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Employee Assistance Programs FAQs

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a program established by a company to support their employees in times of disaster or hardship. These situations are often difficult to predict, and when they strike, can cause extreme financial burden for those impacted. During this time, the negative impact of these circumstances affects the individual employee and their family, as well as the employer. These effects are seen in the form of decreased performance, unexpected absences from work and employee turnover. 

As a result, companies may decide to implement an Employee Assistance Program to support staff during natural disasters or unexpected personal hardships, such as a home fire, that place undue financial stress on the employee and their families.

Also known as an Employee Hardship Program or an Employee Relief Fund.

There are strict guidelines governing how corporations and corporate foundations can offer EAPs, which is why there are several benefits to partnering with a third-party, public charity to administer this program:

  1. A 501(c)(3) public charity allows a corporation to support their employees after a wide range of natural disasters and personal hardship situations. 
  2. Removes the administrative responsibility of managing a robust program for employees all over the world. 
  3. Allows for an objective third party to review, screen, and approve applications for assistance, ensuring the applicant remains anonymous, protecting the private information of employees, and minimizing any risk to the corporation or corporate foundation. 
  4. Protects the corporation or corporate foundation from the liability of administering a program that could be seen as directing additional compensation to certain employees.
  5. All donations made by employees, the company or the foundation, or its subsidiaries are tax deductible.
  6. Employees will not be taxed on the grants they receive. 

Additional information about the guidelines for arranging charitable assistance during emergency situations can be found in IRS Publication 3833.

With an in-house technology team, Global Impact will develop and manage a custom donation page for processing credit card and e-check contributions to your Employee Assistance Program. Fundraising campaigns can be developed individually for each disaster or personal hardship. Alternatively, one campaign can be created to facilitate EAP donations year-round that are not specifically tied to one individual incident. Our platform allows donors worldwide to make contributions in 154 currencies via credit card, e-check or check to support their colleagues during times of disaster. Note that all donations will settle in U.S. dollar.

Global Impact has developed a highly customizable portal for Employee Assistance Programs, which facilitates employee requests and includes translation functionality. This online portal is set up for employees to request assistance and allows program administrators to review, assess and render decisions on requests, as well as track the requests from the time an application is submitted through to the distribution of funding to the impacted team member. 

This secure platform keeps thorough records of all assistance requests and grant disbursements.  

Given the strict regulations on corporations and corporate foundations, the Employee Assistance Program will need to be managed by a third party, staffed by individuals who have no financial or personal connection to the employees, and who can serve as objective program administrators. Global Impact will assume this role and take on the following responsibilities: establishing the program criteria, providing oversight of the process, interfacing with points of contact, and reviewing applications and rendering decisions. 

Specifically, in partnership with your company, Global Impact will develop a governance framework, program guidelines and procedures to clearly define the requirements of the program. Our team will also identify who is eligible to receive funding. This includes development of overall roles and responsibilities for administration of the program; establishment of employee eligibility standards and size of grant for each type of qualified disaster or personal hardship; and development of the review, selection and payment process. 

Global Impact staff will manage the program and review requests for assistance from employees, score requests based on the agreed upon criteria outlined, objectively select who qualified to receive funds and track disbursements.

If an applicant meets the qualifications of the program, then the assistance grant issued by Global Impact is presumed to be for charitable purposes only. The grant would not result in taxable income for the impacted employee. 

Global Impact will manage the disbursement of funds raised for each employee who has been approved to receive funding. We can either transfer funds directly into the employee’s personal bank account or work with your payroll office to have funds disburse to the employee via payroll. 

Yes! With Global Impact’s in-house finance team and over 60 years of supporting international grant distributions, your employees all over the world can receive grants from the Employee Assistance Program.

Global Impact can launch an online donation platform, aligned with your branding, to facilitate online, tax-deductible gifts from employees in the U.S. and around the world within 48-72 hours of full execution of agreement. Within five days of executing the agreement, Global Impact can establish a custom-branded and tailored portal to facilitate requests for assistance from employees. 

A qualified disaster:

  • Results from terrorist or military actions.
  • Results from an accident involving a common carrier.
  • Is declared a disaster by the president.
  • Is deemed catastrophic by the secretary of the treasury.
  • Serious illness or injury.
  • Undue hardship not caused by employee.
  • Fire, flood or natural disaster.
  • Military deployment.
  • Violent crime.

Learn more about employee assistance programs

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