The most commonly asked questions relief fund administrators get involve grant approval and distribution. The two main questions are 1) how do grants get approved, and 2) how do companies know that the money is being used appropriately? Different companies have slightly different processes, and when we help an organization create or manage a fund, we personalize everything to suit that particular company’s needs.
Grant applications get reviewed, and then approved or declined based on the guidelines that an organization has established. We can provide a list of commonly used criteria, but what is great about the personalization process is that certain criteria can be adjusted specifically to suit your employee profile. For example, if you run a plant in a town with many military families, there can be grant criteria specifically geared to the needs of military families.
In most cases, grant requests are approved or declined within 48 hours of receiving the request and all corroborating information, minimizing the wait time for employees in their time of need. Funds are then distributed shortly after, according to the method set out in the fund information.
There is a legitimate concern on the part of organizations to ensure that funds are being used for the reasons stipulated in the grant requests. In the case of natural disasters, the need is clear and funds are easy to trace. In cases of personal hardship, it can be less cut and dried. Still, our research shows that almost 80% of grants are paid directly to vendors, not to the recipients themselves, making it easy to trace the payments and ensure the money is going to truly help those employees in need.
Finally, these funds have a low incidence of application fraud simply because employees have a sense of ownership and responsibility toward them. Their friends and colleagues have contributed in good faith, and that sense of community is a strong motivator for only applying when the need is real.