You would never set up an investment portfolio and not monitor it or make changes depending on the economy and your personal circumstances. For the same reason, you should not fail to regularly review and monitor your emergency assistance fund. The continued success of the fund depends on more than simply ensuring that contributions continue to roll in. Just as an investment portfolio undergoes regular review and tune-ups, so must an emergency assistance fund.
As employee needs change, so must the program, in order to maintain a balance between donations received and grants paid out. Ongoing monitoring of the percentage of employees who apply for grants, the percentage who are approved, and the amounts being paid out is crucial for assessing the overall health of the fund and the potential future needs of employees. It is also important to periodically review the grant application and approval process, as well as to ensure that the criteria for approval remains relevant and that application response times continue to be on target. As with any ongoing program or operation, the function and results can begin to drift over time (for better or worse). Regular review means knowing both how and what your fund is doing.
Finally, if the grant is not set-up to allow tax-deductible donations, it may be a smart decision to find out if that can be adjusted. Tax-deductions on donations are a strong incentive for donors, and donors significantly increase the dollar amount contributed to the fund. Along the same lines, ensuring that grants are tax-exempt means that recipients get to use all of the money received to meet their needs, without losing a chunk to taxes. Review of your fund can also prevent the missteps that might cause the fund to fall out of tax compliance. With continued monitoring of an organization’s emergency assistance fund, the fund can grow stronger, become more efficient, and help more employees.
EAF Director of Growth & Development