Employee Giving

Employee Giving

Around the world, our employees take an active role in giving back to their communities through a variety of programs.



Each year, our employees donate thousands of hours to help to improve the health and well-being of communities around the world through programs such as MSD for Mothers, the MSD Fellowship for Global Health, and a range of volunteer activities. Employee volunteers also complement the support we provide to organizations through our Neighbor of Choice grants program.

Our corporate policy on volunteerism provides employees worldwide with the opportunity to take up to 40 hours of paid time off annually to engage in volunteer activities that support eligible nonprofit organizations. Additionally, employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico are encouraged to participate in Partnership for Giving, our dollar-for-dollar matching gift program, and Dollars for Doers, a volunteer rewards program. In 2017, we saw a reduction in the total number of recorded volunteer hours as compared to 2016, when we had our 125th anniversary challenge. However, we continue to encourage employees to volunteer in their communities and with organizations and causes they care about.

In 2018, our company joined IMPACT2030, a private sector-led initiative, in collaboration with the United Nations, the social and public sectors, and academia, with the mission to activate human capital investments through employee volunteer programs to advance the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We also recently became a member of the Global Corporate Volunteer Council (GCVC), an initiative of the International Association for Volunteer Effort. The GCVC highlights both proven and promising practices in corporate volunteering while raising awareness of how companies are affecting critical human, social, environmental and economic problems throughout the world.



The MSD Fellowship for Global Health is a three-month, field-based corporate pro bono program designed to leverage the skills and talents of our employees. Teams of highly skilled Fellows, who are passionate about our company’s mission to save and improve lives around the world, are assigned to NGO partners to help build their capacity. Learn more.


Our innovative skills-based volunteer program is available to our employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The program offers employees the opportunity to donate their professional skills through virtual, short-term projects that provide important capacity-building support for nonprofit organizations. Whether volunteering for a one-hour phone consultation or a 30-hour project, employees are given the opportunity to provide meaningful volunteer support for nonprofits in need, while using and developing their professional skills.

Our employees find these projects to be enjoyable and gratifying experiences that provide opportunities to enhance their individual skill sets. Since its launch in 2015, more than 650 employees have registered on the site and over 85 projects have been completed or are under way, representing over 2,000 volunteer hours donated.


Through the Making Positive Choices initiative, employees from New Jersey and Pennsylvania volunteered to have a positive influence on the lives of underserved and at-risk children and young adults through the three programs offered and administered by Street Law, Inc.:

  • Community Works: Helping teens to prepare to participate in their communities in a positive way
  • Career Exploration: Preparing high school students to achieve academic and career goals
  • Youth in Transition: Providing youth in the foster care system with instruction in basic life skills and guidance in navigating community resources to help them live independently

Throughout 2017, more than 100 employees contributed 1,200 volunteer hours, reaching more than 620 students in school and community settings.


Our company’s Pro Bono Legal Program has been serving the poor and disadvantaged for nearly 25 years. Our legal professionals have been nationally recognized for their commitment to providing pro bono assistance in areas such as guardianship, domestic violence, family law, child advocacy, Social Security disability benefits, veterans’ affairs, and bankruptcy, as well as legal support for nonprofit organizations.

During 2017, 175 attorneys, paralegals and administrative associates provided approximately 4,300 hours of pro bono legal services.

Although pro bono work is not common outside the United States, our international attorneys provided more than 250 hours of pro bono assistance overseas, through collaboration with external partners, attorneys from other multinational pro bono programs, and local law firms. In 2017, our company was recognized by TrustLaw for promoting pro bono efforts among the 70 MSD lawyers who work outside the United States.

The Pro Bono Partnership, a nationally recognized organization, provides free business and transactional legal services to assist nonprofits in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut in achieving their goals, avoiding risk, and better serving their constituencies. Throughout 2017, 24 attorneys from our company’s Pro Bono Legal Program completed 38 matters for 33 nonprofit organizations, and our company was a special honoree at Pro Bono Partnership’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in 2017.

We continued our support of the National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) and its Combat-Related Special Compensation Program, which helps veterans who have suffered disabilities as a result of combat-related service. Throughout 2017, nearly 30 of our lawyers and staff volunteered on 15 cases. Our legal professionals also served on the board of NVLSP and assisted with NVLSP’s Disability Benefits program, contributing in total more than 200 hours in 2017.

Partnership for Giving

Partnership for Giving (P4G) is our company’s year-round matching gift program. P4G supports active employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico who donate to causes that are important to them. Contributions to eligible organizations are matched dollar-for-dollar by our company’s Foundation in support of nonprofits that help to promote a healthier society, advance education, foster the arts, address the welfare of animals, and preserve the environment.

Through the Dollars for Doers program, funded by our company’s Foundation, active employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico can have their volunteer hours matched by a cash contribution. Employees investing 40 hours or more of service with an eligible nonprofit organization can apply for a $500 contribution to that nonprofit, with an annual limit of two donations per eligible employee or volunteer team.



Employees who volunteered1NANA9,38116,4466,560
Percent of total company population2NANA14%24%10%
Employees who used paid time off (PTO)3NANA6,12314,3764,870
Percent of total company populationNANA9%21%7%
PTO hours1NANA52,372187,81867,239
Total recorded volunteer hours (TRVH)1NA109,93280,585214,862114,903
Ratio of PTO/TRVHNANA65%87%58%
SkillShare Volunteer Program4NANA1,50052096
MSD Fellowship for Global HealthNA12,14416,12015,08015,080
Pro Bono LegalNA3,2002,4001,1264,292
Skilled volunteer hours as percentage of TRVHNA8%25%8%17%
1. 2017 figures are based on employee self-recorded volunteer hours and volunteer hours communicated directly to the Office of Corporate Responsibility for certain countries. 2015 marked the first year in which volunteer hour reporting was based solely on employee self-reporting. Prior years included estimates for unrecorded volunteer hours.
2. Company population figures are based on an estimated workforce of approximately 66,000 in 2017.
3. Figures based on esimated data.
4. Our skill-based volunteer program launched in 2015.
PARTNERSHIP FOR GIVING (P4G)20132014201520162017
Total contribution (in millions)1$28$26$21$26$25
Number of organizations that benefited27,6499,0387,1456,2008,770
Number of employee/retiree participants311,54410,3659,4008,2008,302
1. Total contribution includes Foundation matching funds for Dollars for Doers, Direct Giving, and 4Q 2016 Payroll Deduction programs, and employee and retiree donations to the Direct Giving and the 4Q 2016 Payroll Deduction programs. The P4G Payroll Deduction program was discontinued as of January 1, 2017. Related 4th quarter funds were distributed in January 2017.
2. Includes organizations receiving funds through the P4G Direct Match, 4Q 2016 Payroll Deduction and Dollars for Doers programs.
3. Includes active and retiree participants in the P4G Direct Match program and active employee participants in the 4Q 2016 Payroll Deduction program.