The John Merck Fund has a four-decade legacy of supporting risk-takers and innovators that improve human health and the environment.

The late Serena S. Merck founded The John Merck Fund in 1970 in honor of her son, to support research into children’s developmental disabilities. In 1986, we expanded, aiming to address human health more broadly, including the closely related issues of our nation’s energy system, chemicals use, and food production. Currently, we have four program areas: developmental disabilities, clean energy, health and the environment, and regional food systems.

The “all in” spendout strategy

Children with developmental disabilities, victims of climate disruption, families suffering from air pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals, and communities without access to healthy food should not have to wait for small incremental progress. That’s why we adopted a “spendout” strategy in 2012.

We aim to spend 100 percent of our assets by 2022 to make the greatest possible impact in the areas we support. This investment could approach $100 million, generating breakthroughs that will continue to improve human health and the environment for decades to come.

You can learn more about this strategy here.