Arts and culture are two more victims of the economic meltdown.
Since about 2008 JPMorgan Chase & Co. has shifted from cultural donations to support for nonprofits that create jobs, offer job training or do other things to stimulate economic development.
"We called that the peanut-butter approach," Christine Kageff, the philanthropy and community relations manager for JPMorgan Chase in Michigan, says of the old way. "We used to spread it thin so everyone got a little a bit. Now it is strategic and layered and very targeted."
The bank said last week it would donate about $1.1 million to organizations in Detroit, such as Southwest Solutions, for training for foreclosure mitigation counselors and financial literacy, and Vanguard Community Development Corp., for maintenance projects that will employ local young people.
JPMorgan Chase donates more than $3.6 million in the state of Michigan each year with about $3 million of that going to causes in Detroit, Kageff says.
Even when giving to arts groups, JPMorgan Chase has shifted away from supporting exhibits to initiatives that have an economic impact. For example, it donated money to the Museum of African American History to support its business apprentice program.
When deciding which groups to support, JPMorgan Chase's philanthropy team borrows some analytical techniques from the lending side of the shop. It seeks organizations that produce measurable results. For example, when reviewing groups that focus on job training, the company looks at how many participants are employed after six months rather than how many attended, or graduated from, the program.
"We started thinking about where can we do the best work and get a return on that investment," Kageff says.