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The John Merck Fund


Last profile update: 04/16/2018
Last grant data update: 03/12/2018

At A Glance

The John Merck Fund

2 Oliver St., 8th Fl.

Boston, MA United States 02109-4901

Telephone: (617) 556-4120


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Family foundation






Established in 1970 in NY as a trust - The late Serena S. Merck founded the John Merck Fund, a New York charitable trust named for her son, in 1970. For the first sixteen years, the fund worked exclusively to support research into children's developmental disabilities. Beginning in 1986, it added programs in other fields that also were of concern to Mrs. Merck and her late husband, George W. Merck. The fund announced on Oct. 17, 2011 that it will spend all of its assets over the next ten years to spur progress in clean energy, environmental health, development of a New England regional food system, and treatment of developmental disabilities

Purpose and Activities

Grants are made in the following areas: for medical research on causes of developmental disabilities in children; to build supply and demand for clear, renewable energy and reduce reliance on coal-fired power plants; to improve the health and vitality of rural communities in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont by developing a sustainable food systems sector in the region; and to eliminate persistent bio-accumulative toxic chemicals and to encourage comprehensive precaution-based chemicals policy reforms in states to provide both models and upward pressure for eventual reform at the federal level.