M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

As we announced in recent updates, the Murdock Trust is undergoing a sectoral redesign. While we will continue to refine this work through seeking feedback from diverse interest-holders and experts, we are pleased that after months of constituent input and strategic planning, we can share the initial vision and strategy for our five updated sectors. This redesign and the resulting sectoral model do not change the types of organizations we support; they simply recategorize and focus our efforts so that each grant can be better understood as part of the ecosystem in which its ripple effects will be most felt.  

This five-part Sector Strategy Blog Series is a chance for each sector’s lead to introduce their vision. See the other blogs in the series here: Arts, Culture, & Education; Health & Environmental Stewardship; Nonprofit Leadership & Development; and Scientific Research.

Top left: Adult woman walking with three smiling kids; Top right: three kids jumping rope; Bottom left: mother holding small sleeping infant; Bottom right: Alaskan woman singing during a ceremony for a homeless housing facility

Written by Rudy Carrasco, Senior Director, Civic Engagement & Community Services

From rural Montana to urban Seattle and Portland to the remote villages of Alaska, the needs of the Pacific Northwest are varied, but the vision is shared: a place where every individual is welcomed, established, and empowered to thrive. Nonprofits play a critical role in making this vision a reality for the people of the Pacific Northwest. In partnership with the nonprofits of our region, the Civic Engagement & Community Services sector of the Murdock Trust works to build strong communities and strengthen democracy, together cultivating a region where every person feels hope, is afforded opportunity, and contributes to a diverse community around them.

World Relief Seattle

Community Services 

Strong communities include pathways to life transformation for all its members – children and teens preparing for the future, young adults and families becoming rooted, an owner growing their small business, a family newly arrived in the United States, an individual in need of transitional housing, a person reskilling after job loss, veterans identifying their purpose in the next phase of life. The nonprofit sector helps close gaps that limit access for these groups and ensure that all have an opportunity to forge their own path forward.   

Nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest are innovating to meet these needs through a wide range of projects. These include but are not limited to community development, economic mobility, food support, microenterprise, philanthropy, ministries and faith-based services, and transitional housing. The Murdock Trust supports these nonprofits through grants and programming that seek to build capacity, increase organizational sustainability, and yield innovative solutions.  

Young male playing cards and smiling with laughing older woman

Civic Engagement 

Just as all community members should be given a chance to build roots and have firm foundations, so too should all voices in a community be heard. It is only through respectful, informed civic engagement from every corner of society that liberty and justice for all can be realized.  

To that end, the Murdock Trust supports nonprofits that promote civil liberties such as first-amendment rights and religious freedom; provide leadership and education around civic literacy; strengthen principles of pluralism that yield greater collaboration and bridge divides; and support thought leadership and research in free markets, state policy, and more through think tanks and public policy. When these areas of civic life are strengthened, we are more equipped to arrive at solutions that benefit all.  

Looking Ahead & Working Together 

When every individual is given an opportunity to firmly establish themselves in a place that welcomes and engages them, they are better equipped to contribute to the community around them and work for the good of all. As Jack knew, this work is best done in collaboration with all sectors of society: educational nonprofits that offer classes to immigrant and refugee communities; mobile health clinics that bring services to people who are unhoused; arts and educational groups that advance civic literacy in creative ways.  

The Pacific Northwest is a region rich with collaborative innovations like these. Increasingly, these solutions are attracting national attention, a testament to their effectiveness and a tribute to the dedication of those in our region to care for their neighbors. May we continue this spirit of collaborative care as we work to strengthen the foundations of our community together.  

Learn more about the Civic Engagement & Community Services sector here. 

back to top

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.