M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The first months of the year emphasize rebuilding and reinvestment. In many ways, this is the season of capacity building. Beginning with new year’s resolutions and then buoyed by the unique, vibrant energy of spring, this is a time of year when we pay close attention to how we are building ourselves, our organizations and our communities and we renew our investment in laying the foundations and frameworks that will support us for optimal success in the coming months and years.

Our benefactor, Jack Murdock, believed strongly in investing in the capacity of individuals, organizations and communities. As much as he wanted to provide support and resources to those in need in the moment, he wanted to find ways to help individuals and groups assemble the knowledge and resources to sustain and grow their work and efforts over the long term. He believed strongly in the proverbial notion of teaching individuals to fish rather than simply giving them fish for a day.

Over the last 44 years, the Murdock Trust has worked to continue this legacy by thoughtfully partnering with nonprofits and community organizations in innovative and strategic ways to reinforce and grow their capacity for long term success. Recently, our Trustees had the opportunity to approve more than $15.4 million in funding for 85 new grants to groups across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington who are thoughtfully investing in their capacity in myriad ways.

We’ve included a few samples of these projects below, from adding crucial staff to investing in infrastructure to acquiring key tools and resources that will allow programs to grow and expand in smart, thoughtful ways. We are grateful to be able to continue to partner with such a diverse array of organizations that are thoughtfully identifying innovative, strategic methods to serve and uplift all residents of the Pacific Northwest today while keeping a firm eye on how we can continue to ensure that all members of our community have the opportunity to flourish and thrive for generations to come.

Steve Moore

Executive Director, Murdock Trust


  • Low-income communities will benefit from economic growth via increased investment in entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship-programming through new staff hired by the Anchorage Community Land Trust for their Set Up Shop program.
  • Hundreds of men in the Mat-Su Valley will receive mentorship, support and counseling through a facility expansion by the Church on the Rock.


  • New staff will help reinforce the stability and longevity of the Boise Philharmonic, ensuring that future generations will benefit from outstanding music performance and education.
  • The College of Idaho will have the opportunity to expand and grow its burgeoning scientific research program by engaging more students in scientific majors and research as well as drawing an increase in scientific grant funding to the institution.



  • Significantly more vulnerable students across the Portland-metro area will receive increased support through the expansion of REAP’s multi-cultural leadership program.
  • Medical Teams International will strengthen its global management, thereby increasing the efficiency with which it delivers service to those in need, through the addition of new staff to oversee and launch a targeted leadership development program.
  • African refugees and immigrants will receive support across a variety of areas through the expansion of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization’s renovation of its Africa House facility.
  • Residents of East Portland will have increased access to nature education and nutritious foods through the addition of new staff by the Friends of Zenger Farms.
  • The Columbia River Maritime Museum will be able to offer more classes on STEAM subjects, as well as increased capacity for exhibitions through a facility expansion.
  • Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, their families and healthcare providers will benefit from expanded programming and access to support resources as the Brian Grant Foundation grows their staff.
  • New staff at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education will help expose more children, families and community members to Jewish history and culture.
  • Families with a loved one being treated at PeaceHealth’s Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend will receive greater support during challenging moments through a new guest house constructed on campus.
  • A strategic capital investment to help renovate and upgrade key spaces and exhibits will create a more engaging experience for visitors at the Oregon Coast Aquarium and position the popular educational facility to serve guests for years to come.


  • More students in the physical therapy field will have access to top-quality training and education through the expansion of facilities at the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.
  • Hundreds of thousands of King County residents will have the opportunity to learn, gather and connect as a community at the University Heights Center for the Community following crucial infrastructure investments.
  • Washington’s 5th Avenue Theatre will be able to better connect and engage with community members through digital marketing and outreach improvements.

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