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Community Engagement Guidelines

Internal Operating Procedure for Nonprofit Giving

Because of the nature of our work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), we must follow federal guidelines for providing financial gifts to 501(c)(3) organizations. Support such as this is not allowable by the US government as it would be considered taxpayer funded. Therefore, ORNL relies on the generosity of our managing corporate partner, UT-Battelle, to underwrite sponsorships and financial gifts to nonprofit organizations that align with ORNL’s giving strategy. All requests must be routed through the Community Engagement Team (CE) in the ORNL Communications Division via the donation request form. Nonprofits must use the following process to be considered for a financial gift:

  • A nonprofit representative must fill out the donation request form and submit it to CE at for consideration.
  • CE requires 3 to 6 weeks to review the request, provide to the Lab Director’s Office for review, and notify the requestor with the appropriate response.
  • If request is denied, a CE representative will notify nonprofit by email, letter, or phone.
  • If CE agrees to the request, the nonprofit must submit an invoice for payment to or mail to:

          ORNL Communications Division
          Community Engagement
          P.O. Box 2008
          Oak Ridge, TN  37831-6266

  • Payments are typically distributed from UT-Battelle via check or direct deposit within four weeks of receiving the invoice.
  • Any media outreach or communications made by the nonprofit about the financial gift must be reviewed by the ORNL Communications Division at

Notes: UT-Battelle, via CE, may require additional information on the requesting organization’s budget, board of directors, and/or community service history, and it reserves the right to research additional details via Charity Navigator or other online vetting resources. This process may delay the distribution of funds to the nonprofit.  Contributions are only provided to recognized 501(c)(3) organizations and will not be considered for individuals or groups with political or religious affiliations.

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.