History

Pacific Northwest Roots, Global Impact

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust was founded in 1975 following the untimely passing of Jack Murdock, an innovative, entrepreneurial leader who left an indelible mark of the Pacific Northwest.

About Jack Murdock

Jack Murdock was an avid learner, innovator and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Portland, OR, Jack built an industry- and region-shaping business through his work in the field of radio and electronics. From the humble beginnings of a pre-war radio repair shop, Jack would go on to co-found Tektronix, a company that would grow to be the state’s largest employer and help launch hundreds of technology companies, reinventing the way we live and work.

Learn more about Jack’s life, work and impact here

Over Four Decades of Regional Impact

Since our founding in 1975, the Trust has served the Pacific Northwest region through capacity-building grants, enrichment program and convening work. 

Beginning with assets of $91 million, the Trust’s endowment has grown to approximately $1.3 billion — with over $1 billion given out in grant awards and programs to date. This places the Murdock Trust within the top five largest private foundations in the Pacific Northwest and among the top 100 in the country. We are one of the only foundations headquartered in the Pacific Northwest that regularly awards grants across a five-state region.

Today, the Murdock Trust staff has both the deep experience and current knowledge necessary for thoughtful grantmaking, diverse enrichment opportunities and prudent asset investment. Regular interaction with our stakeholders helps the Trust respond to new opportunities, make grants consistent with our mission, and promote interactive learning, networking and partnerships among individuals and organizations who share our commitment to making life better for individuals, families and communities. We also convene groups of people to discuss issues of mutual interest and to provide enrichment programs or activities that support our grants program and that build capacity and develop leaders in the nonprofit community.

A Brief History of Our Leadership

Trustees

Paul L. Boley (1975 – 1986)
James B. Castles (1975 – 1995)
Walter P. Dyke (1975 – 1995)
Lynwood Swanson (1986 – 2016)
Neal Thorpe (1995 – 2010)
John W. Castles (1995 – Present)
Jeff Grubb (2010 – Present)
Jeff Pinneo (2016 – Present)

Executive Directors

Dr. Sam C. Smith (1975 – 1988)
Ford A. Anderson (1988 – 1995)
Neal Thorpe (1995 – 2006)
Dr. Steve Moore (2006 – Present)

The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

Sectors the Trust is committed to enriching in the Pacific Northwest:

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.