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Resources for Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are vital to our communities and our economy. When these groups thrive, we all stand to benefit. That’s why in addition to the Trust’s grantmaking activities and enrichment programs, we’re pleased to share ideas, resources and strategies to help nonprofits fulfill their mission, sustain their operations and develop more effective leaders. Click the sections below to learn more.

Watch this video to learn about the Thriving Cities project in terms of the ecosystem we’re all a part of.

Joshua Yates with the Thriving Cities project provides an update on his team’s research. In this video, he shares the three key ingredients that are necessary for a city to thrive.

Starting a Nonprofit

Starting a nonprofitAt the Murdock Trust, we often get asked questions around how to start a nonprofit organization. Here are two of the best resources we’ve found to help think through what it takes:

Starting a nonprofit is a serious commitment of your time, energy and resources that should be carefully thought through. Bob Andringa, managing partner at The Andringa Group and long-time consultant for nonprofits around the country, finds that those seeking to start a nonprofit:

  • Most seriously underestimate the time and money it will take.
  • Most have a passion, but lack the needed clarity in vision, mission, values.
  • Most don’t have a wide circle of friends who have committed to helping launch something new.
  • Most don’t understand that “nonprofit” does not mean ‘not any profit’.
  • And most can’t explain where the revenues will come from to sustain their idea.

We encourage anyone thinking of starting a nonprofit to contact the nonprofit support organization or association in their state to get specific resources and tools (a list of nonprofit support organizations in the PNW are located in the accordion section below.)

Nonprofit Board & Leadership Resources

Below we’ve compiled resources and a suggested reading list relevant to board development, fundraising/stewardship and leadership/management. If you have questions, please contact us.


AGB Workshop held in Montana: Higher Education Presentations (hosted by Visiting Fellow, Verne Sedlacek)

AGB Workshop held in Montana: Nonprofit Presentations (hosted by Visiting Fellow, Verne Sedlacek)

Board Development

  • Boardroom Verities by Jerold Panas
  • The Effective Board Member by Bobb Biehl & Ted Engstrom
  • Increasing your Boardroom Confidence by Bobb Biehl & Ted Engstrom
  • Nonprofit Board Answer Book by Bob Andringa & Ted Engstrom
  • The Ultimate Board Member’s Book by Kay Sprinkel Grace
  • Death by Meeting by Patrick Lencioni
  • “The Invisible Yellow Line in Financial Operations” from The Invisible Yellow Line: Clarifying Nonprofit Board and Staff Roles by Jean Block – a helpful article on the board’s responsibility as stewards of finances
  • Sample Documents: Board Nomination Form and Board Self-Evaluation Form


  • Asking: A 59-Minute Guide to Everything Board Members, Volunteers, and Staff Must Know to Secure the Gift by Jerold Panas
  • Coach Your Champions: The Transformational Giving Approach to Major Donor Fundraising by Eric Foley, Rebekah Farquhar and Amy Karjala
  • Growing Givers’ Hearts by Thomas Jeavons & Rebekah Burch Basinger
  • Stewardship by Peter Block
  • The Generosity Factor by Ken Blanchard & S. Truett Cathy
  • What Your Money Means: And How to Use It Well by Frank J. Hanna


  • Good to Great and the Social Sector by Jim Collins
  • Becoming a Category of One by Joe Calloway
  • Forces for Good by Leslie Crutchfield & Heather McLeod Grant
  • Mastering the Management Buckets by John Pearson
  • Managing at the Leading Edge by Mike Hudson
  • The Dream Cycle by Steve Moore
  • The Contrarian’s Guide to Leadership by Steven Sample & Warren Bennis
  • Leadership without Easy Answers by Ronald Heifitz
  • “Succession Planning” – Ensuring Successful Leadership Transitions by Bruce Dingman, David Gyertson and Richard Kidd

Nonprofit Support Organizations

The Murdock Trust supports a number of organizations around the Pacific Northwest that have missions to strengthen the nonprofit community, their leaders, and their boards. Below are links to a few of these organizations.


Nonprofit Support Organization Initiative Summary