M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

Nonprofit Leadership & Development

Empowering leaders and elevating impact

Flourishing nonprofits require leaders, boards, and development teams who are empowered to drive positive change in their organizations. Through intentional, cohort-style programs, conferences, and strategic grants, the Nonprofit Leadership & Development sector of the Murdock Trust partners with the outstanding nonprofits of our region to help them maximize their impact, now and long into the future.  

A few of the areas in Nonprofit Leadership and Development we fund include:

Board Leadership & Development · Essentials of Development · Green Room: Board Leadership for Leaders of Color · Leadership Now · Peer Cohorts · Succession Planning · Vision & Call · Women in Leadership

Nonprofit Leadership & Development Stories

Click on the arrow next to each story title to read more. 

Voices from 30 Years of Essentials of Development: David Bailey

The Essentials of Development program taught David Bailey, founder and chief vision officer of Arrabon, not only how to raise more money, but also how to better tell his organization’s story.

Voices from 10 Years of Board Leadership Faith-Based: Elyse Nicholson

The Board Leadership & Development program helped Elyse Nicholson, executive director at Eastside Academy, create alignment between her board and staff with confidence and clarity.

Leadership Now

The 2023 Leadership Now conference gathered nearly 250 executive directors for relationship-building, learning, and listening, considering the vital role that nonprofits play in administering healing of all forms to our communities.

Women in Leadership

The 2022 Women in Leadership Conference equipped nearly 100 participants to lead change and navigate crucial conversations in their organization, while offering time to develop relationships with peer leaders.


Leadership Development 

Leadership Now 

This annual conference connects executive directors of faith-based organizations to encourage their personal and professional growth. Learn more ›

Women in Leadership

Women in mid-to-senior-level nonprofit roles gather for a leadership development and networking event, including reflection and skill-building on a relevant professional topic. Learn more ›

Vision & Call

This initiative helps organizations across the Pacific Northwest develop internship programs for young adults. Learn more ›

Peer Cohorts

Peer leaders connect over the joys and challenges of top leadership through two-year cohorts. Learn more ›

Board Development 

Board Leadership & Development 

This training program gives nonprofit executive directors and board leaders the insights, tools, and templates for building board capacity and creating a strategic and sustainable future Learn more ›

Green Room: Board Leadership & Development for Leaders of Color 

This training is designed to strengthen board leadership skills for leaders of color in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more ›

Succession Planning 

For organizations who are welcoming new executive directors, this program offers workshops to guide boards and leaders in effective succession planning. Learn more ›

Fund Development 

Essentials of Development 

This training supports small to midsized organizations in creating a sustainable development program. Learn more ›


Capacity-Building Grants 

The Nonprofit Leadership & Development sector offers grants to nonprofit support associations and nonprofit leadership development organizations who are helping scale impact in Pacific Northwest nonprofits. Learn more ›

“When nonprofit leaders, board, and staff commit to growing together, organizations and the fabric of our society are strengthened.”

Kimberly Thornbury, Vice President, Nonprofit Leadership & Development
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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.