New Fund to Aid Staff in Financial Distress

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UC Davis has established a Staff Emergency Fund that will take contributions and provide grants of up to $1,000 for staff in times of personal financial hardship.

The Staff Emergency Fund will join the Student Emergency Relief Aid Fund and COVID-19 Support Fund for Health as a way to provide financial relief to members of the UC Davis community.

Applications will be accepted once the Staff Emergency Fund has reached $30,000 — a milestone that will be announced on the fund’s webpage and other information channels across the Davis campus and UC Davis Health.

When COVID-19 struck, UC expanded leave benefits to support employees and their families. When wildfires threatened areas that our employees call home, we offered them a place to stay.

“Through COVID-19, wildfires, smoke and more — we are in this together,” Chancellor Gary S. May said. “Every member of my leadership council personally committed to donating to the Staff Emergency Fund and we’re incredibly grateful to everyone else who contributes to the fund, helping reduce some financial burden on a member of our community.”

Recently, UC Davis Health raised more than $100,000 to support employees with COVID-19-related expenses and to expand COVID-19 testing. However, personal hardships can occur at any time, and the Staff Emergency Fund will continue past immediate crises.

“The Staff Emergency Fund is starting out empty, but UC Davis employees and other friends have a history of supporting colleagues in need,” said Kelly Ratliff, vice chancellor of Finance, Operations and Administration. “We know our staff experience urgent financial needs and we’re committed to outgrowing expectations with this fund.”

Human Resources will soon be making its own contribution to the fund, as part of the first-ever Staff Experience Survey coming Oct. 12. For every completed staff survey, HR will contribute $1 to start building the Staff Emergency Fund.

In addition, the development office will feature the fund as part of October’s Crowdfund UC Davis campaign, which will bring significant recognition to the fund.

How it works

The Staff Emergency Fund can provide assistance when a staff member cannot cover some basic need.

“When someone applies for assistance, they need immediate help and we will respond to that need with compassion,” said Christine Lovely, chief human resources officer. “It’s possible that a staff member would ask for assistance with medical expenses for a family member and we’ll respond quickly to each of these requests, as long as funds are available.”

Grants could also be available for staff needs related to housing, utilities, food, transportation, a change in family situation and other situation where staff members can demonstrate financial hardship.

Decision-making

After, the fund has reached $30,000 in contributions, and the initial application period has closed, a confidential committee will review the applications to determine if staff members seeking assistance have demonstrated financial hardship (e.g., unpaid bills, medical invoices) and can identify events/circumstances that triggered their urgent financial need.

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