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Volunteer impact

Our strategy for community involvement relies on engagement at the local level where we can have the most meaningful impact with our non-profit partners. We foster volunteer-led Community Action Councils (CACs) at our sites around the world, resourcing our colleagues so they may directly connect with their local communities to provide rewarding volunteer and philanthropic support. Although CACs are empowered to work independently, they are provided corporate support including grant funding, tools, and training. Each year we invite our CAC Coordinators from around the world to a two-day summit where best practices are shared around our collective effort to make a global impact.

2020 impact at a glance


Community Action Councils

Get involved day

Our largest annual volunteer effort is “Get Involved Day,” a day of service encouraging colleagues across the globe to give back to their communities with up to 8 hours of volunteerism. Activities are coordinated locally to support charitable causes important to our colleagues, including STEM education events, park and beach clean-ups, food packing events, and working with seniors and children. 

Integrating business with involvement

Each year, thousands of Thermo Fisher colleagues gather at hotels and convention centers around the world to connect and set priorities for the coming year. Many of this year’s meeting agendas included our community involvement, and colleagues from a range of sites and businesses donated thousands of volunteer hours to their host communities as part of team-building exercises.


At a Divisional National Sales meeting in Seattle, Wash., over 160 colleagues stuffed backpacks full of school supplies to donate to the Rainer Vista Boys & Girls Club of America. As a team-building activity, they also created artwork that was donated to the club. 

2020 impact at a glance


# Events


Participating colleagues


Volunteer hours

Participation decreased in 2020 as a result of the ongoing global pandemic

Impacting our local communities

Through volunteerism and charitable giving, our colleagues make a difference in their local communities. With a network of over 124 Community Action Councils (CACs) across the globe, our employees have collectively donated over 69,000 volunteer hours to their local communities both through organized group activities and individual efforts. 


In 2019, we expanded our Charitable Giving Program to support colleague donations year-round and during our annual United Way Campaign across 28 countries. This expansion also allowed us to provide more opportunities for colleagues to participate in and organize disaster relief campaigns that may affect their immediate community or communities abroad.


Through our Employee Matching Gift program, we help colleagues make an even bigger impact by matching their contribution to eligible charities by 100%. 

A stand-out in the community

In 2019, our site in Frederick, Md., received the Corporate Business Service Award from the state governor in recognition of its contribution to the community. The site mobilized half of its 500+ workforce to provide over 6,000 volunteer hours to a variety of local charities. Much of the team’s community engagement has focused on promoting STEM education in the local community, including long-standing partnerships with both the Boys & Girls Club of America and Frederick County Public Schools 

Quotation marks
“Thermo Fisher’s support of the Frederick County Public School Science and Engineering Fair has had a significant impact on the number of students participating year after year. Their contribution as judges has increased the motivation in our students to achieve their best since they know that professional scientists and engineers are viewing their work. This has led to an increase in the number of students moving on to the International Science Fair.”

Colleen Baall
Science Specialist
Frederick County Public Schools Secondary

Providing access to clean water

According to the U.S. Water Alliance, more than two million Americans lack access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services. In 2019, we established the Nalgene Water Fund to support communities across the U.S. struggling with access to clean water by partnering with grassroots non-profits to raise funds and awareness. Through the sale of our limited-edition water bottles, $5.00 from each bottle was donated to the fund along with additional monies generated by our non-profit partners. Funds generated through this ongoing campaign will be directed to the U.S. Water Alliance to distribute to communities in need. 

Quotation marks
"Our goal is to foster excitement and passion for science. This electron microscope will help expand students’ curiosity about the world around them and help broaden their knowledge to prepare them for a future career in science.”

Dr. Scott Joray
AMSA Science Department Chair

In-kind support

In 2019, we partnered with the Advanced Math and Science Academy, a Marlborough, Mass., charter school for students in grades 6-12, to enhance their curriculum with the donation of a Thermo ScientificTM PhenomTM ProX desktop scanning electron microscope (SEM). The addition of this sophisticated instrument will take the immersive learning approach at the school to a deeper level by allowing students to explore cell structure and interactions in far greater detail than was previously possible. 

Quotation marks
We know that access to clean water is vital to the future well-being of our local communities and the environment, and we know that many areas across the country currently lack an adequate supply of clean water. We feel passionate that as a brand rooted in sustainability and hydration, Nalgene was uniquely positioned to take a stand and make an impact on the issue of domestic communities struggling with access to clean water.”

Elissa McGee
General Manager
Nalgene Consumer Products

Community engagement across the globe

Reaching one million meals

This past year at our largest meal packing event to date, colleagues across India came together to pack 300,000 meals at Thermo Fisher India’s Annual Leadership Meeting in Hyderabad. This event brought the total number of meals packed with the organization Rise Against Hunger to one million since the start of our partnership in 2015. Since then, more than 5,000 colleagues have packed meals across 20 different cities in four countries, providing nourishment for over 10,600 people. 

Milwaukee, Wisc., U.S.A.

Over 40 colleagues volunteered with the Ronald McDonald House Charities over a three- month period. During this time, they served hot meals and donated no-sew blankets made by employees to families facing medical crises. 

Rockford, Ill., U.S.A.

2019 marked the third year for over 90 colleagues to coach and judge teams as part of the Illinois Science Olympiad, providing feedback and inspiration for 230 students from 28 schools on their journey to becoming state champions. 

Tijuana, Mexico

Our site adopted Rudi Park, located in a neighborhood where many of our colleagues live, to host a “green-up” event, removing trash and debris from the park and painting park benches and waste receptacles. 

Portage, Mich., U.S.A.

As part of Global STEM Day, colleagues engaged with 22 high school students to discuss food allergies, the pre-analytical process, and the impact of allergy testing a diagnostic tool that is part of the team’s product line. Colleagues also helped the students construct their very own ImmunoCAP allergy-testing models for demonstration. 

Buenos Aires, Brazil

Our colleagues showed a group of local students the importance of giving back when they
invited them on-site to paint and assemble toys that were then donated to local children in need. 

Basingstoke, U.K.

50 colleagues traveled to Portsmouth, U.K. to participate in the Big Spring Beach Clean. The volunteers surveyed over two kilometers of coastline, collecting over 30 kilograms of litter and recording what was found. This information was collated and sent to the Marine Conservation Society to help strengthen their position to drive policy change and stop litter from reaching the sea. 

Bleiswijk, Netherlands

For the 10th anniversary of our Bleiswijk site, our colleagues hosted an event including a tour and feedback session with students to showcase products that are packed and shipped from the location. The activity included an experiment where guests extracted RNA from paprika using our own InvitrogenTM DynabeadsTM. 

Ferentino, Italy

Colleagues supported 14 children’s homes that house orphan children or those displaced due to domestic abuse. Throughout December they responded to more than 180 Christmas letters and helped spread holiday cheer by decorating Christmas trees and leaving gifts from the wish lists at each home. 

Seoul, South Korea

Our colleagues put together three science experiences featuring different Thermo Fisher technologies for 72 students. Topics included “Science Light Your Spectrum,” focused on the technology behind our spectroscopy instrumentation; “Science Inside Out,” which explored microscopy; and “Science Investigation,” where students went through the process involved in a forensic DNA investigation.