Ten things we learned about the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

April 4 Boardroom Breakfast attendees heard from CEO and Executive Director Steve Moore

Photo by Joanna Yorke. Steve Moore (right), CEO and executive director of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, sat down the the Vancouver Business Journal's Co-Publisher John McDonagh during the April 4 Boardroom Breakfast event.

During this morning’s Boardroom Breakfast, held at the Red Cross Building on the Fort Vancouver site, event goers were able to hear from Steve Moore, executive director and CEO of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust here in Vancouver.

John McDonagh, co-publisher of the Vancouver Business Journal and president of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, chatted with Moore in front of an audience of community members and leaders and discussed Moore’s involvement in higher education, becoming involved with leadership and the mission of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Here are 10 things those who attended the breakfast learned about Moore and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust:

1. Moore is actually an alum of Asbury Theological Seminary (among other higher education institutions). Though he said he never felt called to be a clergy person, Moore said the main reason he attended a seminary school was to find out “what made people tick.”

2. Moore was able to visit India years ago and spent a great deal of time with the Dalai Lama.

3. The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust was the idea of Melvin J. “Jack” Murdock, who passed away unexpectedly in 1971 before the Trust was fully created in 1975. His will directed three trustees to establish a charitable trust “to nurture and enrich the educational, cultural, social and spiritual lives of individuals, families and community.”

4. The three trustees that Murdock appointed originally tried to service communities all over the country. However, they realized even a large amount of money wouldn’t go very far in that many places, so they decided to have the Trust’s primary focus be on helping organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

5. In addition to providing grants to area nonprofit organizations, the Trust also offers non-grant enrichment programs that are focused in four underserved areas – science education, organizational development, faith-based organizations and convening.

6. Although sometimes organizations do not receive the grants they ask for from the Trust, Moore said they are always told by every organization that “the process is as helpful as the grant.”

7. The Trust will be moving into one of the new buildings being built as a part of the Vancouver Waterfront Development project. Moore said they hope to move into the new location as early as October of this year.

8. The Murdock Trust works with and provides grants to numerous faith-based organizations, something that sets them apart from many other entities that provide grants, etc. Moore said the faith-based groups are as much a part of the “ecosystem” as any other group; the Trust won’t discriminate against them or give them special treatment.

9. There is no cap on how many grants a particular organization can receive from the Trust. Moore said they believe in ongoing relationships, and also said that if an organization gets turned down for a grant, that does not mean they can never get one and they should continue to apply.

10. Since the Trust first started, it has given away more than $950 million in grants and programs, and has worked with 6,700 organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

For more information on the Murdock Trust, visit https://murdocktrust.org/.

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.