Employee Emergency CARE Fund
Funded entirely by donations from staff, faculty, and other supporters, the Employee Emergency CARE Fund offers grants of between $200-$2,000 to employees who have experienced a sudden financial hardship.
About the CARE Fund
The Employee Emergency CARE Fund offers financial assistance to faculty and staff who have experienced a non-recurring sudden or emergency-related financial hardship due to an unforeseen or unavoidable event. It is funded almost entirely thanks to the generous donations of faculty and staff. The fund typically has enough donations to award 20-25 grants per year.
The program is overseen by the Division of the Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, with applications reviewed by a confidential committee of Cornell community members.
How The CARE Fund Helps
Domestic Violence Support
CARE Fund Stories
"Helped reduce the stress"
“The funds I received were essential in helping me after my house fire. I lost a wall and a half and the entire roof on the east side of my home plus had smoke and water damage throughout. With an exterior wall missing in bitter cold February and no heat source, the house was not habitable. This CARE gift really helped reduce the stress I was under during this time.”
"Allowed me to focus on treatment and recovery"
"At a time when I was hit with the diagnosis of a cancerous tumor, the help the CARE Fund provided allowed me to focus on treatment and recovery with much less stress. This is a wonderful program and I want to thank everyone who contributes to this."
“The Emergency CARE Fund was a blessing. It made a major difference when I was struggling to get by! I felt guilty about asking for help from strangers, but now I look at the help I received as a blessing. Now that we are getting back on our feet, I plan on giving to the fund so that someone else can feel what I felt when the help came through wen it was needed most.”
Fundraising for the Employee Emergency CARE Fund is done by a committee of Cornell employee volunteers. Our subcommittees include marketing & communications, employee ambassadors, and events. Contact us to learn how you can help!
If you are interested in joining the Employee Emergency CARE Fund Development Committee, sign up via our Gig in Workday!
2023-2024 Committee Members
Suzanne Aceti Koehl
Gerald "Jerry" Deis
Grace Catherine Dembia
Elizabeth Ann Peet
Chelsea Jade Speer
David A. Levitsky
Andrew Walter Beckmann
Spread the word
Spice up your meeting and learn about the CARE Fund! A presentation on the CARE Fund, its purpose, and its impact is available by request: email@example.com
On-Demand Virtual Presentation
You can have a member of the CARE Fund Committee present in-person or virtually by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can view an on-demand version of the virtual presentation below:
Why does the Fund require employees to benefits eligible?
A review of the fund was sponsored by the OVPHR in summer of 2022. The team considered all aspects of eligibility. In particular reference to “Staff/faculty in benefits-eligible full or part-time position (including benefits eligible post-doc associates)” the team determined that the highest volume of non-benefits eligible employees are casual/temp/student workers. The program is intended to prioritize support for regular, consistent full and part time employees of the Cornell community and at present is not funded to meet the demand of including this group of employees.
Can all Cornell employees access the grant?
Employees paid by Cornell University and in university benefits-eligible positions may apply. Weill Cornell employees do not qualify.
Can retirees apply for the grant?
No. However, Cornell retirees and their dependents may still access the Cornell Faculty and Staff Assistance Program for therapeutic support during times of need.
Can students apply for this grant?
No. Students with urgent needs can access the CU Emergency Fund, Students Helping Students, and the DACA Renewal Fee Emergency Fund at https://finaid.cornell.edu/special-circumstances/emergency-funds.
Is the Fund the same as the catastrophic leave donation program?
No these are two separate and equally impactful programs: https://hr.cornell.edu/catastrophic-leave-donation-form
Eligibility for a CARE Fund award is not impacted by participation in the catastrophic leave program.
Who makes decisions about the grants?
A confidential committee reviews grant applications. It consists of Cornell community members as well as representatives from Human Resources, the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program, and Workforce Policy & Labor Relations.
How many grants are awarded each year?
The fund typically has enough donations to award 20-25 grants per year.
How much can be received from the grant?
Eligible recipients may receive between $200 and $2,000 depending on their circumstances.