In 1960, Burdine Clayton Johnson, a pianist, poet and lover of nature, along with her husband, J.M. Johnson, and several trustees, established The Burdine Johnson Foundation in Houston, Texas. The founding mission stated that the funds were to be used for the “purposes of public usefulness” and to administer and distribute the funds “exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or education purposes.”

Upon retirement, the couple moved from Houston to their family ranch outside of Kyle, Texas, relocating the foundation, as well. Over time, the foundation adjusted its area of focus to serve the needs of Central Texas.

Today, Burdine’s son, Bill, and granddaughter, Katherine, along with longtime family friend, Robert Giberson, comprise the board, working to actively serve the new and shifting needs of Hays County and Central Texas. However, The Burdine Johnson Foundation remains true to its namesake, continuing to fund certain arts and environmental causes in Burdine's spirit. 

Since its inception, The Burdine Johnson Foundation has donated $46,406,019.56 to charitable causes.