Welcome to our Partner Profile Series. Each month, we feature insights and perspectives from HR professionals and consultants working with various clients to address today's most pressing issues.
This month, our spotlight is on E4E Relief. E4E Relief is a leading provider of emergency financial relief worldwide. Its overarching mission is to act as a financial first responder during these challenging circumstances, offering a financial safety net when individuals find themselves in need. E4E Relief's world-class technology and expert team of relief advisors can extend financial relief to multiple stakeholders across multiple continents, from employees and contractors to suppliers and the broader community.
I sat down with Courtney Ramey, Chief Product Officer at E4E Relief. As a Chief Product Officer, she leads their product organization and oversees the development of their emergency financial relief platform.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your role at E4E Relief.
First, thanks so much for the opportunity to share a little bit more about E4E Relief with the PTO Exchange community. We appreciate your partnership and the opportunity you provide to companies looking for more meaningful ways to put unused PTO to work.
I joined E4E Relief almost two years ago after spending 20 years driving growth and operational efficiency for tech-enabled organizations while working for Jabian Consulting and IBM. At E4E Relief, I lead our product organization and oversee the development of our emergency financial relief platform. We are focused on enhancing the experience for our customers, applicants, and donors. I love using technology for good, and it is rewarding to work each day to support companies that care about the well-being of their workforce by providing emergency financial relief to employees experiencing hardship or disaster.
Can you provide an overview of E4E Relief's mission and values?
E4E Relief is an organization dedicated to empowering companies to provide financial assistance and support to members of the workforce and other stakeholders who are navigating unforeseen hardships. Our overarching mission is to act as a financial first responder during these challenging circumstances, offering a financial safety net when individuals find themselves in need.
Embedded within our operational framework are core values that emphasize empathy and meaningful outcomes. We are committed to fostering a sense of community and increasing resiliency among individuals experiencing challenges.
What are the specific relief programs that E4E Relief offers?
Our global solution supports companies in providing charitable grants to individuals facing hardship or disaster. These unexpected crises can shatter financial stability, increase stress, and impair overall well-being. Our core programs solve for workforce relief, supply chain relief, or community relief. For instance, our Brave of Heart fund provided grants to families of healthcare workers who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we’ve also created a resident relief program, which focuses on keeping residents in their homes in times of financial uncertainty. We’ve already seen the impact these resident relief grants have provided, especially over the holiday season, and it’s been critical to eviction prevention and housing stability.
How does E4E Relief identify and reach the individuals who need its services?
Compassionate companies and communities around the world reach out to us when they have a class of individuals they would like to support and they are ready to launch a fund. After an unexpected disaster or hardship occurs, applicants can then reach out to us for assistance. Our team verifies their identity and confirms the event and the expenses requested are compliant. Then, E4E Relief disburses a charitable grant directly to the applicant to help cover the cost of the expense. We cover events such as climate-related disasters, geopolitical events such as military conflicts, and sudden personal crises such as the loss of a spouse, domestic violence, or short-term illness.
Can you share some specific examples of how E4E Relief's programs have helped individuals in need?
One that is top of mind is a recent applicant who had been living and working on the island of Maui with his girlfriend when wildfires forced the couple from their apartment. They escaped unharmed, but their building burned to the ground. In the weeks that followed, friends and coworkers welcomed them into their homes, sheltering them when they otherwise would have had none. In search of a more permanent solution, the individual reached out to a local church, where generous volunteers helped him and his girlfriend find a new apartment. But they still needed help covering the cost of basic needs and unexpected expenses until they could get back on solid footing. Then, the individual learned of his company’s emergency relief program and turned there for help. He applied and, once approved, received a tax-free grant to help him and his girlfriend regain financial stability and once again have a place to call home.
An example of a personal hardship is domestic violence, which is one of the most common hardship applications we receive. These women and men have experienced physical, emotional, and financial abuse at the hands of a loved one, and they turn to their companies – our clients – for support. Last fall, an applicant was assaulted by her husband for the second time in their marriage. The next day, she gathered her children and fled. She contacted the police and was granted an emergency protective order. At first, she found safety at a local domestic violence shelter, where volunteer lawyers helped her obtain a two-year restraining order against her husband. She also initiated a divorce and found a one-bedroom apartment to house her family of three. As the weeks went by, she continued to give everything she had to her family and her work. But she struggled to afford food and pay her bills. She began visiting the mobile food bank once a week, and that provided some relief. But it was not enough to sustain her family over time. Fortunately, she works for an organization with an emergency financial relief program, a compassionate company that has chosen to invest in the mental and financial well-being of its workforce during times just like these. She applied for relief and was awarded a grant to help cover the cost of her expenses and get her back on her feet.
