Employee Assistance Funds
What is an Employee Assistance Fund?
An Employee Assistance Fund (EAF), also known as an Employee Relief Fund or an Employee Crisis Fund, is a program to help employees cope with unexpected hardships that place undue financial stress on them and their families. A leading way to distribute assistance funds is through an external nonprofit partner that increases the flexibility of what hardships the fund can cover and lowers the administrative burden to the company and the employee.
Many employers establish these funds to assist their employees with the financial challenges these types of events present. An EAF helps employees recover more quickly, demonstrates a company's care for its employees and commitment to their well-being, and provides co-workers with an opportunity to help their colleagues.
America’s Charities and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, a leading resource for businesses dedicated to making a difference, have partnered to provide employers with the support they need to offer EAFs to their employees. We can support your employees wherever they are - in your office or at home, in-person or remote, located in the U.S. or internationally.
Why Partner with America's Charities and the Chamber Foundation?
By working with us, your company can provide support to employees within the US and internationally in times of distress and hardship. Each EAF is tailored to the parameters and qualifications provided by the company, ensuring it aligns with its corporate values and culture.
ENHANCED EFFICIENCIES - With an already established infrastructure, America’s Charities and the Chamber Foundation can quickly launch and mobilize your company’s EAF.
ESTABLISHED EXPERIENCE - Decades of experience in corporate relationships, customer service, and funds management ensures that your EAF is managed professionally.
GREATER FLEXIBILITY - Partnering with an external nonprofit provides flexibility and tax-advantageous options for employers and employees.
America's Charities and the Chamber Foundation are ideal partners for external EAF management services as they have decades of experience supporting corporate investments in employees and communities. Read more about our partnership.
How are EAFs Established?
There are two ways to establish an EAF:
A company may establish a separate charity or a private foundation. Both of these require investment, ongoing administration, and adherence to applicable laws and regulations. In addition, there may be additional program restrictions with a private foundation. For example, a corporate foundation can only provide tax-exempt grants for qualified disasters. Many disasters and emergency hardship situations are not qualified as disasters.
- A company may partner with an established public charity that has the experience, expertise, and infrastructure applicable to managing an EAF. This option provides the most flexibility for a company. An established charity with proven funds management experience expertise—like America's Charities—does not have the same qualifying limits as private foundations do, as outlined in the first example. More information can be found in IRS Publication 3833.
Since 1980, America's Charities, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity, has managed more than $750 million in funds on behalf of hundreds of businesses. Learn more about our funds management services.
We will partner with you to define your EAF program's parameters. This includes employee eligibility, qualifying events, and financial assistance guidelines. You are responsible for funding the program, including program expenses, and making the EAF application available to your employees. We can also establish a mechanism for employees to contribute directly to the fund or work with your existing employee giving program. Then we will review applications and documentation against the criteria and make a decision on award and amount. We will provide quarterly reports detailing funds received, applications received and status, and grants issued to employees. Monthly reports may be provided during periods of increased volume (e.g., disaster). Learn more.
Click here to hear what America's Charities President and CEO Jim Starr had to say at the US Chamber Foundation's #BusinessSolves Conference about how companies can support the emotional and financial needs of their employees during the pandemic and beyond.