INDUSTRY 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Making The Case for CSR
In a year like no other, CSR professionals and purpose-driven companies were put to the test and placed under a microscope by consumers, their employees and other stakeholders. The COVID-19 pandemic, the resulting economic downturn, and the racial justice movement forced companies of all types to evaluate and make significant changes to their operations, strategies, and relationships with all stakeholder groups. Consumers became more cognizant of the role businesses can and must play in impacting societal change. Employees now have a stronger desire to be able to point to their corporation with pride, as an important force for good. And the financial markets are rewarding companies that are not just issuing statements but backing up social impact and sustainability commitments with action and proven results.
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"Making the Case for CSR," Association of Corporate Citizenship Professionals
Philanthropy and COVID-19: Measuring One Year of Giving
In the report, we found that total philanthropic funding awarded for COVID-19-related efforts during the first six months of 2020 dwarfed funding for other recent disasters. Candid tracked $20.2 billion in funding from corporations, foundations, public charities, and high-net-worth individuals to address the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020—nearly double the total reached from the first half of the year.
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Philanthropy and COVID-19: Measuring one year of giving -Candid; Center for Disaster Philanthropy
Illuminating a Hidden Safety Net
 

The Aspen Institute, in partnership with Commonwealth, recently conducted research on Employee Hardship Funds and found that: “…workers felt valued by their employers because of their funds’ existence. As a result, 72% stated that they were more likely to stay with their current employer than leave for a company without hardship funds. In addition, the contributions of their coworkers generated a strong sense of community. One participant stated, “It made me feel like my coworkers had my back.”


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"Illuminating A Hidden Safety Net: Lessons from Research into Employee Hardship Funds," The Aspen Institute; Commonwealth
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.
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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...
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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.
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"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.
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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.
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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.
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IRS Publication 3833 - Disaster Relief, providing assistance through charitable organizations
ESTABLISH A FUND