Edward C. Johnson Fund

OVERVIEW: The Edward C. Johnson Fund is one of several philanthropic organizations of the Johnson family. It supports arts and culture, historic preservation, conservation, and health in Boston and elsewhere in New England.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, historic preservation, conservation, health 

IP TAKE: The Johnsons are among the richest families in America, so there are significant resources available here. Now that Edward Johnson has stepped away from Fidelity, there is an opportunity for a greater focus on philanthropy.  

PROFILE: Established in 1964, the Edward C. Johnson Fund is a family foundation based in Salem, New Hampshire. Edward Johnson’s father, Edward Johnson II, founded Fidelity Investments in 1946. Fidelity has grown to manage trillions in assets. After graduating from Harvard and spending a few years in the army, Johnson joined his father and eventually took over the company. Johnson recently ceded control of Fidelity Investments to his daughter Abigail Johnson, who has also served as president and CEO. The foundation’s grantmaking interests include arts and culture, historic preservation, conservation, and health.

Johnson’s philanthropy remains largely close to home, but he does support charities throughout the country through Fidelity’s charitable arm. Art is a passion for the family, and Johnson has also been a trustee at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston since the 1970s; his daughter Abigail has been on the board of governors since 2006. Over the years, the Museum of Fine Arts has received millions from the Johnson fund. The fund has also supported the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Children's Museum, the Museum of Science, and the New England Aquarium with significantly more modest sums. Health is an interest, and the foundation has given to Massachusetts General Hospital, Alzheimer’s Research Forum, and Health Leads. For environmental conservation, the foundation has supported Friends of the Public Garden and the Earthwatch Institute. Otherwise, the foundation has supported historical preservation societies, Boys and Girls Clubs, local private schools, and libraries.

Grants have been as low as $500 and as high as over $16.8 million in recent years. Learn more about this funder’s giving by examining its recent tax records. This funder directs the bulk of its giving to the New England states. The foundation does not have a website or publicize its grantmaking guidelines.

Also, it does not appear that this funder accepts unsolicited grant applications. The foundation’s phone number is 603-681-4375.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)