Articles

Emergency Assistance Funds (EAFs) for Employee Hardship and Disaster Relief

By Douglas Stockham, MBA and Bryan Clontz, CFP®
Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta website

Emergencies by nature are unexpected and can cause a tremendous financial burden. When they strike an employee, the impact can radiate to fellow employees and the employer in the form of morale, performance, absenteeism, turnover and costs. In this article, Douglas Stockham, MBA and Bryan Clontz, CFP discuss best practices on how employers can use nonprofit entities to establish and maintain employee assistance funds. Read More >

Lessons Learned from Recent Natural Disaster Relief Funds: Part 1 of 3

By Bryan Clontz, CFP®, CAP®, Doug Stockham, MBA and Ryan Raffin, JD
Planned Giving Design Center, May 6, 2015

With the United States’ emergence from the Great Recession, Americans’ giving to charity has increased over the last four years. In 2013, individuals contributed more than $240 billion (Giving Institute, 2014). With population, urbanization, world economies and the frequency of natural disasters all increasing, established relief organizations are expanding and new charities are popping up after every event. Read More >

Lessons Learned from Recent Terrorist and Man-made Disaster Relief Funds: Part 2 of 3

By Bryan Clontz, CFP®, CAP®, Doug Stockham, MBA and Ryan Raffin, JD
Planned Giving Design Center, May 6, 2015

As the events of September 11, 2001 tragically emphasized, the United States is not immune to international terrorism. The Boston Marathon bombing of 2013 reinforced that vulnerability, and horrifying human-wrought tragedies such as mass shootings and domestic terrorism seem to be increasing with frightening regularity. According to an FBI study, there has been a dramatic increase in “active shooter events” in recent years. Read More >

Immediate Response Considerations and Checklist for Terrorist, Man-made or Natural Disaster Relief Funds: Part 3 of 3

By Bryan Clontz, CFP®, CAP®, Doug Stockham, MBA and Ryan Raffin, JD
Planned Giving Design Center, May 6, 2015

For a variety of reasons, disasters in the United States and around the world will continue to grow in frequency and severity. Population growth will increase density, making natural disasters more costly in terms of casualties. It also will mean increased development. That will mean weather and geologic phenomena that used to center on wilderness areas now impact cities. Read More >

Would You Pay Your Co-Worker’s Gas Bill?
Companies like to tell you they’re one big family. At the James Hotel, that’s pretty spot-on. A few years ago, a string of the Chicago hotel’s employees were struggling to stay afloat. Jeff Hemmings, a server at David Burke’s Primehouse, a restaurant at the hotel, was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. His coworkers put together a fundraiser to pitch in for medical bills. Not long after, lobby coordinator Scott Copeland’s apartment was destroyed by a four-alarm fire. And again, James employees organized a fundraiser, pulled out their wallets and helped Copeland get back on his feet. Which gave him an idea. Read more >
Meg Graham, "Would You Pay Your Co-Worker’s Gas Bill?" Chicago Grid

Disaster Relief - Current Developments
The American public responded to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with an outpouring of contributions to charities engaged in disaster relief assistance. Of primary importance to the Exempt Organization community is the Victims of Terrorism Tax Relief Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-134, signed into law by the President January 23, 2002. Section 104 of the Act permits charities to provide immediate assistance to September 11 and anthrax attack victims without an individual assessment of financial need... Read more >
Janet Gitterman & Marvin Friedlander, "Disaster Relief - Current Developments" IRS's Employee Plans Continuing Professional Education (CPE) Technical Instruction Program for Fiscal Year 2003

Charitable Organizations Providing Disaster Relief
The IRS has been very clear in their rule making providing specific do’s and don’t nonprofits should follow when responding to and providing disaster relief. Below are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Read more >
"Charitable Organizations Providing Disaster Relief," NonProfitExpert.com

In Tough Economy, Charity Can Begin at the Office
Emergencies by nature are unexpected and can cause a tremendous financial burden. When they strike an employee, the impact can radiate to fellow employees and the employer in the form of morale, performance, absenteeism, turnover and costs. In this article, Douglas Stockham, MBA and Bryan Clontz, CFP discuss best practices on how employers can use nonprofit entities to establish and maintain employee assistance funds. Read more >
Michael M. Sullivan, "In Tough Economy, Charity Can Begin at the Office," New England In-House, July 2009

Help is at Hand: Employers Create Employee Crisis Funds
Some employers have set up tax-advantaged crisis funds to help employees cope with financial problems. After Jeff and Laura Sims’ son, Bruce, was born in 2003, the couple ran into unexpected financial difficulties. Because Bruce was two months premature, he required more of Laura’s care at home than she had expected, so her unpaid absence from work lasted longer than she had planned. Fortunately, Jeff was able to tap a source of financial aid offered as a benefit by his employer, Sioux Valley Hospitals & Health Systems in Sioux Falls, S.D. The health care complex has a crisis fund for employees who need help to get through unforeseeable financial straits. Read more >
Roseanne White Geisel, "Help is at hand: some employers have set up tax-advantaged crisis funds to help employees cope with financial problems", HR Magazine, Nov. 2005

Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance through Charitable Organizations
Emergencies by nature are unexpected and can cause a tremendous financial burden. By using this publication as you begin to plan your relief efforts you will be able to ensure that your program will provide assistance to victims in ways that are consistent with the federal tax rules that apply to charities. Read more >

IRS Publication 3833 - Disaster Relief, providing assistance through charitable organizations