Charitable Giving and Community Impact

We love giving back to the community and pride ourselves in being a responsible corporate citizen through our Protolabs Foundation. We support a number of charitable causes with Employee Matching, Good Ideas, and Major Gifts Programs. Our Foundation’s efforts are a sustaining investment in the future of the communities where our employees live and work, and also a commitment to the future of the manufacturing industry.


Helping Build The Next Generation of Innovators

The Protolabs Foundation provides our employees with the opportunity to give back, develop, and strengthen our communities. In addition to matching gifts and volunteer time to charitable organizations, we also invite employees to nominate charities to receive a Good Idea grant, which provides STEM learning opportunities in the communities in which we work and live.
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Empowering Future Engineers through STEM Grants

Once a year, the Foundation considers proposals of up to $200,000 for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) programs in the metro areas of cities where we have facilities: Minneapolis/St. Paul; Raleigh, N.C.; and Nashua, N.H. As we work to make sure Protolabs continues to flourish and our industry remains robust, we are especially committed to supporting STEM programs, a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in an interdisciplinary and applied approach, rather than teaching these four disciplines as separate subjects.

Grant proposals are evaluated based on:

  • Low-income and students of color reached and number of contact hours
  • Alignment with state K-12 academic standards
  • Evidence of previous success or a high likelihood of success and sustainability
  • Innovative, engaging, and focused program design
  • Level of support provided for families
Eligibility Requirements

All organizations must meet the following criteria to receive a contribution from the Foundation:

  • The organization must be a qualified 501(c)(3) public charity
  • The organization or project must serve the community at large
  • The organization’s primary purpose is not religious, except for social service activities
  • The organization does not provide any goods or services to Protolabs, Protolabs employees, or employees’ families in exchange for the financial contribution

 

Submission Process: The call for proposals opens annually in August, with grants awarded in late October. Proposals are accepted through the Minneapolis Foundation and evaluated for eligibility, then presented to the Employee Committee. For more information on the Major Gifts Program, email Abbie Siljendahl, [email protected].


Active Community Outreach

Our employees’ community involvement is wide ranging, including activities such as organizing Red Cross blood drives, working for Habitat for Humanity projects, volunteering for Feed My Starving Children, and making financial contributions to charitable causes, many of which are matched through our Employee Giving program. This community outreach is an active effort to improve the quality of life in the regions where we have facilities.



BY THE NUMBERS

Charitable donations, 2017
$140,200
Maximum considered for STEM proposals
$200,000
STEM grants awarded, 2017
$76,000
Good Idea funding, 2017
$25,000
Total employee hours volunteered
300
Individual Good Idea award amount
$1,000


“Whether learning the ins and outs of a computer or developing skills to create and design their own video games, the real benefit is the improved self-confidence and sense of empowerment we see in students who complete our programs.” - Kramden Institute teacher

Based in Durham, N.C., the Institute provides training, education, and technology tools to students and adults, and is a past recipient of Protolabs Foundation funding. Since its founding in 2003, Kramden has awarded more than 30,000 computers to deserving students across 81 of North Carolina’s 100 counties.

“Our robotics team continues to grow and succeed, finishing the past season with our best record ever, ranking 11 out of 60 teams at the North Star Regional Competition at the University of Minnesota. We are looking forward to continued success with this program and all of our STEM programs.” - Cristo Rey Jesuit High School Administrator

Protolabs Foundation has supported this Minneapolis school’s STEM programming and its robotics team for the past four years.