M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

When we think about the nonprofit sector, I often find myself reminded of the single pebble thrown into a still pond. It takes focused energy and effort to select a stone and toss it through the air. When that pebble hits the pond’s surface, there is one single point of contact, and yet, the impact of that single action can be seen far and wide as ripples spread all the way to the water’s edge. In fact, it’s common to see several, wide-reaching ripples generated from just one pebble.

The same is true in the nonprofit sector. It takes thoughtful planning and careful execution to get a nonprofit organization, project or program off the ground (selecting the pebble and tossing it toward the water). But once that work is in motion, the results can be felt farther and more widely than anyone could have guessed.

  • In a new video series, we shared examples of how interactions with the nonprofit sector can change lives and uplift individuals, families and entire communities. Literally a few moments of compassion and attention can be all that it takes to change the course of a life, a family or a generation.
  • As some of you may have heard, the Murdock Trust recently announced that we surpassed one billion dollars in cumulative grants since opening our doors in 1975. This milestone is a testament to the impact one individual can have, thanks to the vision and thoughtful planning of our benefactor, Jack Murdock.

This message of potential impact was central to our discussion at our Spring Grants meeting where our Trustees approved 52 grants totaling $16.2 million to nonprofits serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and the broader Pacific Northwest. A full list of our grantees can be found at the end of this report, but we’ve also highlighted a small handful of organizations that are working tirelessly to change lives and “make ripples” in our community to help ensure that every resident of the Pacific Northwest has the opportunity to flourish and thrive.

Thank you for all that YOU do to “make ripples” and serve the common good!

Steve Moore
Executive Director, Murdock Trust


  • Abused Women’s Aid in Crisis will be able to serve and support more women facing domestic violence through the expansion and renovation of their facility.


  • Children in the rural region of Magic Valley, Idaho will gain access to broader activities, programming and mentorship outside of school hours through the expansion of the Twin Falls Boys and Girls Club.


  • Caregivers for cancer patients, both medical professionals and family members, will gain support and resources through the expansion of Camp Mak-A-Dream’s retreat programs.
  • Research in a wide range of disciplines, including healthcare and security and defense, will be expedited as Montana State University researchers acquire a nano-optical microscope, lasers, and accessories for studying quantum materials and devices.
  • Children, families and residents of all ages will gain increased access to high quality arts and music education and programming as Zootown Arts Community Center purchases and renovates a new community space.



  • Animals at the Oregon Zoo will receive improved physical, mental and emotional care and support through the acquisition of new welfare monitoring technology.
  • New technology acquired by Literary Arts will help the nonprofit engage more members of the community, providing wider access to arts content.
  • More than 80,000 annual users who travel on the Wildwood Trail in Portland will enjoy improved access to Washington Park and Forest Park through the construction of a new footbridge by the Portland Parks Foundation.
  • Men in Salem facing homelessness will find increased support and resources through the Union Gospel Mission’s new facility.

Pacific Northwest

  • Children across the Pacific Northwest will benefit from Lemonade Day’s entrepreneurial message and educational programs as the nonprofit expands support resources into five cities around the region.


  • Women and children facing homelessness will receive increased support and access to important resources through the expansion of the Acres of Diamonds campus in Duvall.
  • Patients at St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane will gain improved treatment and rehabilitation results through the use of newly acquired ZeroG equipment.
  • Children and families in Washington will find increased mental healthcare support through the expansion of programming by the Seneca Family of Agencies.
  • More parents facing crisis will find support and resources through the expansion of the Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery in Spokane.
  • The natural beauty of Bellingham, Washington and critical wildlife habitat will be protected as the Whatcom Land Trust acquires new land in the Skookum Creek Conservation Corridor.

Download Grants Listing

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The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.