M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
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Jefferson Land Trust

The month of June is always an exciting time at the Murdock Trust. As we reach the start of summer, our team takes time to gather for an all-staff retreat to reflect on our work through the first half of the year and ensure we are all clear and rowing together for the months to come. We also connect with external stakeholders and advisors to consider the nonprofit landscape. We release our annual report and have the opportunity to connect with our interest holders and partners at our annual Founder’s Day event. 

As with many things over the past year and a half, we are approaching each of these occasions with a spirit of renewal and anticipation, considering how we can combine what has been effective in achieving our mission from the past with what is most strategic now and in the future. Those who have been following my CEO updates over the past year know that we have been in a period of “innovative reflection,” from a new grants management system to an updated sectoral model to specific program adjustments. With great gratitude for all who have borne with us in these changes for the sake of strong collaboration ahead, I want to share updates to two of these June rhythms. 

A Revised Senior Fellows Program 

The Trust reaches thousands of individuals and organizations across our region, working in critical areas across sectors. With this kind of reach and a lean in-house staff, it is essential that we have a strong advisory network for listening and learning. The Senior Fellows program is one way we have extended our reach over the years, expanded our ability to listen and understand the external landscape, and welcomed new perspectives to our work. 

I am pleased to share that over the last several months, we have developed adjustments to this program to update its structure and sharpen its purpose and clarity. This has included folding it into a larger program that brings together the full advisory ecosystem of the Trust. While we will have more details to share in the coming months, I want to say now how grateful we are for those who have played a role in the Senior Fellows’ success through the years, how pleased we are with the pool of returning Senior Fellows who are committing once again to partner with us in this capacity, and how excited I am for the new voices who will be joining us. Each of these individuals are distinguished professionals in their field and will contribute meaningfully to our sector work and overall investment in the community. Their partnership will enable us to better refine our sense of our region’s top-of-mind challenges and solutions as well as help us scale impact while maintaining our value of close community partnership.  

Virtual Founder’s Day 2024 

For years, Founder’s Day has been an annual gathering of nonprofit and community partners celebrating the good work of our region and the legacy of our benefactor, Jack Murdock. It has been a chance to make new connections, catch up with old friends, learn more about the work of the Trust, and imagine where we could go together next.  

In the past, Founder’s Day has been an in-person event, but this year, we are doing things a little differently. In the spirit of organizational renewal, we are offering a virtual Founder’s Day that will offer a view into some of the process changes and sectoral strategies we have developed over the last year. While we anticipate returning to an in-person gathering next year to celebrate our 50th anniversary, this temporary shift to a virtual event is an example of the spirit of experimentation and evolution our team has embraced in the past year. Sadly, we cannot teleport hors d’oeuvres to all attendees, but we hope the flexibility and accessibility are worth the tradeoff. 

You can learn more about and register for our virtual Founder’s Day here, but in the meantime, let me end this message with a reminder: despite these adjustments and those we have shared over the past year, the core focus of our work remains consistent. We are focused on supporting innovations and sustainable solutions that impact the ability for those in our region to flourish. This looks like having the ability to live lives of meaning and purpose, being able to contribute to the thriving of families, communities, and broader society, and expanding hope and commitment to human dignity and love for neighbor. As a team, we remain committed to stewarding Jack Murdock’s legacy with care, collaboration, and intentionality through grantmaking and programming. We remain steadfast in our intention to serve communities well, in partnership with you. We are excited to remember and celebrate Jack’s incredible legacy together at our virtual Founder’s Day, and this year, we invite you all to join us.  

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