Philanthropy is an essential part of our approach to corporate responsibility. We support programs to help improve access to health and enhance the quality of life in our communities.
We strive to improve the health and well-being of all people around the world
We envision a world where all people have access to the high-quality health care they need and deserve. That’s why we’re working tirelessly to reduce health disparities — preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence or opportunities to achieve optimal health — for people living in underserved communities. And we’re helping to build strong, vibrant communities where our employees live and work.
We provide financial and product donations to help promote health equity – the opportunity for everyone to attain their highest level of health. We support our communities through employee volunteer programs and charitable grants to local nonprofits addressing critical health and social needs.
Guiding principles and priorities
We invest in philanthropic programs aligned with our guiding principles and priorities.
Our guiding principles shape our program investments and partnerships
Our key principles are to:
- Address global health needs where we can have a substantial impact
- Promote health equity by addressing health disparities in underserved communities
- Collaborate with diverse partners to build healthier, stronger communities
- Leverage our resources – financial, product and expertise – to achieve greater positive impact on health outcomes
Philanthropic priorities direct the focus of our programs
We prioritize areas of global health need where we can use our expertise to make a difference. We also focus on strengthening communities around the world where we operate. Our priorities are:
- Reducing health disparities among people living with Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, diabetes and HIV/AIDS in underserved communities
- Strengthening health systems to improve the delivery of high-quality care
- Empowering patients to better manage their health by helping them overcome social and environmental barriers to care
- Supporting local nonprofit organizations in our communities and sharing employees’ expertise through volunteerism
Our grant guidelines provide information about the proposal content elements and submission process. Note, the Office of Corporate Responsibility and Merck Foundation do not accept unsolicited proposals.
- Familiarize yourself with our grant application guidelines that include eligibility criteria and proposal requirements.
- You can submit your grant proposal through the online grants management system
- If you are looking for more information, we report the company’s charitable contributions and the Merck Foundation’s grants in our Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) report.
The Merck Foundation is a private, charitable organization established and funded by Merck. It is a separate legal entity from Merck and operates independently.
About the Foundation
Our company established the Merck Foundation, or the “Foundation”, in 1957. The Foundation has contributed more than $994 million to support initiatives that address important global health and societal needs. It is our chief source of financial support for eligible nonprofit organizations and innovative programs that align with our two focus areas: health and community.
We invest in philanthropic programs that aim to improve the quality of health care and address barriers to accessing care for people living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) – including Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and diabetes – and HIV/AIDS.
Through our community grants programs, we’re working to enhance the health and well-being of the communities where our employees live and work.
We don’t just develop new medicines and vaccines, we work hard to help get them to the people who need them. We donate our medicines and vaccines to address specific health needs in communities with limited access to health care and in humanitarian crises.
MECTIZAN (ivermectin) Donation Program
This program is one of the most significant initiatives undertaken by our company to help enable access to medicines in developing countries. Established over 30 years ago, the MECTIZAN (ivermectin) Donation Program is the longest-running disease-specific drug donation program and public-private partnership of its kind.
Merck Medical Outreach Program
Established over 60 years ago, our Medical Outreach Program is the primary way we donate our pharmaceuticals and vaccines for humanitarian aid in the developing world and in support of disaster relief and emergency response worldwide.
U.S. Patient Assistance Program
Our Patient Assistance Program, a separately incorporated nonprofit charitable organization, provides selected medicines and adult vaccines for free of charge to eligible individuals who do not have insurance or whose insurance does not cover their prescription Merck products.
Our programs aim to improve the health and well-being of people living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers by strengthening care coordination and improving access to supportive services.
Our programs are working to strengthen health systems and expand access to preventive and specialty care for complex and chronic conditions.
Our programs aim to improve access to high-quality care, reduce disparities in diabetes outcomes and provide peer support to help individuals manage their diabetes and improve the quality of their lives.
- Bridging the Gap: Reducing Disparities in Diabetes Care
- Enhancing diabetes care through community outreach and support
Our programs are working to reduce disparities in access to care and improve health outcomes for people living with HIV and addressing the opioid crisis and its effect on the spread of infectious diseases.
Our employees give back
Around the world, our employees are passionate about giving back to their communities. Each year, our employees donate thousands of hours to help improve the health and well-being of communities through programs such as Merck for Mothers, the Merck Fellowship for Global Health and a range of volunteer activities.
Employees can take 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer with eligible nonprofit organizations and can donate their professional skills through virtual, short-term projects through a skills-based volunteer program.
Our Pro Bono Legal Program enables employees to offer expertise to members of the community that would otherwise be unable to access legal advice. Learn more about our program.
The Merck Fellowship for Global Health is a three-month, corporate pro bono program that leverages the skills and talents of our employees and helps build the capacity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to improve global health.
Our company’s P4G matching gift program doubles the donations made by employees in the U.S. and Puerto Rico to causes that are important to them.
Through a dollar-for-dollar match of employee contributions, our company’s Foundation supports nonprofits that promote a healthier society, advance education, foster the arts, address the welfare of animals, and preserve the environment.
The Foundation also funds our Dollars for Doers program that matches 40 or more volunteer hours with a $500 cash contribution.