M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Image 1: a group of young adults in front of a house smile for the camera. Image 2: five young girls perform on stage. Image 3: two girls wearing green hats prepare food in an industrial kitchen. Image 4: a woman with straight brown hair helps a girl with dark curly hair with homework. Image 5: a group of women do crafts at a table inside a room.

The long, relaxed days of summer are officially upon us, and we will all enjoy spending the next several months soaking up the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

We enter this season with an air of appreciation, grateful that at our Spring Grants Meeting our Trustees approved 41 grants totaling $9.3 million. Below you will find a small sample of the incredible organizations we are able to serve across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

As our team takes a moment to catch our breath after this most recent meeting, we have taken some time to travel around the region to meet with nonprofits and community groups serving the common good by addressing critical needs. In my own travels, I have noticed a theme permeating our communities: the importance of bridges to the Pacific Northwest.

Bridge builders are one of the most critical components of a thriving community, both figuratively and literally. They construct the platforms that literally connect communities across rivers, canyons and valleys. In a metaphorical sense, they help us cross the divide of our differences in order to come together and work toward positive outcomes.

In a region as diverse as the Pacific Northwest, we see a wide variety of backgrounds, perspectives and opinions that help inform and influence the vibrant nature of our communities. However, this broad diversity can present a challenge because we won’t always agree on every issue. This is where the bridge builders come in. They are able to reach across the aisle, across political and social differences, and find areas where we do agree. They help us come together to find solutions, instead of focusing on the things that divide, separate or create walls of conflict or disagreement.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when the wall builders seem to be getting a lot of attention as special interest advocacy groups, or those on the extremes of an issue, focus on polarization. In a provocative interview in Politico, Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, recently stated:

“We’ve created a culture of not anger, not disagreement, it’s contempt. […]It’s not like 50 percent of Americans think one thing and 50 percent think another thing. No, 15 percent on each side are effectively controlling the conversation, and 70 percent of us don’t hate each other. I can ask any audience, ‘How many of you love somebody with whom you disagree politically?’ Every hand goes up. And yet, you’re willing to have somebody, some fringe person on your side of the debate, say that your brother-in-law or your mother or your aunt is evil and stupid.”

While his language is more stark than I might personally choose, his insight is a perceptive one. Those on the fringes of any given issue take the most vocal position and frame discussions and debates as “this or that” and “if you choose this (or that) you are wrong and evil.” When we choose to focus on the “but/and” scenario we can recognize where we differ, yet still find space where we can agree on other topics. In reality, there is almost always common ground where we can come together.

At the Murdock Trust, we work hard to be bridge builders. When you serve as diverse a region as the Pacific Northwest, we know that we will not always agree with every stance or position or project from every grantee.

We are fortunate that everywhere we go throughout the Northwest, we find bridge builders–those who choose to partner with their neighbors to serve the individuals and families of every kind in their community. If we disagree, let’s talk about the issues in a civil, informed manner, but more importantly let’s keep focusing on that common ground we share so we can build bridges, form partnerships, strengthen collaborations and continue to serve the greater good as the organizations listed in this report do tirelessly, every day.

Our sincere thanks and gratitude for all that YOU do to serve the community,

Steven G.W. Moore
Executive Director


  • Residents of Alaska will enjoy a wider variety of community-focused programming thanks to a new covered arena, constructed by Kodiak Baptist Mission.
  • Visitors to the Baranov Museum will gain a greater understanding of local and regional history through an expanded, permanent exhibit space developed by the Kodiak Historical Society.
  • The future of the Sitka Sound Science Center’s educational programs will be secured as they renovate their historic Sawmill space.

Image 1: a girl with straight blond hair wearing a gray and purple striped shirt smiles while holding a black chick. Text overlay says "Kodiak Baptist Mission." Image 2: a woman with straight blond hair sits in front of a group of children holding choir books inside a room. Text overlay says "Kodiak Historical Society. Image 3: two men in a rowboat on the water, with trees in the background and a machine on the bank near them. Text overlay says "Sitka Sound Science Center."


  • Residents across Idaho will gain a better appreciation of the local environment and landscape through the addition of new staff at The Nature Conservancy.

A child wearing a yellow raincoat and a man with blond hair kneel to pet a bird on green grass. Text overlay says "The Nature Conservancy - Photo: Matthew Ward."


  • St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson, Montana, will receive new 3D mammography equipment via a grant to the Providence Montana Health Foundation.
  • Residents across Montana and Idaho will have more opportunities to engage with nature and support healthy forests through the addition of new staff at the National Forest Foundation.
  • Families of individuals with physical, developmental or cognitive disabilities will gain more support following the addition of new staff by Eagle Mount – Bozeman.

Image 1: A woman with straight blond hair wearing purple scrubs and a woman with straight brown hair wearing white scrubs smile at something off-camera. Text overlay says "Providence Montana Health Foundation." Image 2: a group of adults and children garden together. Text overlay says "National Forest Foundation." Image 3: a group of adults and children wearing blue life vests and helmets on a white water raft. Text overlay says "Eagle Mount - Bozeman."


  • Families and residents in need throughout the Canby area will receive more help and assistance as the Canby Center adds critical new staff.
  • Residents who wrestle with social isolation will have a broader range of opportunities to engage and connect as the Maybelle Center for Community expands it downtown Portland space.
  • Research at Oregon State University will be greatly enhanced by the purchase of a dual-source, single-crystal x-ray diffractometer.
  • More individuals in need of food, shelter and addiction recovery support will be served as the Blanchet House restructures and adds new staff.

A woman with brown hair wearing a pink jacket looks at the camera in front of a tray of fruit on a table. Text overlay says "Canby Center." Image 2: a woman with dark hair wearing a headband and a black apron smiles at the camera while holding two plates of food in an industrial kitchen. Text overlay says "Blanchet House." Image 3: four people, one of them sitting in a wheelchair, smile and laugh while sitting outside. Text overlay says "Maybelle Center for Community." Image 4: a woman with straight black hair wearing a purple shirt writes something on a peace of paper on a table with equipment and supplies, with many people in the background. Text overlay says "Oregon State University."


  • The historic 7th Street Theatre will be preserved following critical roof and structural repairs.
  • More at-risk children will receive vital support from Friends of the Children – Seattle as the organization expands its mentorship program.
  • Vietnam-era veterans will receive the honor and respect they deserve through the creation of a new outdoor park and permanent exhibit at the Museum of Flight.
  • Community members will enjoy a more robust collection of offerings and students will have a wider variety of after-school activities following the creation of a new Safe Haven building constructed by the Yakima Valley Farm Workers.
  • More students in Washington will receive academic support as they work toward graduation following an expansion of the Treehouse Graduation Success program.

Image 1: a group of people gather outside at night under a theater sign that says "7th Street Kids Presents Bugsy Malone July 28 29 & 30." Text overlay says "7th Street Theater." Image 2: a man wearing a blue vest and a hat reads with a boy wearing a gray jacket. Text overlay says "Friends of the Children." Image 3: a lineup of graduating students wearing caps and gowns. The student in front celebrates while holding his diploma. Text overlay says "Treehouse." Image 4: children wearing green t-shirts stand behind a long blue table with a woman, inside the Museum of Flight. Text overlay says "Museum of Flight." Image 5: an outside shot of a tall building on a corner. Text overlay says "Yakima Valley Farm Workers."

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