M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust


The “how” and “why” of impact

Sharing information and knowledge is critical to the Trust’s mission of encouraging positive change. Murdock Trust program directors and staff members regularly report on what the Trust does, what our work teaches us and what we learn from periodic research.

The Message Book Series

To honor the legacy of the region we have served for more than 40 years and those who have infused it with such character and vitality, the Murdock Trust publishes five full-color volumes featuring each of the states in our grantmaking region. Each book is filled with extraordinary art and photography, maps and textiles, graphic arts and stories, tales and poems, and more, all reflecting each state’s characteristic essence. Originally published as a special gift to our nonprofit grantees, Messages from Oregon, Messages from Washington, Messages from Montana, Messages from Idaho and Messages from Alaska are now available to our grantees and other nonprofit organizations upon request. We provide copies to individuals upon their donation to a charity of their choice. Email or call 360-694-8415 to request Message Books.

We began the series with Messages from Oregon, the state where Jack Murdock began his creative work at Tektronix, seeding the Trust’s endowment.

The series continues with Messages from Washington, the state where Jack lived and established a Piper Aircraft distributorship.

The third in the series is Messages from Montana, a state draped over the continental divide like a saddle over a fine steed.

The fourth publication is Messages from Alaska, focusing on the frontier state where so many of Jack’s Super Cub planes were flown.

The final book in the series is Messages from Idaho, whose cover serves as a reminder of that state’s fine trout species.


K-12 Christian Schools Capacity Building Initiative

The result of research, conversations and roundtables addressing the Murdock Trust’s desire to strengthen and support the work of K-12 private and Christian schools, a vital subsector of the Pacific Northwest’s educational system.

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The Nonprofit Support Organization Initiative

What the Murdock Trust’s Kit Gillem learned about capacity building while meeting with nonprofit support organizations in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington during an extended study leave

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The nonprofit sector’s new report card Governance and the revised IRS Form 990: New roles for trustees

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The Social and Economic Value of Private and Community Foundations

A ground-breaking study measuring the direct and indirect benefits foundation giving has on the America economy, released by the Philanthropic Collective in 2008

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American Philanthropic Diversity: What It Means, Why It Matters

Examining the breadth, depth and variety of American charity — an awe-inspiring display of human ingenuity that has no historical precedent or contemporary parallel

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The Generosity of America

Adapted from a 2010 speech delivered in Washington, D.C., in the “First Principles on First Fridays” lecture series

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The Philanthropic Collaborative

Introducing a new private-public coalition dedicated to educating policy makers about the economic value of foundations and the work they do to improve America’s communities

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2012 Edition – Trends in Northwest Giving

A report exploring giving from Northwest foundations and corporations to charitable organizations

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Writing Great Grants — A Guide to Successful Grantwriting

A compilation of the counsel and advice the Trust has assembled and passed on to nonprofit leaders and foundation peers since our founding in 1975

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M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Assessment Philosophy

How can foundations and donors best measure the success of the grants they have provided? Read our thoughts on robust assessment and “fruitful investment” or stewardship of resources.

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M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust Center for Effective Philanthropy Assessment Results

In 2011, the Trust engaged the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) to conduct a comprehensive assessment of grantees and applicants who were denied funding.

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Importance of Board Leadership

Recognizing the important role that boards play in the overall health of nonprofits, we propose three potential program models.

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Study on Sabbatical Grants

We find that the creative disruption of a well-planned sabbatical can be productive for the entire leadership of an organization.

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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.