The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is working to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone in America. Reflecting our Guiding Principles, “we act as good stewards of private resources, using them to advance the public’s interest with a focus on helping the most vulnerable.”
The Foundation was established as a national philanthropy in 1972 with a generous bequest of shares of Johnson & Johnson 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, we seek to avoid investments in companies whose businesses are predominantly related to the manufacture, sale, or distribution of firearms, alcohol, cannabis, or tobacco-related products. Additionally, because an important element of ethical investing is recognition of the importance of respecting human rights, RWJF incorporates human rights considerations in our investment decision-making process, examining the human rights positions and actions of countries.
Achieving comprehensive and meaningful change in health and healthcare 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.
Investing in Diversity and Inclusion
As is the case with our grantmaking, diversity and inclusion are central to the Foundation’s investment approaches and objectives. Our diversity initiatives include partnerships with women- or minority-owned investment managers, and an internship program for college students from underrepresented backgrounds entering financial services after graduation. In addition, our investment team provides guidance on RWJF grants which help increase the number of diverse entrants into the investments field.
As we seek out external investment managers, we are especially interested in collaboration with firms that demonstrate diversity in leadership and ownership. If you are interested in learning more about any of our investment-related programs, please contact us.