Social Policy Institute receives $385,000 grant

Faculty; Social Work

​The newly established Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis has received a $385,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co. as part of the company’s $125 million, five-year global commitment to promoting customers’ financial health.

The money will help underserved families with tax preparation and filing. For low- and middle-income taxpayers, who often receive their largest single check of the year at tax time, there are opportunities to leverage that moment to meet financial goals such as savings and debt reduction.

Researchers at the Social Policy Institute, directed by Michal Grinstein-Weiss, the Shanti K. Khinduka Distinguished Professor at the Brown School, are developing and scientifically testing interventions to help low- to moderate-income households build savings and achieve economic stability and mobility at tax time.

The grant also will support the institute’s research on employee financial wellness programs — a promising strategy to promote financial stability by providing financial products and services such as small-dollar loans and financial counseling in the workplace. The Social Policy Institute will share results of these pilot programs and offer guidance to employers and policymakers in designing financial wellness benefits that meet employees’ needs.