As part of our orientation for new staff, we had the opportunity to travel and meet with nonprofit leaders from a variety of sectors. This is a practice we follow because it provides critical context for every member of our organization. Each visit helps bring the mission of our nonprofit partners to life in a way no application or report ever could. It helps us begin with our partnership in mind. It keeps the challenges they face and the context of their work front and center.
One of the great joys of my role with the Murdock Trust, as well as for our program directors and grants staff, is building relationships with nonprofits over an extended period because we get to see the fruit of their labor and creativity and the amazing ways good is being done across our community. In fact, recent data from the UN shows that human development has rapidly improved around the world over the last 30 years. Anecdotally and statistically, we see the same sort of improvement taking place across the Pacific Northwest as well.
We get to see nonprofits grow from an idea formed by one passionate individual to a thriving organization deeply rooted in the fabric of their community. We get to see organizations flourish from the support of hundreds and thousands of individual donors and volunteers. We get to see entire communities uplifted by tireless, purposeful and thoughtful service.
At our most recent grants meeting, our Trustees evaluated dozens of proposed projects that could have this same level of impact, both from groups we have worked with many times over the years as well as groups who are brand new to Murdock. Our board was pleased to approve 58 grants approved totaling $14.7 million in funding for projects across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington in the arts and culture, scientific research, education and health and human services sectors, a sampling of which can be found below. But we also know that the grants we make are only a small piece of the puzzle.
At the end of the day, it takes dedicated individuals willing to invest their time, resources and their livelihood in support of a mission. It takes leaders who can inspire others to get involved and act. It takes vision to identify solutions that truly address challenges for long term success as well as addressing the unexpected challenges that come far too frequently.
The Murdock Trust, along with a number of our peer foundations, was fortunate to be able to honor a handful of these individuals recently as we partnered with Sagacity Media and Portland Monthly Magazine to host “Connecting for Good,” an event that celebrates nonprofit leaders in the Portland area and seeks to build connections among the philanthropic leaders, emerging nonprofit organizations and their teams.
The event is one element of a broader collaboration between the Murdock Trust, Sagacity Media and their publications such as Portland Monthly and Seattle Met that have a long history of celebrating and uplifting the work of nonprofits serving the Oregon and Washington communities. We are grateful to be partner with groups like Portland Monthly and Seattle Met that are using their platforms to shine a light on the positive work underway in our region and help identify and support ways we can work together to bring more of these important efforts to the forefront of our community conversation.
To all of our partners working to serve the common good, we say thank you for all that you do to see our neighborhoods, our communities and our region flourish and thrive!
Executive Director, Murdock Trust
- Capital Community Broadcasting will provide a wider range of community-focused programming to a wider audience across Juneau through an infrastructure renovation project.
- Camp Hodia will be better positioned to serve visitors with the addition of new staff focused on recruiting and supporting volunteers.
- Lost Rivers Medical Center will be able to better serve patients in Custer and Butte counties following the completion of a new surgery suite.
- New Saint Andrews College will be able to serve more students and expand its enrollment following the renovation of a new, 30,000 square foot building.
- Rural and tribal citizen leaders, adults and youth will be better served by Hopa Mountain following the addition of new staff.
- Residents with disabilities will gain improved access to care following the renovation of West Mont’s Farm and Garden Group Home.
- New staff will help the Latino Community Association empower Latino families to thrive and advance in Central Oregon.
- Survivors of human trafficking will receive increased support and community members will receive more resources to combat the practice as the Rebecca Bender Initiative adds development staff.
- Local residents will gain a deeper understanding of Oregon’s past and the individuals who helped the state thrive throughout history following a redesign of a central exhibit by the Oregon Historical Society.
- Children in need will receive improved support from staff at Hutton Settlement following critical infrastructure updates.
- Low-income clients across the Seattle, Tacoma and Kent Washington area will receive more support from the Refugee Women’s Alliance following the expansion of the organization’s headquarters.
- Researchers will gain critical data in the area of chemical, materials and biological sciences following the acquisition of an Apreo scanning electron microscope by Washington State University.