M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust


Below are the stages and steps involved in the Trust’s Strategic Grants process


The Trust has multiple resources to help your organization determine grant eligibility.

  1. Carefully review the Guidelines for Grantseekers to determine if your organization meets geographical and tax status requirements, as well as the Trust’s funding priorities and limitations, to determine if your project meets Trust interests. Familiarize yourself with our Application Process map that outlines each step of the application process which is further outlined on this page.
  2. The Trust’s previously awarded grants are the best indicator of projects we are likely to pursue in the future. Read through the Grantee Stories and survey the Grants Awarded database to find similar projects.
  3. You may also reach out to the Trust directly to ensure eligibility or to ask any questions: info@murdocktrust.org or 360-694-8415

Submitting a Letter of Inquiry

A Letter of Inquiry (LOI) helps the Trust determine whether your organization and project are eligible and consistent with Trust practices. If so, you will be invited to submit a full application.

  1. Review the Letter of Inquiry Instructions to prepare your letter for submission.
  2. Create your organization’s account and submit your LOI in the Grants Portal.

    Updated August 8, 2023: The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has received and requested proposals that will carry us into 2024 with our current staff capacity for review.  We are making improvements to our systems, updating our application process, and expanding our staff capacity, all to better support our grantees and the communities we serve.  To allow us the opportunity to complete this work, the Trust has instituted a temporary pause on new applications to our strategic project grants process.
    Starting September 5, 2023, Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) received for the remainder of 2023 will be reviewed in a 2-3 week window in the order they were received. LOI’s received prior to September 5, 2023 will also be reviewed in the order they were received.

    LOIs approved to submit a full proposal may access resources available on the website to help prepare their grant application, but will not be invited to begin the official application in our system until Q1 2024.
    Applicants who submit an application in Q1 2024 can expect to receive a decision on their request in Q3/Q4 of 2024.
    ·         One exception to this process includes applications related to our Scientific Research initiatives because it is an already established sector. 
    ·         This process update does not impact organizations that submitted an LOI or began the grant application process prior to June 1, 2023.
    Our goal in sharing this update is to provide transparency to the nonprofits we serve. We are listening to and partnering with grantees, staff, and external partners to inform the changes to our process and to position the Trust to serve most effectively in the future.
Instructional Video Part 2: Letter of Inquiry

Grant Application Submission and Review Process

If invited to submit an application, you will be able to create an application in the Grants Portal.

Application Submission

  1. Carefully review the Application Instructions for Strategic Projects.
  2. Browse Nonprofit Resources for Grant Writing Tips.
  3. Review Navigating the Grants Portal.
  4. Once you have completed the application, review, edit and double-check figures one last time. When you are satisfied with your completed application, you must click the Submit button.

Review Process

  1. Staff will do a preliminary review of your documents. If any additional information is needed, you will receive an email with the requested information.
  2. Once this document review is satisfied, a program director will be assigned to your application.
  3. The program director will schedule a site visit to discuss the project, leadership, the board, the plan for executing and sustaining the project, and how you will determine success.
  4. After completing analysis of your application, your program director will prepare a detailed report to present to the Trustees for a decision.

Instructional Video Part 3: Project Budget

Instructional Video Part 4: Project Funding and Sustainability

Final Decision

While merit is evident in nearly every application received by the Trust, only a fraction of the requests reviewed can result in awards.

Receiving approval

If the application is approved, carefully review the Grant Administration Overview to request payment and report on project activities and learnings.


When an application has been declined, it will not be carried over for future consideration. Under normal circumstances, resubmission of an application that was declined is not permitted.

However, you can begin again when a new strategic need arises. The Murdock Trust has a wealth of Nonprofit Resources to help you on your next project. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or need further help.

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.