Employee Assistance Funds

Supporting Employees in Times of Hardship


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 provides employers with the support they need to offer EAFs to their employees. 

Why Partner with America’s Charities?

By working with us, your company can provide support to employees 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. 

  • EASY SET-UP – With an already established infrastructure, America’s Charities 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 America’s Charities, an external nonprofit, provides flexibility and tax advantageous options for employers and employees.

America’s Charities has decades of experience helping businesses help others. Read more about our employee workplace giving and business philanthropy solutions.

How are EAFs Established? 

There are two ways to establish an EAF:

  1. 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. 

  2. A company may partner with an established public charity with 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 $700 million in funds on behalf of hundreds of businesses. Learn more about our funds management services.  

Program Overview

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). 

Photo Credit: Rémi Walle on Unsplash

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America's Charities partners with businesses to optimize an existing Employee Assistance Fund or establish and administer a new one.


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