M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

This year’s winter season may have, at times, made us wonder.

As COVID-19 vaccines became available, questions and confusion emerged on how to distribute them broadly, efficiently and equitably. We came to the end of another challenging political season and continued to see violence and protest disrupt the fragile life of communities. Across the nation, the weather itself dealt blows with storms that paralyzed communities for days on end.

It seemed as if the new year was actually 2020 on repeat.

But one thing we have learned through serving communities across the Pacific Northwest for nearly 46 years is that light will always come to break through darkness.

We have seen this as countless individuals and nonprofits have stepped up to serve the diverse and unique needs of their communities and of communities around the world over the years. And we have seen this spirit continues during these trying times. In fact, our Trustees recently had the opportunity to review dozens of new proposals and projects from organizations seeking to serve the common good in a variety of innovative ways. We are grateful to share that they have approved 78 grants totaling $14,536,080 to nonprofits across Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. We’ve highlighted a few examples of these projects below, but you can also find a full list of these grants here

These organizations, their perseverance and their continued dedication to serve the urgent and ongoing needs of their communities represent the light that breaks through and reminds us to be hopeful and purposeful. While individuals, families and communities struggled against wave after wave of challenge, resilient individuals and organizations continued to forge ahead, planning and thinking and working on ways to help serve the most vulnerable and advance the common good.

And now, just months removed from those darkest days of winter, light shines bright. The light of vaccines administered more rapidly than first projected. Of businesses reopening. Of communities, schools and faith-based groups making plans to once again join together in person. Of individuals and nonprofits continuing to change lives for the better. To all who have served during these historic and challenging times, to all who served in years before and to all who serve now, we thank you for continuing to find ways to help ensure that every individual, family and community has the opportunity to thrive!

– Steve Moore, executive director, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust


  • Important updates to Sweetland Hall will provide improved accommodations for hundreds of guests at Sitka Fine Arts Camp.
  • SEND North will be able to expand and strengthen its support to communities by purchasing a new headquarters.



  • Researchers at Carroll College will gain valuable insight into kidney disease through a Natural Sciences grant.
  • More children, teens, individuals, and families will have the opportunity to learn about insects and their relationship to our world as the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium builds a permanent home.
  • A new executive director at Code Girls United will help expand STEM education programs to girls across Montana and in tribal communities.
  • A new Conservation Legacy Center built on the campus of the National Museum of Forest Service History will share vital background on the history of conservation in the United States.
  • Researchers at Montana State University Bozeman studying complex biosystems will gain valuable insight through the purchase and use of a Light Sheet Confocal Microscope.


  • A new clubhouse built by the Boys and Girls Club of Salem, Marion and Polk Counties will provide valuable programming and resources to hundreds of local children and teens.
  • Entrepreneurs from traditionally underserved communities will receive increased support from new staff at Craft3.
  • Farmers throughout Oregon will benefit from improved technology infrastructure for irrigation needs implemented by new staff at Farmers Conservation Alliance.
  • A new executive director at Grants Pass Area Habitat for Humanity will help expand affordable housing options for individuals and families in need.
  • Technology infrastructure updates will allow Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest to expand their reach and more broadly serve the local community.
  • Students will gain a deeper connection to and understanding of music as My Voice Music moves into a permanent location in East Portland.
  • Communities across the region will benefit from important research into nutrition patterns and behaviors conducted by the OHSU Moore Institute.
  • The Oregon Humane Society will open a new facility dedicated to supporting their research and partnership with numerous community organizations to offer trainings.


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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.