M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

In writing this quarter’s report, my instinct is to begin with the message: “Happy New Year! … We hope!” At the Murdock Trust, our goal is to focus on the many positive things we see happening and always turn towards the light in the darkness. But that’s been a bit tougher these days, hasn’t it?

Image 1: a woman creating glass art. Image 2: a classroom of children doing arts and crafts. Image 3: a brand new facility. Image 4: an open field with cows and a mountain range behind them. Image 5: a person in a red sweatshirt in front of a carving of George Washington crossing the Delaware River. Image 6: four teenagers sitting around a table chatting and laughing.

We are now entering our third year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic. Where many entered 2021 with great enthusiasm thanks to newly released vaccines, there is understandable vigilance as we greet 2022. We have now navigated multiple surges, new variants, and confronted the reality that early goals of herd immunity and “zero COVID” are likely impossible. Data appears to show reason for hope as the risk of serious infection and life-threatening impact seems to be dropping. But after so many false starts it’s understandable that many will greet this news with cautious optimism.

One element contributing to our sense of optimism is the resilience we see in our communities. In the face of rapidly evolving challenges and growing need, we continue to see individuals, families, and nonprofit organizations rally together to serve the common good.

Image 1: a group of people holding a piece of technology during a competition. Image 2: a man and a young girl holding a pink teddy bear pose in front of a plane. Image 3: one pair of ice skates and one single ice skate on log stumps in front of an ice rink. Image 4: someone's hands doing ceramics. Image 5: three women smile for the camera on a construction site. Image 6: a man and a young boy bake inside a kitchen.

At the Murdock Trust, we have had the opportunity to see examples of this work in action directly and we have been fortunate to be in a position to help serve more of these individuals and organizations in new ways. Here are a few updates on our efforts we thought you would like to know …

  • At our most recent grants meeting, our Trustees reviewed dozens of examples of innovative work and ideas generated by the diverse nonprofits serving the Pacific Northwest, approving 112 grants totaling more than $25.4 million to nonprofits serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington (that’s a new record for giving in a single quarter by the Murdock Trust). We have included a few examples of these projects below. A full list can be found here.
  • For decades, the Murdock Trust has relied on a unique investment strategy. Our approach puts our relationship with investment managers and thoughtful strategies focused on the common good at its center. We also take the long view and recognize that, like our view on the nonprofit sector, sometimes delivering impact takes time. Investments put in motion several years ago have, over time, yielded a substantial increase to our endowment for our non-profit partners.
  • This increase in resources allows the Murdock Trust team to invest in growing our offerings for our constituents. For example, our Enrichment Team hosted more than 34 virtual gatherings for nonprofit leaders and launched two brand new comprehensive training programs, including The Green Room, a board leadership and development program specifically designed for leaders of color. Finally, the Murdock Trust was able to set a new record for giving in a single year, awarding more than $110 million through more than 460 grants.

These investments are a testament to the thoughtful legacy of Jack Murdock and our team at the Murdock Trust who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to support those who seek to serve the common good. But more than anything, our work is a declaration of trust and belief in those who serve on the front lines in diverse communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. Their sacrifice and efforts bring our mission to life.

As we enter a new year, our team will continue to embrace optimism as we partner with those who serve the common good so that every individual, family, and community has an opportunity to flourish and thrive. To those who join us in this work, we say THANK YOU!

– Steve Moore


Renovations to the Baranof Park recreation center will increase access for youth seeking to participate in the Kodiak Hockey League, a program that promotes team building and physical fitness.

A new Liquid Chromatograph–OrbiTrap Mass Spectrometer (try saying that five times fast!) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks will help support research in a variety of genetic fields.

Image 1: a hockey team poses for the camera inside a hockey rink. Image 2: an aerial shot of new facilities at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.


Boys and Girls Clubs of the Lewis Clark Valley will purchase a vacated school campus in the region, providing new space to offer a variety of resources and programs to underserved children and teens. What a great example of repurposing resources for the common good!

Eight children wearing masks pose for the camera around a table inside.


YWCA Billings is constructing a new facility that will increase their capacity to serve more women and children who have faced domestic violence and human trafficking.

Rural community members in Lewiston, Montana will be served by a new clinic constructed by Bighorn Valley Health Center and One Health.

Image 1: a sketch of the future facility for YWCA Billings. Image 2: four people smile for the camera inside a medical clinic.


New staff at the Oregon Historical Society will make it possible to bring valuable educational programs to more students throughout the state.

Research in a variety of disciplines, including health and energy, will be served by a new 600 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (again, try saying that five times fast!) purchased by Portland State University.

The Native American Youth and Family Center will gain new staff to help lead arts and culture programming incorporated within the nonprofit’s new affordable housing development. We love to see this creative approach to bringing a deep cultural connection to this new community.

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities will gain access to fitness and exercise programming as Everybody Athletics adds new program staff.

New technology will help Guardian Group as they work to combat sex trafficking throughout the country.

Image 1: a young girl sits cross-legged on grass, behind a text overlay that says "Until All Are Free." Image 2: an outdoor photo of the corner of a white building. Image 3: Three children sit on a bench reading a book together. Image 4: a young woman smiles next to a young man wearing a black shirt that says "Every Body Athletics." Image 5: A man wearing a white lab coat holds up a syringe for the camera.


Arts organizations will gain increased access to financial support from ArtsFund as the nonprofit adds new staff. We’re excited to see other members of our community join this valuable effort!

Coyote Central will be able to reach more youth with their arts, leadership, and social justice programming as the nonprofit adds staff.    

New staff will help Down Syndrome Community of Puget Sound to reach and serve more individuals and families.

FIRST Washington will be able to engage more students in STEM programming through the addition of new staff.

Image 1: four children play wind instruments while a man claps in the background, with a text overlay that says "Arts Unite." Image 2: three young children in yellow shirts build something. Image 3: a young boy and a man wearing masks take a photo of a model airplane using an iPad. Image 4: A boy and a woman hug and look at the camera.
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