The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s mission is to help Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need. Reflecting that mission and our Guiding Principles, we recognize that as a private foundation, “We are stewards of private resources that must be used in the public’s interest.”
The Foundation was established as a national philanthropy in 1972 with a generous bequest of shares of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) from its chief executive, Robert Wood Johnson. For many years, the Foundation’s investments were held mainly in the form of shares in that company but we have now substantially diversified our investment portfolio.
Because we focus our philanthropy on meeting many of our nation’s most critical health challenges, our long-standing policy has been not to invest in companies whose products may conflict with our health and health care mission, namely those whose business is predominantly related to the manufacture or sale of tobacco, alcohol or firearms.
Achieving comprehensive and meaningful change in health and health care will require sustained attention over many years to come. The Foundation therefore seeks to earn an investment return that, over time, equals or exceeds the sum of its annual spending, as a percentage of the Foundation’s assets plus the rate of inflation. This balance of investment return and spending is designed to spread risk and promote a steady, stable flow of support for our grantees.