When people hear about a disaster their immediate response is almost universally ‘how can I help?’ Thoughts may turn to donating to charity or volunteering, but what is rarely considered is how equity compensation benefits could be utilized.
“There’s a very strong connection, between employers providing relief grants to their employees during their worst moments, catastrophic disaster and hardships, and finding a way to create an economic mobility engine for them in Global Shares,” explains Holly Welch Stubbing, president and CEO of E4E Relief. “E4E Relief has created the people, process and technologies for making these grants possible.”
Speaking to Global Shares’ Chris Dohrmann, Senior VP of Strategic Partnerships and John Bagdonas, Senior VP of Business Development, on the latest episode of Own Up: The Equity Compensation podcast Holly discusses how something that companies and individuals normally see exclusively as a way of rewarding employees can actually be used innovatively as equity relief, to benefit people who are facing difficulties.
“If you think about the infrastructure that has been developed worldwide for charitable activity what you see is corporations, family foundations and private foundations making distributions to institutions. That is not done in a high volume manner. If you think about making grants to human beings and the types of catastrophic disasters we’re talking about here, you see millions of people impacted,” Holly goes on to explain, emphasizing just how E4E Relief aims to allow people to give to other people.
Originally set up following the 9/11 tragedies E4E Relief has grown to help compassionate companies support employees in over 100 countries and has created relief programs in response to disasters all around the world. They promote altruism by developing tax efficient strategies and avenues through which employees can donate some portion of their equity to charitable causes, thereby providing financial relief and breathing room to those who need it most, when they need it most.
Exploring the Charitable Aspects of Equity Compensation
Following two years of unprecedented global events and with more economic uncertainty on the horizon employee financial wellness has never been more on the agenda for companies and people leaders looking for solution-driven options.
“Employers have found themselves in a post-Covid environment trying to establish what would be best for their employees to create a well-work environment, a place where people can have strong well-being and deliver on the value proposition that their company is trying to provide,” Holly says, adding that people are generally generous and having a benefit like E4E Relief in place really speaks to people’s generous nature.
For the C-Suite it provides the opportunity to give back, either to co-workers or people in the community by allowing them to donate some portion of their equity to good causes.
“C-Suite leaders today, they need to be ready for the next crisis. But also HR leaders are looking for a way to bring along the entire workforce in terms of financial wellbeing and this solution provides that kind of support to corporate America and really beyond. We’re working with globally headquartered firms that have employees all over the world,” Holly explains to Chris and John, noting that like equity compensation, equity relief remains heavily embedded in the overall category of benefits that are used to recruit, retain and reward staff.
Putting the S in ESG
“Diversity, equity and inclusion, things that are harder to measure, people are really looking around for something that helps articulate the social impact that their firm is making and I do think they are seeing employee well-being, overall, in all its facets, as a key component of the S driver.”
E4E Relief have created specialist software and programs to process, handle and record these grants, and with close to 8,300 responses Holly goes on to talk about how the beneficiaries have reported the benefits, with nearly 30% saying they are more productive and 77% advising it provided them breathing room.
“It’s much bigger than just ‘we did something great for humanity’, it’s actually this is what we did for our workforce and this is how our workforce feels about that,” Holly enthuses. “It creates this sort of virtuous cycle, if you will, where employees are donating to the very thing that’s helping their colleagues and it helps make the program sustainable”
Using Equity For Good During Tough Times
Giving details of how E4E Relief have accepted, in the past, illiquid assets, real estate, closely held stock, publicly traded stock and privately held stock that is waiting to be liquidated Holly details how their relief bridges the gap and allow transformational programs to come together.
“In the US in particular the IRS really wants to find the best way possible to make grants to individuals and that is done through a set of tight regulations that help narrow and clarify where and how you can make a grant to a person and so we’ve basically designed the technology and solution to match up with those requirements and to be able to do it in a high volume way. That’s how employee relief can scale, through these continued investments in technology, people and systems that will allow us to serve more people over time,” Holly says, emphasizing that this speaks again to the idea of human beings helping each other in ways that they can see.
For more information listen to the Own Up: The Equity Compensation podcast and discover how this interesting and innovative use of equity compensation rewards could be just right for your company or talk to Global Shares today to get more information on equity compensation.