It is particularly noted in the arts for establishing the Jerwood Charitable Foundation and associated projects such as the Jerwood Space for dance and exhibitions, the Jerwood Painting Prize, the Jerwood Sculpture Prize and the The Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Awards for Non-Fiction. Musical projects include the ENO Jerwood Young Singers Programme. Other sponsorships include film and photography conservation at the British Library, and the Wapping Project for choreography.
John Michael Jerwood, a pearl importer, established the Jerwood Foundation in 1977. After his death in 1991, it has been administered by its Chairman, Alan Grieve (appointed CBE for services to the arts in 2003).