For the 26 years that Catherine Schweitzer has worked at the Baird Foundation, a nonprofit based in Buffalo, New York, her organization has relied in part on a peculiar income stream: the mouthwash Listerine.
Every year, a small portion of the global revenue from the iconic mouthwash trickles back into the bank account of the Baird Foundation.
Neither Schweitzer nor the Baird Foundation has any direct connection to Listerine or to Johnson & Johnson, the company that now manufactures it.
But the nonprofit is one of dozens, if not hundreds, of entities that own royalty rights to Listerine — a group that has included former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Wellesley College.
For every 2,016 ounces of Listerine sold (equivalent to 144 14-oz. bottles), Johnson & Johnson pays a total of $6 to Listerine’s royalty holders.
Most of the time, the Baird Foundation’s 0.5% share in the Listerine royalty trust totals to about $120k per year in passive income, split into quarterly installments paid by Johnson & Johnson. It’s a great investment, according to Schweitzer: “stable predictable cash on an annual basis.”
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