Steve Moore, executive director at the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, along with Max Williams, president and CEO at The Oregon Community Foundation, authored an article featured in Washington Monthly, regarding their strategy in partnering with Native-serving nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
There’s never been a magic fix for Native American issues because each community is unique. What works in Montana might not work in Alaska, and what’s effective in Alaska won’t necessarily be effective in Oregon or Washington. Furthermore, within each community the solution that might seem obvious isn’t always the best solution.
Too often in the past, foundations have dropped into Native American communities, distributed money and left – with very little understanding of the community’s priorities and hoped-for outcomes. That’s why the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust and The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) are pursuing a different strategy. While different in structure – one a private foundation and the other a community foundation – what our two foundations share is the belief that the knowledge of how to change outcomes comes from those on the frontlines.