Using Tech for Global Good
How our 40,000 technologists around the world partner with nonprofits to give back.
Technology is an incredibly powerful tool. Used well, it can help organizations work smarter and increase access to their products and services. But for too many nonprofits, technology can be a source of frustration or simply out of reach as a result of constraints.
That’s why the firm launched Force for Good in 2012. “Force for Good is an 8–month-long initiative to support nonprofits with technology,” says Carolyn Johnson who manages the program globally. “We have more than 40,000 technologists at JPMorgan Chase around the world and they’re passionate about giving back. Force for Good gives our employees the opportunity to utilize their unique skills to build technology solutions for the organizations that need it most.”
The most recent cycle of Force for Good wrapped up in May, which supported 74 projects for various nonprofits around the world. Over 800 JPMorgan Chase technologists participated in the program, contributing over 42,000 hours of development time to these socially-focused projects. There was a range of projects in the portfolio, including mobile app development, website development, data analytics and database management. Expand the sections below to explore a few of the Force for Good projects around the world.
Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) is a full service housing and financial counseling agency. ESOP offers a handful of different programs in Ohio including housing counseling, financial coaching, income tax prep, and senior financial empowerment.
“In 2015, ESOP served over 3,000 individuals and they were tracking client data and program key performance indicators in Excel,” says Kalyn Sprague, Force for Good Project Lead. “As ESOP continued to expand its services, tracking data manually was becoming cumbersome, time-consuming, resource intensive, and inefficient. They needed a better way. They needed technology.”
ESOP applied to Force for Good in search of a database solution that would better manage their client information and provide real-time metrics about their programs. A team of 11 JPMorgan Chase technology employees dedicated a part of their work week over an 8-month period to help ESOP migrate onto a Customer Relationship Management System (CRM).
At the end of the program, these volunteers handed over a robust platform that would ultimately change the way ESOP operated. “This solution will have an immeasurable positive impact on our employees, programs, operations, and constituents,” says Michael Billnitzer, Associate Director of ESOP. “The database allows us to better serve our clients by allowing our employees to access client information, real-time performance trends, and robust reporting and dashboards.”
The implementation of the new platform is expected to save ESOP over $150,000 each year in productivity hours. “Our full-time staff can now focus more of their energy on client services and spend less time generating reports.”
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Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) save lives at sea by providing 24-hour lifeboat search and rescue services, seasonal lifeguards, water safety education and initiatives, and flood rescue response. RNLI is committed to see a reduction in drowning, which claims an estimated 372,000 lives around the world each year. More than 90% of these drownings happen in low- and middle-income countries. Specifically, fishermen from small communities do not have a way to alert people in an emergency. RNLI was looking for a technology platform that could reduce the number of drownings happening in these areas.
“A lot of creative ideas for this project came directly from the students at Code for Good, a 24-hour coding event also run by the Technology for Social Good team which RNLI participated in in the previous year,” says Brandon Scott, Force for Good Technical Lead. “We knew this technology platform would need to be easily accessed in emergency situations and designed to function well in regions with limited WiFi and cellular coverage. We were up for the challenge.”
Nine JPMorgan Chase technologists in Bournemouth worked with RNLI to develop this solution. The outcome? An Android Application called “Set Sail” that will allow fishermen to quickly access an ‘Alert’ button in emergency situations. When activated, the mobile application will raise an alert and share the GPS coordinates with other users of the application.
“Drowning is a major worldwide issue,” says Libby Rhodes from RNLI. “Throughout our international work, we’re partnering with organisations to help people stay safe and save lives. We have received great expertise from our partners to understand what people really need. This application will give fishermen a way to alert members of their community in an emergency and help coordinate their rescue, ultimately saving lives. We’re hoping this is just the start – something like this could potentially be scaled to remote fishing communities worldwide.”
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Nayi Disha aims to support families of Persons with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities (PwIDD). Families and caregivers of PwIDD often struggle to find the right resources and services and Nayi Disha addresses this challenge.
“I was shocked to find lack of information at this age of information technology. Lack of information is so severe that it leads to delayed or missed diagnosis and assessment, and consequently, reduced uptake of essential therapies and services that are vital for the child’s growth,” says Prachi Deo, Founder of Nayi Disha. “We realized there lacked a supportive system that could help families access information that empowers them to provide the best care for their children.”
To help Nayi Disha continue to provide families with valuable information and connect them to providers like schools, therapists, doctors and fellow parents while on the go, the organization asked Force for Good to build a mobile app that would enable families to more easily access their information and resources.
“Today, mobile phones are utilized by everyone. We knew that a mobile app would allow families to access Nayi Disha’s resources anywhere and anytime,” says Neelkamal Pasi, Force for Good Client Lead. “The mobile application developed by our team will not only allow Nayi Disha to reach more families, but also will allow them to onboard parents more effectively, give them access to curated information in a streamlined way, and create a community for families to share and learn from experiences.”
Nayi Disha plans to launch the mobile app this summer. Over the next few years, Nayi Disha hopes to use this app to expand their provider directory to 15 cities and empower 30,000 families by giving them greater access to resources.
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Founded in 2014, SDI Academy provides personalized language, vocational and computer skills training to migrant workers and refugees in Singapore. There are over one million migrant workers in Singapore. Migrant workers have played an important role in Singapore's progress: they've built homes, served in factories and taken care of children.
“Since inception, we’ve delivered over 10,000 hours of training to over 700 migrant workers,” says Manas Punhani of SDI Academy. “Our trainings enable these individuals to obtain higher salaries and secure better jobs. Our English language training has also helped reduce communication gaps on worksites, improving productivity and safety.”
It is challenging for migrant workers to find the time to take the trainings. “They work long hours, six days a week, and often commute more than two hours every day. Migrant workers are only able to sign up for classes on Sundays and they often drop out because they don’t have time to prep and review materials in advance,” says Mohit Handa, Force for Good team member. “SDI Academy was looking for a mobile learning management system that would allow workers to access training materials on-the-go.”
Eight Force for Good technologists built a low cost, mobile app platform that could be easily customized by SDI Academy. Migrant workers can use the application to access trainings at any time by downloading course content for offline access when internet is not available.
This learning management system will allow migrant workers to up-skill, learn, and test themselves wherever they want, whenever they want. Despite their busy schedules and demanding jobs, SDI Academy is bringing these migrant workers one step closer to higher paying jobs.
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Learn more about our Technology for Social Good program.
See how we code for good cause with our Code For Good program.