The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.Coretta Scott King
As I reflect on the work of the Murdock Trust and our partners in 2021, I cannot help but think of how this moment will shape our future. The historic events of our recent history have forced us all to enter a new reality and this “new normal” has brought with it a list of new challenges to be addressed, while not many of the old challenges went away. Combined, they have brought any number of hardships to our communities and our world and a reality that must not be overlooked or underestimated. However, they have also brought new opportunities. Opportunities for innovation, collaboration, creative renewal, and partnerships.
Throughout my service at the Murdock Trust, I have seen countless examples of how thoughtful leaders, committed public servants, and dedicated community members can join together and build innovative, sustainable solutions that transform instances of challenge into opportunities for flourishing. 2021 was no different. Organizations adapted in inspiring ways to serve the diverse needs of our region. As you will read in this report, the Murdock Trust continues to seek to partner and serve innovative organizations and leaders that are bringing to life transformational ideas to enrich the lives of others. We remain guided by the legacy of our benefactor and the spirit of those individuals and organizations seeking to partner and serve the common good.
As much as 2021 will always remind me of the innovative and generous spirit of our region, it will also hold a personal marker in my own growth and renewal. After 16 years as the executive director and CEO of the Murdock Trust, I will soon pass the baton of leadership to my successor, Romanita Hairston, this summer. I am excited for what lies ahead for the Murdock Trust and for the opportunity to pursue new challenges in my own professional service, having more time to support the development of the next generation of servant leaders and work directly with boards and other members of the philanthropic sector.
With the support of our Trustees, our leadership team, our staff, and our constituents, we look forward to welcoming Romanita and helping her onboard in an intentional, thoughtful, Murdock-ish way.
One of our core values at the Murdock Trust is gratitude and I want to thank each of you for the encouragement, patience, insights, and wisdom you have offered to me and our team as we have sought to be stewards of the mission to nurture and advance the social, spiritual, educational, and cultural fabric of the Pacific Northwest.
I would like to close by simply expressing my thanks to each of you. Whether we are longtime friends, have met at a site visit or event, or connected in some other way, if you are reading this, I suspect you are committed to the common good. I am grateful for your partnership, for your dedication, and for your service. Blessings to you and all those you hold close.
From the Executive Director
Serving Those on the Front Lines of COVID-19
As the world entered its second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits continued their tireless dedication to serve the diverse needs of the Pacific Northwest. Across sectors, individuals and nonprofit organizations rose to the occasion, rapidly adapting programs and services to support ongoing and emerging needs in the midst of one of the most difficult times in recent history. We have been honored to play a small role in supporting their invaluable work through our COVID support grants programs.
COVID Total Giving in 2021: $14,044,256 through 132 grants
COVID Giving by Initiative:
Arts & Culture, $5,731,650 through 58 grants
Camps, $1,795,000 through 20 grants
Mental Health, $1,974,312 through 17 grants
Immigrant, $2,008,000 through 15 grants
Youth Wellbeing, $2,435,294 through 21 grants
Why the Arts?
The arts play a central role in the health and flourishing of any community. They entertain and inspire, engage and educate. They preserve cultural heritage for generations to come while promoting understanding across diverse backgrounds. They help power our economy and provide opportunities for all to thrive.
In 2021, we met with a collection of our grantees working in the arts and culture space to shed light on the myriad ways these organizations uplift our communities and region, including Why The Arts as a broader theme, the role art plays in Preserving Native and Indigenous Cultures, how Performing Arts programs help establish community, how Arts Programs for Children serve and support local youth, and the way Contemporary and Fine Art spaces bring forward diverse lived experiences. We are grateful to be able to share these stories in the following series of short films.
Our Grantees at Work
Our work at the Murdock Trust would not be possible without the thousands of nonprofits we are proud to partner with across the Pacific Northwest. These organizations serve countless individuals and communities through programs in arts and culture, education, health, human services and scientific research. Below is just a fraction of the many incredible organizations that received a grant in 2021.
This year, we were delighted to welcome hundreds of nonprofit leaders back to in-person meetings in terra firma at the Murdock Trust. For me, it’s a relief to be back – and not just for the joy of reuniting and reconnecting unhindered by mute buttons and screen fatigue. I’m grateful to be back for reasons that are deeply rooted, permanent, and physical.
Being face-to-face, even with masks, means something extra given the nature of the work we do. Each one of our programs serve organizations built on the mission of care for people — embodied human beings living at identifiable locations and addresses, right down to the street corner. Your work has always involved in-person engagement with our neighbors in the Pacific Northwest. The stakes are high because those whom we serve are real people with physical needs. And through nearly two years, you have endured faithfully in your worthy missions to meet the needs of your neighbors. I am inspired by the leaders we serve and their resilient commitment to the service of others.
While the empowering impact of your work stretches far beyond our purview, our priority is tending the garden in our own yard; we invest in the communities that compose this beautifully diverse region. This year, we offered new trainings including board training and development for general nonprofits and board training for Leaders of Color called The Green Room. In addition, we transitioned many of our programs back in person, taking great care to provide for the health and safety of all our partners while celebrating their return to our corner of Vancouver, WA.
Our conviction has always been that good news travels fast. As communities across the nation and globe are influenced by your service, we stand in deep gratitude for the privilege of advancing so much good work that covers the field of every conceivable human need, both physical and spiritual.
Two years after the onset of ultimate unfamiliarity, you have learned to pace yourself through the marathon of pandemic challenges. You have served not only the needs of your constituents, but the weary staff you steward, your fellow leaders, and your families at home. As we felt the growing discomfort of collective tiredness and prolonged uncertainty, you carried the torch through the night — you demonstrated resilience and helped us fix our eyes on the hope and vision of a brighter tomorrow
Senior Program Director for Enrichment
Changing Faces in 2021
Total Assets, Grants Approved, & Grants Paid
Hover over the graph for more information. Amounts in thousands. Example: $1,140,574 = $1,140,574,000
- Fixed Income
- Real Estate (debt-back, lower risk)
- Private Credit (lower risk)
- Infrastructure (lower risk)
- Public Equity
- Private Credit/Mezzanine (higher risk)
- Real Estate (equity financed, higher risk)
- Distressed Debt
- Private Equity Secondaries
- Infrastructure (higher risk)
- Private Equity
- Venture Capital
- Growth Equity
Meet Jack Murdock
The late Melvin J. “Jack” Murdock, co-founder of Tektronix, Inc., was an entrepreneurial leader with business interests throughout the Pacific Northwest. Born and raised in southeast Portland, Jack turned a passion for radio and electronics repair into one of the largest employers in Oregon’s history through innovation and a commitment to building a workplace where his team could thrive.
Upon his untimely death in 1971, his will directed three Trustees to establish a charitable trust “to nurture and enrich the educational, cultural, social and spiritual lives of individuals, families and community.”
To serve individuals, families and communities across the Pacific Northwest by providing grants and enrichment programs to organizations that strengthen the region’s educational, social, spiritual and cultural base in creative and sustainable ways.