M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

The Murdock Trust invests in nonprofit leaders. One important aspect of this is pouring into the future leaders in our region, too. Our Vision & Call grant program gives structure to the process of aiding young adults in discerning their vocation, their sense of calling and direction in life. Our experience is that for many, this process of discernment leads them to roles at the nonprofit organizations that contribute to a vibrant Pacific Northwest. For others, it leads them into meaningful business opportunities, ministries, creative callings, or some combination over their lifetime. Whatever the job or season of life, arriving there with a sense of purpose, curiosity, and intentionality often sets them up to make their highest and best contribution. Over time and generations, this yields stronger communities, and our entire region benefits. 

At our Q3 2023 grants meeting, we awarded 34 Vision & Call grants to aid organizations in establishing or maintaining a sustainable internship program. Here is a small sampling of these nonprofits: 

Interns at the Covenant Youth of Alaska are involved in relaunching outreach to Native young adults in the Anchorage, AK, area. This outreach includes community gatherings for youth in small villages, vocational training, and mentorship. With some of the highest rates of suicide, teen pregnancy, and sexual abuse in the nation, this region has unique challenges that young adults from Alaska have an opportunity to respond to. Covenant Youth of Alaska is supporting young adults to do this work well. 

Group of children smiling triumphantly, doused with mud
Covenant Youth of Alaska

Because International, based in Nampa, ID, collaborates with global partners to seek to alleviate poverty in developing countries through entrepreneurship and job creation. Their development of The Shoe That Grows in factories local to their partner communities provides jobs and products that challenge extreme poverty. Interns engage deeply in this work through serving on department teams, representing the organization at events, and interacting with global partners. A collaboration with a local university has helped seniors studying social work to fulfill their internship requirement through this meaningful opportunity that allows them to work both locally and internationally.

Young man scanning boxes in warehouse full of cardboard boxes
Because International

In Eugene, OR, interns at Bushnell University are playing a direct role in creating an inclusive campus environment as the university’s enrollment grows. A variety of internship roles, including Student-Athlete Mental Health Counseling Graduate Intern, Commuter Life Graduate Intern, Clinical Mental Health Graduate Intern, and Admissions Visit Graduate Intern, support critical campus groups that empower students and contribute to the strategic goals of the university.

Female college student standing with arms crossed and smiling, with four other students behind her standing and smiling
Bushnell University

Divine Alternatives for Dads Services (D.A.D.S.) in Seattle, WA, engages interns in beginning to address some of the societal consequences of fatherlessness. For many fathers who come to D.A.D.S., they need someone to partner with them in overcoming child support debt, building financial and personal stability, navigating systems, and positively reuniting with children and families. Interns at D.A.D.S., some of whom have been personally impacted by the organization, apprentice under the D.A.D.S model and explore career paths in this area of service.  

Group of men sitting around a table with one man standing by a bookshelf

Sustainability is built into the Vision & Call grants program, so as each cohort of interns moves into the next step in their vocation, a new group will take their place. While funding from the Murdock Trust contributes to this model for up to six years, beyond that organizations are intended to maintain this commitment to young adults long into the future with the structure they have inherited from the program. With this model, organizations are not only investing in this current generation of individuals entering the workplace; they are building and strengthening the infrastructure of the future workforce too.  

Thank you to every organization that demonstrates a commitment to early career employees and young adults, including these Vision & Call grantees and so many others! The future of our region is brighter because of it. 

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

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