Author: Janice Black, President & CEO

We have seen many individuals and families fall on hard times during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through our grant work with the COVID-19 Community Response Fund, we are providing financial support to local nonprofit organizations that are on the front lines and are serving. To make a contribution or learn more about this fund visit

The global pandemic reinforced the need for another powerful tool to provide support to your employees who may be experiencing financial difficulty, a Corporate Hardship Fund.

Imagine how hard it is for an employee to ask for help with rent. Now imagine you’re the employee. Corporate Hardship Funds are a dynamic mechanism for providing support to individuals who need it most.

What is a Corporate Hardship Fund?

A corporate hardship fund is a grant opportunity for employees, with customizable guidelines established by the employer, which provides aid to their employees for disasters and other hardships. Gifts to this fund can be made by the employer or by employees and are fully tax-deductible.

Why do you need a Corporate Hardship Fund?

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. No one could have predicted a global pandemic and COVID-19 has touched each and every one of us in some way. With an increasing number of people falling into financial difficulty, a Corporate Hardship Fund could be the lifeline they need to get back on their feet.

A Corporate Hardship Fund can be an integral component of your corporate social responsibility initiative. Strategic corporate giving that makes an impact in your community and supports your employees’ charitable efforts, ultimately makes them feel more valued while increasing job performance, morale, and therefore productivity.

Why should you partner with TFEC for your Hardship Fund?

Setting up a corporate hardship or disaster fund on your own involves a lot of regulations, time, fees, and guidelines, which must be followed precisely, to avoid adverse tax consequences for your company and its employees.

Your time is valuable. The average time it takes to secure a 501(c)3, a key component of any employee hardship fund, without TFEC’s help is 6 – 12 months. The average time it takes TFEC to set up your corporate hardship fund is 1 – 2 weeks.

We have spent more than a century managing charitable funds of every type, we’ll ensure every dollar is prudently invested and has maximum impact.

Setting up a Corporate Hardship Fund

Setting up your Corporate Hardship Fund would follow an easy, 6-step process:

  1. An initial phone consultation helps us design a legal framework and fund structure that works for your company.
  2. Your company creates criteria, an application, and forms a committee with support from TFEC. We will make sure you’re following all of the IRS requirements.
  3. Your company makes it official with a tax-deductible contribution.
  4. Employees can support the fund with tax-deductible contributions as they wish, or directly from their paycheck. We’ll help with the setup.
  5. As your company develops your fund, we invest the money in ways that ensure stable, sustainable growth.
  6. When an employee needs help, they can apply for confidential support from the fund. We’ll walk your company and committee through the entire process.

We know you care about your employees and their well-being. We also know that being a charitably inclined organization is important to you as well. A Corporate Hardship Fund helps you align both of these.

Help your employees who need it most. Your hardship fund. Made possible by TFEC.

Are you interested in learning more about hardship funds? Contact our experts!

Jennifer Doyle, Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Investment

Janice Black, President & CEO

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