M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Over the last several weeks, our lives have turned upside down as communities throughout the Pacific Northwest, across the country and around the world have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been an honor for the staff at the Murdock Trust to play a small role in supporting the critical work of those serving the front line needs of our communities through emergency grantmaking, coaching and delivery of other resources. This has not been “business as usual,” nor do we expect that we will we return to any sense of normalcy in the immediate future as individuals, families and communities work together to slow the spread of this virus and address the resulting upheavals tied to social distancing protocols.

In spite of these challenges, throughout this period of pain and uncertainty, the Murdock Trust has been committed to recognizing the light that penetrates the darkness we all may feel at times. As community groups, nonprofits, volunteers, businesses and government agencies collaborate to address the immediate needs of our region, we also see groups continuing the work that will help serve and uplift individuals and families for years to come.

In the days preceding the launch of community-wide responses to COVID-19, our Trustees met for our regularly scheduled winter grants meeting. During this conversation, the board approved 96 capacity building grants totaling $14.8 million. A full list of these grants can be found here, along with sample projects from across our region, including Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and a few of our national partners listed below.

In line with our mission to serve and uplift all communities across the Pacific Northwest, we continue to listen and connect with leaders across our region to best understand the unique needs and challenges of those we serve, preparing and prioritizing appropriate measures we can take to provide support in meaningful and impactful ways. We will continue to provide this support through our ongoing Murdock Trust Grants Program, as well as through emergency COVID-19 Support Grants as needs dictate.

In the meantime, we are grateful to the countless volunteers and staff members in the nonprofit sector who continue to work tirelessly and put their own health and safety at risk to address the immediate needs of our region, just as we remain inspired and enthusiastic for the creative and innovative programs and projects that will help grow the capacity of communities across the Pacific Northwest.

To all who help support the needs of individuals, families and communities, we say “thank you for helping to serve the common good!”


Five children smile at the camera and show off their muddy hands while standing outside surrounded by snow, mountains, and mud.


  • Rural residents in Idaho will gain increased access to breast cancer detection through Bingham Memorial Hospital’s acquisition of mobile mammography equipment.
  • Residents in Meridian will enjoy access to a brand new aquatic center with the YMCA  of Boise.
  • New staff at the Winter Wildlands Alliance will help expand the organization’s outdoor recreation programming to a wider audience.
  • At-risk and vulnerable children in Idaho will have access to new support and programming through a facility expansion by Idaho Youth Ranch.



  • Rural patients will receive improved transportation through new vehicle acquisition by the Wallowa County Health Care District.
  • The Broadway Rose Theatre Company will increase its community programming by expanding its work spaces.
  • New staff at Adelante Mujeres will help strengthen and grow the nonprofit’s programs serving low-income Latina women and families.
  • Patients struggling with inner ear and brain disease or injury will receive increased support through the addition of new staff at the Vestibular Disorders Association.
  • Residents across the broader Salem region will enjoy a wide variety of programs and gatherings through the construction of a new riverfront amphitheater constructed in partnership between the Salem Rotary Foundation and the City of Salem.
  • Artists will be better equipped to create important work for the community through the expansion of PLAYA’s studio space.


  • The Puget Sound region will continue to enjoy top-quality music programming and education as Classical KING FM renovates and settles into a new office and production space.
  • Audience goers attending performances at Tacoma Little Theatre will enjoy a more comfortable and accessible experience following a series of space renovations.
  • Visitor capacity will increase at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma following the installation of a new, multi-level exhibit.


  • The Vancouver School of Theology will expand its educational and inspirational efforts to reach a broader audience through new programming.
  • Scholars and researchers will gain valuable insight into the history of scripture through new research equipment acquired by the Museum of the Bible.
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The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

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