effectively by nonprofits to attract new businesses.”

Jill Ferrari, CEO

Eastern Market

Nonprofit Focus: Create an inclusive, resilient and robust regional food hub in the Detroit region; improve access to healthy, affordable food choices; and fortify the food sector as an engine of regional economic growth

Project Goal: Deliver a strategic roadmap to establish a modernized wholesale food facility and revitalize a commercial food hub, generating new jobs and business activity

“The Detroit Service Corps was enthusiastic, engaged and incredibly helpful. I am impressed with the caliber, skills, and horsepower of the team who helped us move this project forward by 18–24 months.”

Dan Carmody, CEO

Vanguard CDC

Nonprofit Focus: Advocate for increased investment in the North End for the benefit of current and future residents; organization has served more than 100,000 families since 1995

Project Goal: Deliver a strategy, business plan analysis and financial model to promote housing stabilization by accelerating the acquisition, rehabilitation and sale of homes in the North End

“They were a highly skilled team who familiarized themselves with the context of the project but also connected us and the project to industry standards and benchmarks.”

Khalilah Gaston, Former Executive Director