A vital part of building the capacity of nonprofits in our region is investing in leadership development. Time and again, we at the Murdock Trust have seen firsthand the impact that skilled and empowered leaders have on their organizations and their communities. Our benefactor, Jack Murdock, knew the importance of leadership development and invested in his employees at Tektronix to help them achieve their full potential. Investing in leadership development results in leaders who are agile and adaptive, who can create a healthier work environment with happier employees and who are able to retain donors and volunteers who care about the nonprofit’s mission, not to mention the myriad benefits to those outside of the organizations who receive their services.
When we have leaders who are poured into and built up, we have leaders with the capacity and ability to solve the problems that our communities face. Leaders who work in ministry or faith-based nonprofits face unique challenges and often need support to grow their leadership skills and develop healthy work-life rhythms in environments where those lines are easily blurred. At the Murdock Trust, we support leadership development both through the grants we make and the training programs we offer in our enrichment activities. Here are a handful of nonprofits we partner with in Oregon and Washington that are intentionally pouring into faith-based leaders.
Arrow Leadership Ministries based in Sumas, WA, believes that personal transformation takes time and happens best in a safe community environment, which is why its leadership development programs are focused cohorts that take place over 15 or 18 months. Arrow has two streams—emerging leaders and executives in senior leadership—to allow participants to dive in deep with skilled mentors, trainings and resources, retreats and support from a peer cohort. The result is leaders who are more self-aware and intentional, who value the role of community and who can lead through their faith in healthy and serving ways.
Underrepresented communities are also largely underrepresented in the workplace. Portland Leadership Foundation’s Emerging Leaders program in Portland, OR, is dedicated to diversifying the workforce and providing pathways to leadership for underrepresented communities. PLF empowers diverse talent through an internship program that matches young adults with paid internships at top companies and a mentoring program that matches people from underrepresented groups with established professional mentors. PLF’s programs are helping level the playing field for talented emerging leaders.
Focused on nurturing leaders who can build a future to benefit everyone, Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship in Seattle offers research-based service training and education for young adults who then volunteer for one to two years with a nonprofit or ministry. Krista Foundation nurtures young leaders who learn to be resilient, interculturally competent and able to bridge political and cultural difference, all rooted in a faith-based service ethic. Central to the program is the combination of inward reflection and outward engagement to create holistic leaders. After their training and service is complete, Krista Foundation sends their leaders out into their communities and workplaces with a commitment to effective and compassionate service leadership.
One of the places where Krista sends its trained volunteers to serve is Jesuit Volunteer Corps NW. Inspired by a legacy of service to those who are marginalized in society, JVCNW, based in Portland, OR, recruits volunteers to serve with organizations dedicated to social and environmental justice throughout the Northwest. JVCNW has programs for both younger adults to serve full-time and older adults who wish to serve part-time. Volunteers live in community with a simple lifestyle, working toward peace and justice through their service and deepening their spirituality in the Jesuit tradition.
The Murdock Trust is proud to support these and other nonprofits whose missions focus on developing great leaders, both for today and for the future. In addition to awarding grants, we have several enrichment programs dedicated to building faith-based leaders. Check out our website to learn more about these focused programs and to watch a series of videos from great leaders across the Pacific Northwest sharing their wisdom and advice on leadership.