We look at three charities who achieved their goals with the support of the annual Force for Good programme
Every year, J.P. Morgan invites charities to participate in its social innovation programme Force for Good. The programme matches J.P. Morgan technologists with socially-focused organisations to build sustainable tech solutions to their biggest challenges.
Force for Good has empowered many organisations to deliver their services and improve the lives of the people that they serve.
To date, Force for Good’s technologists have helped deliver more than 650 tech solutions to projects all over the world and have donated more than 275,000 hours (about 31 and a half years) to accelerating their missions, addressing challenges from the student debt crisis in America to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.
Here we look at just three of the charities who benefited from the programme and the technological expertise of J.P. Morgan’s volunteers.
ENABLE Scotland is a charity dedicated to creating an equal society for every person who has a learning disability.
The organisation works with their members to create services that reflect their values and help service users to achieve their goals.
ENABLE Scotland was part of the Force for Good programme for three years. During that time, it worked with J.P. Morgan to develop the ENABLE Me travel app.
The app helps people who have a learning disability build key independent travel skills, enabling them to work, plan journeys, create task, and develop a personal calendar.
After the success of the app, ENABLE approached Force for Good once more to develop their Corporate Digital Offer for Employers, through which the charity supports employers to fully understand their users’ needs.
Before joining Force for Good, such employer support was provided directly by their staff team, but this left less time for the staff to dedicate to users who required systematic job coaching.
ENABLE’s vision was to develop an online toolkit that employers could refer to and through which they would be signposted to relevant support when needed. This application would support employers 24 hours a day in their business and would be driven by employer feedback.
The solution delivered by J.P. Morgan’s technologists was a dedicated Wordpress website which provides employers with information on how to support people with learning disabilities.
The website’s Content Management System (CMS) allows ENABLE to update content easily and helps the charity keep track of its existing employers’ database, as well as identifying new users, by keeping some of the content visible only to registered members.
There is also a special Accessibility plugin to allow for better experiences for people with disabilities.
This technological solution allowed the organisation to support more employers, while giving staff members more time to spend with those furthest removed from the employment market.
The Mix is the UK’s leading support service for young people, providing free, confidential support for young people under 25 online, via social media and mobile. Its vision is that all young people should be able to make informed choices about their physical and mental wellbeing so that they can live better lives.
Before Force for Good, The Mix had a variety of offerings that go from helpline support to in person counselling, from web articles to forum posts. But they were lacking a source that would present all of these offers and redirect users to the most suitable for their situation.
Users would often call the helpline to get information about these offers, thus reducing the operator availability for other tasks, like emotionally supporting users in need. The charity needed to enhance the user experience and raise awareness of the services it offered.
The three principal areas to focus on were: increasing the insight and transparency of services to beneficiaries, making the overall end-to-end user experience as efficient as possible, and automating the digital platform so that it could be scaled up as the charity grows.
Because the organisation already had a fully functional website, the Force for Good team identified a chatbot as the solution to streamline the overall client experience.
The chatbot enhanced the website navigation by presenting the services offered by The Mix, customising the user experience, and redirecting each user to the right resources.
The solution resulted in a more responsive, interactive experience for users, and a reduced operational load for charity employees.
Buenos Aires-based charity Aedin educates and rehabilitates children and young people with cerebral palsy and other developmental disorders, with the aim of achieving progress in their quality of life.
One of the initiatives of the organisation is to offer intensive evaluation and treatment, through two programmes of assistive technology called HOLA and VOY. With the help of Assistive Technology, people with complex communication needs can learn to dialogue with their parents and therapists.
However, most Assistive Technology applications for tablets are not built for some of the conditions the organisation treats. Icons are too small or fonts unreadable. Aedin joined Force for Good looking for a solution to this issue.
The team worked on an application that would make the use of technology easier for the organisation’s users.
They developed an application for Android and iOS that can be customised by changing font, colour and size on the keyboards, as well as configured to show full words instead of letters when typing. The screen interface is also designed to meet the needs of the users, with larger icons as opposed to small, hard-to-press ones.
As a result of Aedin’s work with Force for Good, 30% more of the patients attending Aedin’s educational centre can now comfortably use the tablets.
The 2021 Force for Good programme is now open for applications. Charities, like Aedin, ENABLE and The Mix, which participate in the programme will work with a team of up to ten technologists from the bank.
The technologists will dedicate around four hours per week to the project over four to eight months and tailor support to help charities with a variety of obstacles.
The aim is to help them find and implement technology that is not only going to help them better tackle their challenges, but also enable them to sustain and maintain the solution after the project has been completed.
Charities interested in applying can learn more by watching this short overview webinar, download a list of application questions to circulate with their colleagues in preparation, or email any further questions directly to the Force for Good team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you think Force for Good can help your charity accelerate its mission, click above to apply for the 2021 programme.