Matching Grants are a unique way The Homer Fund recognizes the generosity of associates toward one another. This grant may assist in situations where the Direct Grant cannot, whether due to Direct Grant-ineligible circumstances (i.e., divorce/separation), or Direct Grant-ineligible expenses (i.e., past due auto loans). The Matching Grant can also be used to complement the Direct Grant, covering a balance which exceeds the amount covered by the Direct Grant.
When associates “pass the hat” to collect money to help another associate in need, the Fund will match their collection $2 for $1, up to $5,000.* While the Matching Grant can cover many circumstances that may not meet the guidelines for the Direct Grant, eligibility is not guaranteed. Certain situations are not appropriate when asking other associates to donate money (i.e., raising bail money or elective surgery, or paying an associate's veterinarian bill).
Effective Aug. 8, 2016, the restructured Matching Grant process will go into affect as follows:
- Pre-approval from The Homer Fund is required PRIOR to taking up a collection
- Requests that qualify for Direct Grants will be declined
- Associates that meet the criteria for a Direct Grant MUST seek assistance through the Direct Grant
- Matching Grant collections may be done in CASH ONLY
- Associates will be required to provide proof of the expense for which they are requesting a Matching Grant
- Matching Grant checks will be made payable to creditor, where possible
- Matching Grant awards will match $2-for-$1, up to the associate's actual need
- If the associate needs $1,000 and $300 is collected at their Home Depot location, The Homer Fund will award a $2-to-$1 match of $600 and the associate will have $900 to go towards the expense
- If the associate needs $1,000 and $500 is collected at their Home Depot location, The Homer Fund will award a match of $500 and the associate will have $1,000 to go towards the expense
- If the associate needs $1,000 and $1,000 is collected at their Home Depot location, The Homer Fund WILL NOT award a match because the collection is sufficient to address the need
- How long does it take to make a decision on a Matching Grant?
- What information does the Fund need when reviewing a Matching Grant application?
- How often can an associate receive a Matching Grant?
- Can an associate on a leave of absence apply for Homer Fund assistance?
- What situations are appropriate for a Matching Grant?
- What constitutes Homer Fund fraud?
- What is an authorized sponsor?
- How do I apply for a Matching Grant?
How long does it take to make a decision on a Matching Grant?
The pre-approval process takes one business day. The inquiring associate must complete the Pre-Approval Disclosure Form and return to an authorized sponsor (ASDS, manager or above). The Homer Fund will approve or decline requests to collect funds for Matching Grant purposes within one business day from receipt of the electronic pre-approval request (completed by authorized sponsor). Once a pre-approval request has been approved, the Home Depot location may begin the collection. This collection could be as short or as long as necessary, depending on the individual need of the associate. At the close of the collection, an authorized sponsor will submit the request to The Homer Fund to match the amount actually collected, and The Homer Fund will process the match within one business day.
What information does the Fund need when reviewing a Matching Grant application?
Associates seeking help through a Matching Grant must provide proof of the expense for which they are seeking assistance. For instance, if an associate needs help paying an electric bill to prevent disconnection, the associate must provide a copy of the past due electric bill showing the amount necessary to prevent disconnection.
How often can an associate receive a Matching Grant?
The Homer Fund will match up to $5,000 for an associate's Matching Grant. The number of times an associate can receive a Matching Grant is directly related to the amount, not the number of grants. An associate may receive multiple Matching Grants up to the amount awarded reaches $5,000.
Can an associate on a leave of absence apply for Homer Fund assistance?
Yes. An associate on leave is very often the associate that needs Homer Fund assistance the most. If the associate is not able to complete the Pre-Approval Disclosure Form, an authorized sponsor may complete it in their place.
What situations are appropriate for a Matching Grant?
The Homer Fund is set up to address unforeseen situations for which an associate is not financially prepared to address. Therefore, circumstances caused by the actions of the associate are not appropriate situations to ask other associates to contribute their money.
What constitutes as Homer Fund fraud?
Falsification or alteration of supporting documents or information therein (originals are REQUIRED whenever possible)
- Falsification of Homer Fund check/deposit of checks not made payable to associate
Falsification of an authorized sponsor
Use of funds for anything outside the purpose for which funds were issued
Intentional misrepresentation of hardship
Intentional withholding of relevant information which, if known, would result in declination
Intentional misuse of personal Homer Fund account (accounts are for use by ASDS or salaried manager ONLY)
Intentional attempt to deceive management team or Homer Fund staff (including giving money to other associates and asking them to "donate" to associate in need)
Also, money collected outside the following guidelines will not be matched:
- Management or ASDS must be involved and initiate the Matching Grant collection
- Matching Grant pre-approval is REQUIRED prior to the start of any collection
- Fundraisers of any sort must be done in-store and available to associates only; this includes luncheons, bake sales, car washes, etc.
- The Homer Fund will only match funds donated by associates.
- Donations from vendors, customers, family members (even if they are a Home Depot associate) or other members of the community will not be matched.
- Money from the associate in need may not be included in the collection amount as these funds are not eligible for matching.
- The Homer Fund will not match an individual donation of more than $500.
- Money donated by an associate should be given with the understanding that the donation is a gift, not a loan.
- Loaning money to an associate in need for purposes of matching is a violation of the Matching Grant guidelines.
What is an authorized sponsor?
An authorized sponsor is an ASDS or any salaried manager. Homer Fund applications may only be submitted through an authorized sponsor. The role of the authorized sponsor is to ensure the associate meets the minimum criteria for a Homer Fund grant. Authorized sponsors also act as a liason between The Homer Fund and the associate in need.
How do I apply for a Matching Grant?
Applications may only be submitted by an authorized sponsor (see previous question).
If you are an associate in need, CLICK HERE to download a Matching Grant Prep Pack.
If you are an authorized sponsor assisting an associate with their application, log into your personal Homer Fund account to access applications.
If you have not created a personal account, contact The Homer Fund at Homer_Fund@homedepot.com for assistance.