Employers often want to support employees who suffer tragedy. Cases of natural disaster, death, life-threatening illness or serious injury are circumstances that make us all want to help.

Such help, when provided directly to employees, is kind and generous but is not considered by the IRS as a “charitable” act qualifying for a tax deduction.

To allow compassionate employers to support their valued workforce, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has created Employee Care Funds — a tax-deductible, charitable solution that can provide emergency assistance to employees when they need it most.

Employee Care Funds give the company an opportunity to focus on the organization’s most value asset. The administrative burden is handled by the Community Foundation by taking care of the entire application process, from accepting, reviewing, and verifying applications. Once applications are approved, financial assistance for employees is provided through payments to vendors.

Along with getting help to those in crisis, Employee Care Funds let employees know they are valued and that their employer cares about their well-being.

Companies interested in learning more or creating a Employee Care Fund should contact Belinda Dinwiddie Havron at 615-321-4939 bhavron@cfmt.org

Here’s how it works:

  • A company makes a tax-deductible contribution to establish a Employee Care Fund within the Community Foundation.
  • This creates a charitable vehicle through which employees facing crisis are able to apply for emergency support to get through financial hardship.
  • Education is provided about how the Fund works, including how gifts can be made and how employees apply when they are in need.
  • The Community Foundation handles the details from here, such as processing all employee applications to ensure privacy and equity.

What situations qualify an employee to receive help?

This includes a situation such as a flood, hurricane, tornado, wildfire, severe storms or earthquake, which has damaged or destroyed a primary residence.

This includes the employee, spouse and eligible dependent(s). Employees do not automatically qualify for assistance when they, or their dependants, are diagnosed, and assistance from a Fund cannot be a substitute for medical insurance. Applicants must demonstrate resulting financial need, including an inability to pay basic living expenses.

This includes both death of the employee or of eligible dependent(s). A Fund cannot pay for travel to funerals or other funeral expense, but can help when the loss of income or the cost of funeral expenses or medical bills prevent an employee or the employee’s family from affording basic living expenses.

These may be but are not limited to: house fire; major home damage that an employee could not avoid or prevent; serious crime against an employee such as robbery, arson, assault, domestic abuse; or another reportable crime that impacts the ability to afford basic living expenses.

Apply for Employee Assistance

Donations of any size are accepted to existing Employee Care Funds, allowing company employees and company friends to participate in supporting colleagues who may experience hardship.

Contact Information

Belinda Dinwiddie Havron

Belinda Dinwiddie Havron

Director, Donor Engagement

  • bhavron@cfmt.org
  • x103
Benja Hutchens

Benja Hutchens

VP of Human Resources and Administration

  • bhutchens@cfmt.org
  • x115