For more than 43 years, the Murdock Trust has had the pleasure of partnering with nonprofits serving Vancouver, SW Washington and the broader Pacific Northwest in myriad ways. We have seen first hand the power and impact that can be achieved when passionate, dedicated, hardworking individuals and teams join to serve a need or address a challenge. It is heartwarming to see the endless list of examples of residents of SW Washington “stepping up” day in and day out to help their neighbors who may be facing any number of challenges or working to make our communities more vibrant.
In the philanthropic sector, we are fortunate to have a ringside seat for many of these projects and organizations. We often like to say that, “the fruit of our labor grows on the trees of others.” We and our colleagues in the foundation sector want to encourage and support those who are on the frontlines tackling the crucial work undertaken by countless nonprofits that serve our community and its citizens. We seek to be good partners, but it is the dedicated professionals and volunteers in the nonprofit space who work tirelessly on the frontlines in education, healthcare, human services and dozens of other fronts. Our role in this effort is to help “set the table” and help build capacity to fulfill their mission successfully. The true spirit of philanthropy is to help ensure that organizations serving our community have the support that they need to flourish and thrive.
This investment means more than just dollars and cents. Communities thrive when all voices come to the table and contribute to a solution that serves the common good. In some areas of modern society, this has become harder to achieve. We live in times that sometimes feel divisive or fractured with communities separated by politics, social issues or economic priorities. Yet despite these differences, there are so many issues and challenges where we do agree and can work together. It is critical we purposefully move forward toward productive solutions in the spirit of collaboration, partnership and cooperation. One area where philanthropy can and does help serve the common good is by providing opportunities for various stakeholder voices to be brought to the discussion and heard. In some cases this can mean identifying avenues to amplify voices that have previously been unheard. In other cases, this can mean helping bring stakeholders to the table who may have otherwise disengaged from the process. In all cases it means recapturing the best of what it means to be neighbors.
As we plan for the future we intentionally reflect on the work of 2018 and the past. We are amazed by and appreciate the outpouring of volunteerism, financial support and engagement from all partners in community service. We extend our gratitude to our colleagues in the funding sector, such as the Kuni Foundation, the Community Foundation of Southwest Washington, family foundations and the countless donors, as well as the countless members of the business community, the individuals who donate and volunteer, the nonprofits who support those in need and the myriad community organizations who come together to help serve the common good. Thank you for all that you do to help the city of Vancouver and Southwest Washington flourish and thrive.