Mission-Driven: What Volunteerism Means at Medtronic

Hear from our employee volunteers.

Beyond improving the lives of patients through medical technology, Medtronic is committed to making the world a healthier place and strengthening communities around the world. We have given more than $1 billion throughout the years to support philanthropic efforts, including support of the Medtronic Foundation.

Side view of adult in a Medtronic volunteer t-shirt with child in the Dominican Republic

Through both skilled service and hands-on volunteering opportunities, disaster relief response, matched giving, and volunteer grants, the Medtronic Foundation empowers employees to make a positive impact on the communities and organizations that mean the most to them.

In 2019 alone:

  • More than 17,000 Medtronic volunteers donated 60,000 hours in 47 countries during Project 6, the annual month-long kickoff to volunteerism.
  • Employees gave 1,409 eligible nonprofits more than $700,000 through Medtronic Foundation Volunteer Grants.
  • Employees personally contributed $8.9 million to charitable causes, and the Medtronic Foundation matched $6.6 million.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE, TOGETHER

“We know global change starts with local action,” says Paurvi Bhatt, president of the Medtronic Foundation and vice president of Medtronic Philanthropy. “And the way we bring local action to life is through our employees.”

Medtronic, its employees, and the Medtronic Foundation work together to impact underserved communities around the world. Specifically, the Medtronic Foundation is uniquely positioned to help support healthier communities, spearhead health access initiatives, and empower Medtronic employees to positively impact local communities by leveraging their skills, time, and resources.

“It’s who we are,” says Bhatt. “It’s been in our DNA since we were founded and we’re delivering on that promise.”

In recent years, employees in Ireland have gone above and beyond in their volunteering efforts. A team of local Medtronic employees helps identify a nonprofit each year for the company to support. From there, they coordinate volunteer opportunities with that nonprofit, raise funds, and participate in events to support the cause.

“It makes me proud as an employee,” says John Donohoe, a Medtronic employee in Galway. “When you see employees give up their time to volunteer, you truly see the heart of the company.”

Recent employee-led efforts in Ireland have included creating mental health awareness campaigns, running half-marathons to raise money for local nonprofits, and helping women and children in crisis.

“We’re not just coming into work every day,” Donohoe says. “We feel more involved than that. We are involved in our community and we’re boosting morale, too.”

TIME, TALENT, AND TREASURE

Medtronic recognizes that employees give back in a variety of ways.

For some it is giving their time through hands-on volunteering, like making meals for families with loved ones in the hospital or picking up trash in local parks. For others, it may be offering their talent or unique skill set by helping an organization improve health clinic records management or educate the public about disease prevention. Still for others, it is offering their treasure in the form of a financial contribution to support a nonprofit’s budgetary needs. We recognize that all forms of giving back are important and believe that supporting employees as they engage with the causes they care most about is part of our corporate social responsibility.

When employees log 25 volunteer hours, the Medtronic Foundation matches the effort by donating up to $500 to the participating nonprofit organization. If employees choose to donate on their own, the Medtronic Foundation matches the donation, dollar for dollar, up to $5,000.

“We want employees to use their time, talent, and treasure,” says Bhatt. “And we want to do whatever we can to help multiply that.”

GLOBAL COMMITMENT TO DOING GOOD

Stories of giving span the globe.

“I love bringing people together with different backgrounds and from different departments,” says Stefanie Buttier, a Medtronic employee from Germany. In 2019, Buttier led volunteer efforts in local orphanages.

“I loved seeing the kids happy after we spent a day with them,” she recalls. “Whether it’s blood donation, building renovation, or buying holiday presents, every project we do is helping to bring our Mission to life.”

In Japan, more than 1,400 employees recently gathered to support a fundraising event for a local pediatric hospital. They created bags of colorful beads to be made into necklaces for children with cancer. Each bead symbolized courage and milestones along the treatment journey.

In Indonesia, employees helped set up a mobile library for children in rural areas, while teams in the Philippines came together to create gardens at local elementary schools, as well as to donate school supplies.

Woman wearing a Medtronic t-shirt assists other in emptying van.

Medtronic volunteers empty van at work site.

In the United States, teams from across the country pitched in. In Texas, teams of employees packed locally sourced food to be delivered to families in need. In Connecticut, they painted buildings that house veteran services. In Minnesota, volunteers organized hands-on STEM programs for girls.

FROM FIRST RESPONDERS TO LONG-TERM RECOVERY

When natural disasters strike, Medtronic is often among the first to respond with teams of willing volunteers. The company provides an additional five days of paid time off for employees who participate in disaster relief efforts.

In addition to funding nonprofits providing disaster relief, the Medtronic Foundation also organizes week-long volunteer trips for employees. “We want to show our immediate care in these situations,” says Bhatt. “We’re not in and out, we want to be there for the long haul to help finance, help nonprofits, and help provide volunteers .”

Medtronic volunteers help with disaster relief around the globe.

Medtronic volunteers help with disaster relief around the globe.

LOOKING AHEAD

The Medtronic Foundation has set an aggressive goal to double employee volunteerism in the next three years. As Bhatt explains, it embodies the sixth tenet of the Medtronic Mission: to maintain good citizenship as a company.

“It’s not about the act of volunteering, it’s the act of caring,” Bhatt says. “We’ve come to this company with a real belief that we can help within healthcare and help the underserved.”

That belief is spreading and is part of why 90,000 employees view Medtronic as the right place for them.

“It’s a very special thing for a lot of employees,” says Tony Neary, who leads volunteer teams in Ireland.

“Our employees have a great passion for this. Driving a culture of philanthropy is a core part of what we do.”

For more information about the company’s disaster relief efforts, please visit the Medtronic Foundation's website.