How Could A Business Help With Employee Hardship?

ministry actionOne of the main purposes of this blog is to share ideas relating to running your business as a platform for Christian ministry. I have shared many examples of things we do in our business in an effort to minister to our employees, their families, our customers, and the community. Today, I want to tell you about a ministry action called the Impact Fund program that we currently run within our business to help with employee hardship.

Employee Hardship Assistance

The Impact Fund is designed to help employees going through a hardship. All employees have the opportunity to contribute to this fund directly from their paycheck. Anytime we become aware of an employee going through a tough time financially, we use money from this fund to help them out.

employee hardshipThe contributions are voluntary and range from $2 to $40 per donor each month. All assistance given is confidential and the decisions to assist are made by the Leadership Team. We make sure the needs are legitimate and not reflective of a trend. Rarely is assistance given to the same employee twice.

I have been amazed at the response from the employees giving. I have also been amazed at the opportunities we have had to help those in need! This really is a great program. I urge you to consider something similar for your own company.

Below is one of my recent articles promoting the Impact Fund program in our company newsletter.

    Working Together

      Not long after the I.Q. (Intelligence Quotient) test was developed, several studies were conducted to find out how different groups of people scored on the test as groups. The test was administered to men and women, young and old, rich and poor, and many ethnic groups as well. It was in this context that the I.Q. test was given to a group of Hopi Indians.

      When the Hopi received the test, they immediately started to ask each other questions and to compare their answers. The instructor saw this happening, and quickly intervened, telling them that they each had to take the test alone. “You are not permitted to help each other or to share your answers among yourselves,” he told them.

      When the Hopi heard this, they were outraged and refused to take the test, saying, “It is not important that I am smarter than my brother, or that my brother is smarter than me. It is only important what we can do together!”

    Folks, I am NOT recommending group work on factory certification tests! At the same time, I am telling you that we need to look around and lend a hand to those in need of help. If we are truly going to act like a family and reap the benefits of being part of a family, then we all need to make sure we are acting like Hopi Indians!

    One perfect opportunity to do this is what we call the Impact Fund. Each month, you have the opportunity to contribute some amount (of your choice) from your check into this fund. The money in this fund is used for responding to employee hardship. This money is not used for anything else. While I cannot go into detail on any of the specific employee situations that this fund has helped with, I can tell you with confidence that it is working!

    Here are two ways you can help your fellow employees…

    1. Contribute some amount from your check to go into the fund.
    (anything from $1 or $2 up to $20 or more per check – anything helps!)
    2. Make us aware of employee hardships that you see or hear about.
    (see Brian, Chris, Allen, Tim, or Mike)

    I appreciate all who are currently contributing! I know the recipients of the help appreciate it! I encourage everyone to consider participating as you can.

Do you have anything like this at your business?

Do you have any success stories to share?

What would it take to do something similar?

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  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    That’s a really simple but very cool idea. How many people are donating a portion of their pay towards this fund?

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      At last count, we have 76 employees out of the total of 104 – almost 75% participation at some level! I feel really good about the engagement with this program. We have been doing it for over a year.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    This is so practical as a way of preparing for hardships. We all know that sickness, injury, an unexpected problem at home, etc., can and will happen to someone.  So how did you all begin the program and how long have you had it implemented?

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Tom, we put a flyer in everyone’s paycheck. Then someone went around to every department and described what we were doing and answered questions. It was a very simple process and the reception was immediate.

      Like I said in the post, it was not uncommon to see “the hat” being passed on occasion to help someone out. Most everyone was willing to jump in! We have roughly 75% participation and have been doing it since November 2010.

      • Rajeev

        Wonderfull !!

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  • rajeev

    I really Like This , I still remember In the Office where my Father was Working .They also had same thing there , Like You Described Impact Fund . Every Month My Father was Giving some Money like i Guess 1 US$ ? I Guess . The Reason for Giving this Fund was Little Different . 1st . When anyone was Going to Be Retired , While Retirement Fairwell Party , Their Office was Giving around 1000 US$ to The Retired person as Gift . In Other way . 2nd . If any Person Die Before Retirement , They were Helping Their family with 1000 US$ Cheque from Same Fund . I Really Admire . When My Father passed away . I was very young and almost studying , My bro was having No Job , Sisters was Studying . From that same Impact Fund that My Father and Every Employee in Office was Raising every month from Pay Check . When There was Memorial Service Of My Father , His Office Employees came and Handover my Mom Cheque of 1000 US$ . Really This is Very Good , and We know what that had mean to us On that Time .
    I AGREE :-)

  • Leann Simmons

    Chris, love this! And love the Hopi Indian perspective. This takes me back to my very first ‘real’ corporate job, many moons ago. A pool of women, in the word processing pool (yes, THAT long ago!) had this kind of fund set up, even though this company, pretty large but looking back, surprisiingly intimate, had a company benevolence fund. But this was different, a hardship fund that sought to offer some relief in an employees crisis. It grew to include the whole department and officers, and so many people. It was a personal offering of varying, anonymous amounts. No pressure, but also no shame when a need came up. It was a very loving supportive thing at a time when corporate workplaces had a more familial air. Didn’t mean to sound jaded. That was also during an economically challenging time, and the irony is that the fund took in more than was ever needed, and even when people experienced a blessing, they would give back to the fund. Like you said, just a few dollars that they knew went towards helping a fellow co-worker. It’s gestures like this that spawned vacation contributions to sick employees, et al. Good deeds and love of neighbor never go out of style…. We are called to be the love of Christ…even, maybe especially, in our workplace.

    • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

      Leann, thanks for sharing that! I love how you guys did it without the company having to initiate it. I bet there were some great stories where the financial assistance changed lives!