Rupert H. Johnson Jr. Foundation: Bay Area Funders

OVERVIEW: Rupert H. Johnson Jr. Foundation primarily funds grantmaking for education and the arts. It also earmarks funds for areas like policy and health.

FUNDING AREAS: Education & Youth, Arts & Culture, Policy, Health

IP TAKE: The foundation lacks transparency, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities.

PROFILE: Established in 1992, the Rupert H. Johnson Jr. Foundation was established by billionaire businessman Rupert Johnson Jr., vice chairman of Franklin Resources, a global investment management firm also called Franklin Templeton Investments.  The foundation does not maintain a website, which limits information available on its grantmaking priorities and activities. According to tax filings, the Rupert H. Johnson Jr. Foundation primarily funds grantmaking for education and the arts. It also earmarks funds for areas like policy and health.

Rupert Johnson pledged $100 million to his alma mater, Washington and Lee University, $85 million of which has been designated for scholarships. His wife Maryellie, meanwhile, graduated from Radcliffe and the couple established $12.5 million fund to enhance the creative arts at Harvard. Maryellie has a strong interest in the arts and is a local artist. Rupert is a trustee emeritus of Santa Clara University, home to the Johnson Scholars Program, which “prepares graduates to make meaningful contributions toward a more just, humane, and sustainable world.” He’s has served on the board of the San Francisco Zoological Society and has been active with the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. The family has given SFMOMA millions through the years. Rupert is on the president’s council of United Religions Initiative, “a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world,” another grantee.

Grants range from $300 to around $541,000. In a recent fiscal year, the foundation gave away around $3.3 million. Past grantees include Hillsborough Schools Foundation; UC Davis; Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy; and the BASIC Fund, “a privately funded organization providing partial-tuition scholarships to underserved families across the Bay Area,” on whose board Johnson sits.

While the foundation keeps a low profile, it does accept grant requests.

PEOPLE:

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CONTACT:

Rupert H Johnson Jr. Trustee 
Rupert H. Johnson Jr. Foundation 
One Franklin Parkway Bldg 920, 4th Floor
San Mateo, CA 94403