Strategic Projects: Capital Grants, Equipment & Technology Grants, Program & Staff Grants

MJ Murdock Charitable Trust

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Grant amount: US $50,000 - US $500,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program, Capital Project

Location of project: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington

Location of residency: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington

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About the Trust

Since 1975 the Trust has invested nearly $800 million into nonprofit organizations in the form of grants and enrichment programs. Jack Murdock’s desire to “nurture and enrich the educational, spiritual, cultural, and social lives of individuals, families, and communities" continues to be reflected in grants, enrichment programs, and all of the Trust’s activities to this day.

Mr. Murdock was an avid learner, innovator, and entrepreneur. His informal education was continuous and lifelong. The special importance he placed on education has been the beacon leading Trust support of many colleges and universities in the five states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.

Organizations involved in advancing culture and the arts are welcomed each year, as are projects targeted to elevating human services, health, and health care in the region. These include community-based and faith-based organizations, particularly those that serve youth. From a founder who was thoroughly unpretentious, the Trust has taken his lead to welcome the best ideas from all across the region’s urban and rural areas.

The Trust’s founder believed in science and technology as one of the most important sources of knowledge and inventiveness, knowledge that he believed to be strategic to resolving many issues. As a result, the Trust has long been at the forefront of private support for scientific research and innovation. In recent years, this has realized more than 60 scientific research grants annually.

Mr. Murdock was vitally interested in community issues and encouraged the convening and collaboration of diverse leaders to focus on questions of importance. The Trust continues to bring many voices together to examine and explore ideas and trends in various fields and sectors.

Grant Overview

We believe in transformational ideas that help individuals, families and communities flourish — and since 1975, the Murdock Trust has invested nearly $850 million into nonprofit organizations that embody our mission.

Every day, we work to further our founder Jack Murdock’s desire to “nurture and enrich the educational, spiritual, cultural and social lives of individuals, families and communities.” We make grants that help improve the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest, and we welcome nonprofits that share our commitment to thinking bigger, challenging problems and making a true difference.

Funding Types

The Trust makes grants for building the capacity of nonprofit groups in these primary ways for the following three types of projects:

Capital: Is capital growth or expansion important to your nonprofit’s vision for long-term growth and success? The Murdock Trust regularly makes grants that support construction, renovation, land purchase and other capital projects. In most cases, we prefer to receive requests for these types of projects once your organization has raised a portion of the needed funds.

Program & Staff: Expanding programs and adding staff are important markers of nonprofit success. Murdock Trust grants help fund both new programs and the expansion of existing programs, and may be used to cover start-up costs and/or related staff member additions. Typically, we fund program and staff grants on a declining basis over three years (100/67/33%). 

Equipment & Technology: Best practices suggest that a healthy equipment and supporting technology infrastructure is essential. Please note that with these grants, recipient organizations are responsible for 50% or greater of the purchase cost.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Requests for grants are considered from organizations that fit with current Trust interest and have been ruled to be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are not private foundations as defined in Section 509(a)(a)/170(b) of the Code.
  • Charitable organizations applying for support must possess the most current IRS documentation reflecting their status or qualification as a tax-exempt entity.
  • Requests for support are generally limited to projects that occur within five states of the Pacific Northwest: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.


  •  Generally speaking, preference is given to organizations that receive the majority of their funding from private sources.


  • Requests for less than $50,000 are generally discouraged.
  • The following kinds of requests ARE NOT considered:
    • For specific individuals and/or their personal benefit.
    • For individuals unauthorized to act on behalf of a qualified tax-exempt organization.
    • For funds that will ultimately be passed through to other organizations.
    • For propagandizing or for influencing legislation and elections.
    • For institutions that in policy or practice unfairly discriminate against race, ethnic origin, sex, creed, or religion.
    • For sectarian or religious organizations whose principal activity is for the primary benefit of their own members.
    • For long-term loans, debt retirement, or operational deficits.
  • The following kinds of requests ARE RARELY considered:
    • For normal ongoing operations or the continuation of existing projects.
    • For endowments or revolving funds that act as such.
    • For continuation of programs previously financed from other external sources.
    • For urgent needs, emergency, or gap funding.
    • For organizations organized and operating outside any state or territory of the United States
  • Staff hires or programs initiated before Trustee action will not be eligible for funding.