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Community Engagement

Connecting to our Community

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and its managing partner UT-Battelle are committed to supporting 501(c)(3) nonprofits and educational institution programs that align with our Laboratory agenda and benefit our community, employees, and their families. Donations are allocated to program initiatives designed to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math), bolster economic development, promote a sustainable environment, and assist with civic and cultural programs. 

We believe a vibrant community is essential for our mission and workforce. To that end, we provide opportunities for community groups, children, and young adults to learn more about ORNL through internships, educational programs, and tours. Click to learn more about the following ways to connect:

Two people collecting money for Children's Hospital at an ORNL Gives event

Semi-Annual Grants

What we support

ORNL provides financial support to organizations that connect to our employees and the business community. The following criteria guide our giving commitments:

  • Organizations in Oak Ridge and surrounding counties receive priority, particularly requests leveraged with other community efforts or funds.
  • Investments that are larger in size and fewer in number, to organizations that provide tangible, lasting benefits to the region.
  • Nonprofits and educational facilities that align with our core competencies, which include but are not limited to the computing, environmental, energy, nuclear, physical and neutron sciences and engineering.

What we don’t support

We are open to reviewing all applications provided during the requested submittal time, but there are some appeals for support that we do not consider. They are as follows:

  • Grants or sponsorships to individuals
  • Fundraising events such as galas and golf tournaments. 
  • Groups with political or religious affiliations

Financial contributions are provided only to recognized 501(c)(3) organizations.  ORNL may require additional information on the requesting organization's budget, board of directors, and community service history and reserves the right to research additional details via Charity Navigator or other online review and vetting resources.

To apply for a grant​​​​​

All requests for financial support must be submitted online using the Grant Application. ORNL only accepts online applications for accredited 501(c)(3) organizations. Applications are accepted during two grant cycles only: July 1– 31 (requests reviewed in August) and January 1 - 31 (requests reviewed in February).  Grant Guidelines are provided for your convenience. Nonprofits can only receive one grant per calendar year. Recipients must fill out an Impact Reporting Form no later than 6 months after the project has been fulfilled.

Note: ORNL’s communications office must be notified if an organization intends to contact media outlets about a corporate gift or propose a partnership story. Please email the communications office for assistance —

Two people posing for a photo on the ORNL quad during an ORNL Gives event.

Employee Driven Programs

Under the framework of ORNL Gives, community engagement happens all year long. From fundraising events, in-kind donation drives, volunteer opportunities, and payroll deduction options, employees are empowered to support dozens of nonprofits in whatever way is meaningful to them. We have developed programs that encourage volunteering, board governance, team building, fundraising, and financial contributions. These programs showcase the value of science, the commitment of staff, our workplace culture, and the importance of building thriving communities in which to live and work.  Here are a few internal programs designed to support ORNL’s active and generous workforce:

Questions? Contact the Community Engagement Team at

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle LLC for the US Department of Energy. Please read the Community Engagement Guidelines for nonprofit giving here.