Philanthropy

We strive to find sustainable solutions to key global health challenges and to strengthen communities where our employees live and work.

Philanthropy is an important component of our company’s commitment to corporate responsibility and is a visible demonstration of our efforts to improve access to health and to enhance the quality of life in communities where we have a presence.

Established in 1957, our company’s Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is our chief source of financial support for qualified, eligible nonprofit organizations whose programs align with our philanthropic priorities.

Since its inception, the Foundation has contributed more than $942 million to support initiatives that address important societal needs in a manner consistent with our company’s overall mission of inventing for life by bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases.

The company’s Office of Corporate Responsibility provides financial and product donations, and coordinates employee volunteerism and disaster-relief assistance.

Through our philanthropic programs, we  demonstrate our commitment to advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, our philanthropy supports SDG 3—ensuring health and well-being for all—as well as SDG 17, which emphasizes strong global partnerships and cooperation.

Guiding principles

Several key principles guide our philanthropic investments and program portfolio.

  • Address critical global health needs where we can have a meaningful impact
  • Promote health equity by addressing health disparities in vulnerable, underserved communities
  • Collaborate with diverse partners to build healthier, stronger communities
  • Leverage our range of resources—financial, product, and expertise—to achieve greater impact on population health outcomes

Priorities

Our priorities are areas of global health need where we have substantial expertise and capability, enabling our philanthropy to have greater impact. We also focus on strengthening communities around the world where our employees live and work.

Health
We envision a world where all people have access to high-quality health care. We work to reduce health disparities and improve access to health for people in underserved communities, especially those living with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS. Through our program investments, we support evidence-based interventions that strengthen health systems to deliver high-quality care, foster innovation in the delivery of health care and empower patients to better manage their health by helping them overcome social and environmental barriers to care.

Community
We help build stronger communities where our employees live and work. We provide grants to local nonprofit organizations in communities where we have a presence to help them address critical health and social needs. Our employees around the world share their expertise with many of these organizations through our company’s volunteer programs. We also support disaster preparedness efforts and provide disaster relief assistance throughout the world.

Governance

Our approach to philanthropy reflects our company’s responsible and ethical behavior. We regularly audit our charitable contributions to ensure that we are consistently following our criteria for awarding grants, as well as adhering to compliance and transparency requirements. Additionally, our Foundation’s Board of Trustees comprises senior company executives and meets semi-annually to provide oversight and strategic direction for the Foundation’s program investments.

We manage our philanthropic programs in two ways:

  1. The Office of Corporate Responsibility supports charitable programs through financial and product donations and employee volunteerism. It also coordinates the company’s disaster relief assistance throughout the world
  2. Our company’s Foundation is our chief source of financial support to qualified, eligible nonprofit organizations whose programs align with our philanthropic priorities

 

We use an online grants management system that allows qualified, eligible nonprofit organizations seeking financial support to submit proposals and other required documents electronically. The system also helps ensure consistent review of grant requests.

We report the company’s charitable contributions and the Foundation’s grants on this website and update the information quarterly.

Performance data

Grants and contributions20152016201720182019
Grants and contributions (total cash, in-kind and product) (in millions)$1,820$2,238$2,722 $2,793$3,096
Cash grants and contributions (in millions)$133$117$94$84$82
Product donations through U.S. Patient Assistance Program (in millions)$567$798$1,112$1,24$1,460
Product donations for ex-U.S. programs and U.S. disaster relief (in millions)1$1,117$1,320$1,513$1,464$1,550
Valuation of employee volunteer time (in-kind, in millions)2$2.9$2.6$3.2$3.1$4.1
1 Includes our Medical Outreach Program (including U.S. disaster relief), the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (2015-2016 only), the MECTIZAN® Donation Program, and MSD division and subsidiary donations.
2 Includes valuation of volunteer time for only those employees who participated in the MSD Fellowship for Global Health program and our company’s Pro Bono Legal and other skills-based volunteer programs.