Stories like this are why we do what we do. We empower companies and communities to support their stakeholders, and the results speak for themselves. And we look forward to providing more hope during hardship as we head into the new year.
How does E4E Relief collaborate with corporate and community partners to design and implement relief programs?
Our team works closely with our corporate and community partners to design and implement a sustainable relief program that meets their specific needs. We determine what stakeholders the program will support, what events the program will cover, and what expenses will qualify for relief. Another crucial aspect is funding: Our relief advisors model the initial funding required and help organizations think through how to sustain the program over the long term. Our team then builds a branded portal for the company where donors can donate to the fund, applicants can apply for relief, and clients can access business intelligence about their program. Once implementation is complete, our highly trained Customer Experience and Grant Specialist teams work closely with our clients and applicants to provide compassionate, personalized service at a time when it’s needed most.
How does E4E Relief measure the success of its programs and track their impact?
E4E Relief is dedicated to understanding and measuring the substantial and meaningful outcomes of emergency financial relief through ImpactStackSM. Drawing from over two decades of experience, our cutting-edge research measures key social and business outcomes correlated with emergency financial relief. We are finding these outcomes hold true regardless of industry, location, demographic, or crisis type. These valuable insights are seamlessly incorporated into a personalized dashboard, furnishing our clients with information about the outcomes achieved by key stakeholders through financial relief.
What are some of the most impactful outcomes you have achieved through your relief programs?
We are measuring outcomes associated with well-being, engagement, productivity, and employee retention. 81% of grant recipients say they were able to regain their financial stability, which plays a fundamental role in emotional well-being. Our research also shows that 52% of grant recipients reported an increase in engagement at work after receiving a grant. 70% of grant recipients say their grant helped them maintain productivity at work, and 76% of grant recipients had a more positive perception of their company. These are powerful outcomes! And what we are seeing is that the impact is not stopping with the applicant. These grants are producing a ripple effect, generating positive results for the organizations and the communities they serve as well.
What role do you see innovation playing in shaping the future of relief solutions?
Innovation is and will be a core part of our business to respond with agility to the needs from unexpected crisis and empower users. We built innovation into our product management lifecycle and are constantly learning and looking for ways to leverage advances in technology, as well as partnerships with organizations like PTO Exchange, to enhance our value proposition to our clients and to serve more people in crisis. I am passionate about the role technology plays in the relief process, in part because I have witnessed the impact it has had on our organization’s ability to scale our relief programs to serve a global community, to enhance and elevate our application process to create ease of use for our clients and our applicants, and to measure how emergency financial relief is changing businesses and lives for the better. I do not doubt that the best is yet to come.
What sets E4E Relief apart from its competition?
Our platform and our people. Our tech-enabled solution offers best-in-class security and data privacy. We offer features such as native translations and single sign-on because we are focused on the applicant’s experience. We can provide secure payments to over 120 countries in local currencies, and our streamlined and dynamic applications allow applicants to quickly apply with support provided in over 200 languages. But what sets us apart are our people. We have dedicated and compassionate applicant support specialists and a 24/7 contact center for our applicants. Our client success team supports our clients with end-to-end program administration, and ImpactStack, our latest product enhancement, provides pioneering impact research specific to each client.
Are there any additional questions that I should ask to better understand E4E Relief's work?
I think it helps to ask why it makes sense to outsource something like this. A lot of companies try to set up processes on their own to help their team, which is commendable but often isn’t sustainable. Our team reviews applications and provides grants in compliance with IRS requirements, which allows donations and grants to be provided charitably and ensures your fund is compliant with federal and state laws. We are also able to review applications anonymously, providing an equitable, impartial review process. Our Command Center anticipates and responds to fluctuating demand, scaling quickly as required, which allows the company to focus on providing other critical support during a disaster. Lastly, our best-in-class security and privacy practices offer safe and secure transmission of data, as well as PCI DSS compliance. We also comply with the extensive data protection regulations required by the EU, additional countries, and states, including GDPR, CCPA, and NYSA.
Published on Dec 14, 2023 by Dave Sherman