M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Board Leadership
Fact Sheet

The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust is delighted to invite your organization to participate in the invitation-only Board Leadership and Development Program—a unique training process and experience for selected CEOs, board members and senior team members.

“The role of the board has unmistakably transitioned from passive governance to active leadership with a delicate balance of avoiding micromanaging. It’s leadership as a group, not leadership by an appointed person. With the right composition, a board can create value; with the wrong or inappropriate composition, it can easily destroy value.”

Owning Up: The 14 Questions Every Board Member Needs to Ask, Ram Charan

Designed specifically for Christian organizations, the program addresses strategic competencies that are essential to board and organizational health. The content has been researched and developed by a team of experienced and skilled consultants and advisors assembled by the Murdock Trust.

Helping You Build Capacity and Sustainability

The Board Leadership and Development Program will equip you to fulfill the unique mission of your nonprofit Christian organization as you build the capacity of your board and staff. The process will also help you identify the strategic next steps and benchmarks needed to create a sustainable future.

You will receive practical insight, tools and templates for inspiring both current and future board members to become more effective and God-honoring in their board governance roles and responsibilities. The 12-month program is built on a cohort-learning model that will include surveys, assessments, resource readings, interactive faculty presentations, and in-the-trenches practical dialogue and interaction both with colleagues from your organization and with other nonprofit leaders.  Each cohort includes about twelve organizations.

Customized Coaching

A unique feature of the Board Leadership and Development Program is the coaching component, which will provide participating organizations with two days of professional coaching. One coaching day will be considered “on-site,” in which the coach will visit the organization’s main office. The second day will be split among several days, to offer guidance as needed. Once registered, each organization will be assigned a coach who will provide guidance, mentoring and hands-on practical coaching help for your board. Based on your specific needs and the “strategic next steps” your organization identifies, your assigned coach will suggest how you might allocate your two days of coaching over the program’s five phases:

  • Phase 1: Pre-reading, baseline surveys and webinar briefing (prior to Session One)
  • Phase 2: Session One (two days in Vancouver: February)
  • Phase 3: Enrichment Assignments (between February and May)
  • Phase 4: Session Two (two days in Vancouver: May)
  • Phase 5: Completion of Strategic Next Steps (with coaching accountability)

Practical, Focused and Potentially Transformational!

The Board Leadership and Development Program will address the most strategic issues, challenges and opportunities of board leadership. Here is just a sample—a taste—of the program content:

“The board-CEO relationship is the soul of the Christ-centered organization. It connects leaders to followers, communicates vision and mission to the body, and sets the tone for the organization.”

Stewards of a Sacred Trust: CEO Selection, Transition and Development for Boards of Christ-centered Organizations,David L. McKenna
  • Understanding God’s Heart and Purpose for Nonprofit Ministry Boards
  • Clarifying the Board’s Role and the CEO’s Role—Eliminating Fuzzy Responsibilities!
  • Moving From Decision-Making to Discernment—Spiritually Discerning God’s Voice
  • Embracing and Implementing a Policy Governance Model That Fits Your Board’s DNA
  • Leveraging the four Phases of Board Recruitment: Cultivation, Recruitment, Orientation, Engagement
  • Balancing Board Roles (The Three Hats): Governance, Participant, Volunteer
  • Identifying Appropriate Committee Structures—and How to Fix Dysfunctional Committees
  • Maximizing the Most Critical Relationship: the Board Chair and the CEO
  • Setting the Engagement Bar High and Fostering a Culture of Continuous Learning
  • Aligning Your Mission, Vision, Values With Measurable Results and S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Participation Requirements

In order to participate, your organization must commit to the following:

  1. A minimum of three and a maximum of four participants must attend each seminar. One person must be the executive director or CEO (the person who reports directly to the board). Others participating should be the board chair (or your future board chair), along with additional board members.
  2. Participants from each organization must attend both sessions and be available for sessions with your coach (on mutually agreed-upon dates).
  3. Participants must complete the readings and assignments before, during and after the sessions.
  4. Participants will be expected to complete three surveys related to the program. The first survey will be conducted prior to the first session in February; the second will be completed immediately after the second session in May; and the third will be completed one year later (May).
  5. A program fee of $1,200 per organization is due upon registration.


A registrar should be appointed from your organization and complete the registration for each member who will be attending the conference. The $1,200 fee will be collected at the completion of your organization’s registration.

The registration fee will cover:
  • Single room for each participant at the Hilton Vancouver Hotel for 1 night for Session One and 1 night for Session Two. For those traveling a distance, an additional nights lodging will be made available prior to each session.
  • All meals for Session One and Session Two (Wednesday lunch through Thursday lunch)
  • Session materials (books and resources)
  • Travel and expense for each organization’s coach
Each organization will cover:
  • Travel and miscellaneous expense for each participant from your organization
  • Optional recommended resources materials

The Program Team Will Inspire and Serve You!

The staff of the Murdock Trust will host and facilitate the program and the two sessions in Vancouver. The Trust will utilize the services of experienced and skilled board consultants who will serve as faculty members and coaches for the program.

If you need additional information or have questions, please contact us at boardleadership@murdocktrust.org or 360-694-8415.

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.