Today more than ever, we need our employees to feel part of one global family. Our international employees are valuable assets and we want to retain them. Studies show that providing disaster and medical hardship assistance increases retention and gets them back to being productive employees on a more-timely basis. Yet many organizations are hesitant to include their international team members in their relief funds. They are afraid of the unknown including the administrative costs, compliance requirements, and the logistics of getting the funds to the grantee. Given the numerous international disasters and traumas including the Coronavirus outbreak, we need to respond and become comfortable with providing aid to our employees internationally. Increasingly domestic employees want a vehicle to help their counterparts around the world.
The first step is to find a partner who understands the administration of international grants. Generally, the administrative costs of international grants should not be significantly higher than domestic grants. However, to minimize costs, you have to be thoughtful in addressing the unique circumstances of awarding grants in multiple countries.
EAF has developed relationships with international financial services firms who know the local compliance requirements and can seamlessly transfer the funds directly to the grantee’s bank account. Our experience allows us to anticipate the information requirements for each country. For example, Russia requires multiple tax identification codes while the Philippines may ask for birthdates and proof of citizenship. The experience that EAF has in awarding international grants allows them to guide you through each of the issues discussed above, eliminating the fear of the unknown. Your international employees deserve the same support your domestic employees receive. The rewards will be great from the heartfelt thanks, to increased employee retention to happier, more productive employees very loyal to your organization.
Cindy brought a wealth of financial and nonprofit experience when she joined EAF as consulting CFO in 2018. As an audit partner with Coopers & Lybrand (now PWC) she served such nonprofit clients as the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Since then she has served as board member and an officer for several international nonprofit organizations including serving as President of the William & Mary Alumni Association, and Treasurer of the Society of International Business Fellows, the Virginia Special Olympics, The William & Mary Foundation and the Global Network Foundation. She has provided consulting services to numerous nonprofits on process improvement, systems selection and implementation, investing, financial reporting and compliance including tax reporting. She has also served as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of several privately held corporations including Prestige Brands International, Comtrad Industries, Posh Brands and At Home America. She is the author of A Guide to Nonprofit Board Success: Answering the Call of Leadership and has published articles in The Journal of Accountancy and on Nonprofit Information.com. She is a frequent speaker on nonprofit leadership and strategic planning.