Staff Emergency Fund Launches to Support Staff in Financial Need

person pouring wheat into another person's hands

UC Davis has established a Staff Emergency Fund with donations funding grants of up to $1000 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 webpage and other 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,” remarked Chancellor Gary May. “Every member of my leadership council personally committed to donating to the Staff Emergency Fund and we’re incredibly grateful to everyone else who donates to the fund, helping reduce some financial burden on a member of our community."

Recently, UC Davis Health raised over $100k 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 the immediate crises we’re facing.

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

HR 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. University Development will also feature the fund as part of the October Crowdfund UC Davis campaign, which will bring significant recognition to the fund.

What Gets Funded?

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 situations where the staff member can demonstrate financial hardship.

How We’ll Decide What Gets Funded

After, the fund has reached $30,000 in donations, and the initial application period has closed, a confidential evaluation committee will review applications to determine if the staff member has demonstrated a financial hardship (e.g., unpaid bill, medical invoice) and can identify an event/circumstance that triggered this urgent financial need.