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Community Engagement

United Way Leadership Givers Breakfast

We align the strengths of our Laboratory and dedication of our workforce with partners that share our vision to create positive social impact for the communities we serve in East Tennessee and beyond.

Corporate Giving

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is committed to supporting 501(c)(3) nonprofits and educational institutions and programs that align with our core competencies and benefit employees and their families. Donations are allocated to 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. Questions? Please contact the Community Engagement Team at community@ornl.gov.

  • InternshipsORNL provides a variety of opportunities for students to have hands-on, real world experience in a wide range of scientific disciplines
  • Traveling Science Fair—Mobile exhibits are designed for student learning and highlight ORNL’s five science directorates and the operational support functions that keep the Lab running
  • Public Tours - We have partnered with the Department of Energy Public Bus Tours coordinated through the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge.  The tour includes stops at important sites on the ORNL campus as well as points of interest at neighboring DOE facilities. 
  • Educational Support – Programs are offered for education levels K through 12, and laboratory tours are offered to middle school, high school and college students.

What we support

ORNL supports organizations that connect to our employees and to the business community. The following criteria guide our giving:

  • Organizations in Oak Ridge and in the surrounding counties receive priority particularly requests leveraged with other community efforts or funds
  • We look for investments that are larger in size and fewer in number, to organizations that provide tangible, lasting benefits to the region
  • We support organizations that align with our core competencies, which include but are not limited to the computing, environmental, energy, nuclear, physical and neutron sciences and engineering
  • Financial contributions are provided only to recognized 501(c)(3) organizations.

Questions? Please contact the Community Engagement Team at community@ornl.gov.

What we don’t support

  • Grants or sponsorships to individuals
  • Fundraising events such as galas and golf tournaments. ORNL participation is primarily based on whether a staff member serves on the organization’s governing board or a Team UT-Battelle volunteer project is supporting the event
  • Organizations not connected to ORNL core competencies
  • Groups with political or religious affiliations

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. Questions? Please contact the Community Engagement Team at community@ornl.gov.

To apply for a donation

All requests for financial, in-kind, or volunteer support must be submitted online using the donation request form. Proposals should include the following:

  • Name of organization requesting funds
  • A primary contact for the organization, including phone number and email
  • Name and description of the project
  • Project category (e.g., STEM, economic development, the environment)
  • Amount of donation or type of support requested (in-kind, volunteers, mentors) and how the request fits within ORNL overall goals and objectives as outlined above

The form also can be mailed to the following address:

ORNL Communications Division
Community Engagement

P.O. Box 2008
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6266

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 – communications@ornl.gov

Employee Giving

With our employees and their families in mind, we have developed programs that encourage volunteering, board governance, team building, fundraising, and financial contributions to their preferred nonprofit organizations. These programs provide ORNL the opportunity to showcase the values of science, the commitment of staff, our workplace culture, and the importance of building thriving communities in which to live and work. Employee giving is more than just writing a check. It can be support through time and talent, including mentoring, giving blood, helping a neighbor in need, tutoring, and participating in fundraising events, to name a few. Here are three internal programs designed to support ORNL’s active and giving workforce:

  • Team UT-BattelleEmployees can volunteer together in the community to support the nonprofits they choose. ORNL provides opportunities for communications, funding, and other assistance to foster staff-led community projects.
  • Matching Gifts Fund—ORNL matches employee contributions to 501(c)(3)s up to $500 with a $1,000 cap for each organization each year.

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.

Revised 2/6/2020