M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
Collage of three photos. Top left: Doctor with male toddler smiling; Bottom left: Group of people sitting at tables with two adult females hugging; Right: young girl in the middle of a sunny green forest with her face tilted towards the sun
Top Left: All God’s Children International; Bottom Left: Warriors and Quiet Waters; Right: Forest Stewardship Council

As I shared in my comments last month, I have been focused on the concept and practice of renewal. How can we take what is successful, refine it, improve it, and create something even more impactful? We have also been focused on renewal in our work at the Trust. This month, I am excited to share that our team is in the final phases of the design and deployment of our new Grants Management System (GMS). We are grateful to be on schedule to release this new tool in March. The release of our new GMS will mark the culmination of more than a year of work by our team developing our sectoral model, aligning our structure, and improving our processes and systems.

We have considered several factors in the development process beyond how we execute the technical roadmap. We believe technology, when developed, used, and deployed effectively, can unleash greater human potential and connection. Our goal is for the implementation of this new system to aid us in bringing our mission to life including saving time in the application process, unleashing greater capacity in our team to engage, and improving our ability to capture and utilize data to develop insights and make decisions in the grantmaking process. Ultimately, we seek to be a good partner to the nonprofit community. We believe this investment in a new GMS will give us the capability and opportunity to more fully capture and understand our grant investments in impactful work and the common good. 

We will have more details to share once this tool goes live in March, but there are several core elements that we believe will better serve those seeking Trust support for strategic project investments: 

  • Improved efficiency and clarity at the Letter of Inquiry (LOI) stage to help organizations self-select into or out of the process before they invest significant time in an application. 
  • Utilization of new technology tools to streamline our application process, such as an integration with Candid to directly import financial information to our platform, reducing the total time required to complete the submission process. 
  • An experience designed and intended to be more streamlined and user-friendly to better support applicants as they navigate our process. 
  • The ability to leverage new AI tools as they become available to support completion of the application process.

Our work designing our new GMS runs in parallel and directly intersects with our broader shift to a sectoral model. As we have shared, the sectoral model will allow the Trust to continue serving in our core areas of focus while clarifying and exponentially amplifying the impact of our investments. Next month, we will also have updates directly from each of our sector leaders as they outline their vision for their areas of focus.  

To all of those who have spoken into our process, we thank you for your support, wisdom, and perspective. We are excited to enter this new chapter at the Trust and to see how continued innovation and renewal can continue to bring the legacy of Jack Murdock to life for years to come.

-Romanita Hairston, CEO

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