M J Murdock Charitable Trust

Location: 703 Broadway St Ste 710, Vancouver, 98660 WA

EIN: 23-7456468

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72%

28%

What was the overall relationship with the funder?

How many hours did the grant application process take?

33 hours

Median

80%

20%

How would you rate this funder's accessibility?

79%

21%

How successfully do you think the funder is accomplishing its current philanthropic goals?

Important Information

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Top descriptors for this funder

20Builds relationships17"Gets" nonprofits and issues17Likes site visits17Responsive15Positive leader in the field14Friendly12Gives more than money11Insightful9Culturally sensitive7Risk averse7Openminded7Risk taker

Advice from a Friend

M J Murdock Charitable Trust

Jul 01, 2019

Reviewer 5489 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

It used to be that you could write an LOI to Murdock and if they invited you to write a grant proposal, you had a 90% chance of funding. That has changed, and they are turning down more proposals. It's frustrating, because to write a good Murdock grant is a very difficult process. I've had a staff person tell me a grant had a very good chance of funding, only to find out later that it didn't have any chance.

Cons

Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Culturally incompetent, Risk averse

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Response from M J Murdock Charitable Trust

Jul 10, 2019

We appreciate this feedback and are saddened to hear that you didn’t have a positive experience with our grant review process. We are constantly working to improve our application and review process and we will do our best to learn from this and other feedback we regularly receive from individuals and organizations. In our most recent Center for Effective Philanthropy survey, applicants, both those who received funding from the Trust and those that did not, gave the Trust top marks for our commitment to ensuring clear, quality communication throughout our process and they consider this an asset as they prepared their application. For example, we do try and make staff available for calls, emails, and meetings to help applicants prepare for and present a strong proposal. We also spend considerable effort ensuring that our website is full of helpful instructions, samples, tips and other resources to support applicants through the process. That said, no process will ever be perfect and we are always looking for ways to provide an even better experience.

Regarding the connection between approval of an LOI and approval of a grant application, the Trust has never approved anything close to 90-95% of the applications it receives, nor have we indicated such a high level of success should be expected. The Letter of Inquiry is just the first stage in our vetting process and we do come across any number of challenges that might lead to declining an application as we get into a more detailed review of the proposal. In all our communications we make it clear that the process is competitive and successful grantees should ensure that their organization is prepared before submitting their application and if they discover questions that need to be addressed, there are options available before hitting “submit.” Program directors give applicants the opportunity to defer or withdraw and later resubmit their application if the organization needs more time to plan or prepare for the proposed project. We do our best to avoid telling organizations what to do; however, we will encourage best practices and report out what we know others in the sector to be doing. We are rooting for every nonprofit we meet with and want to see every organization funded, but we also believe we have a responsibility to fund projects that have the best chance to uplift a nonprofit and not proposals that could turn into a burden down the road.

The Trust invests in the capacity of a wide range of organizations doing great work in communities around the Pacific Northwest, including a small portion that are faith-based. However, all organizations go through the same application and review process and are held to the same high standards.

Jun 26, 2019

Grant Applicant - applied in 2019

Although the application is rigorous, the grants officers and website provide a lot of really helpful information. Be sure to be prompt and professional when working with the person assigned to your grant.

Pros

Gives more than money, Culturally sensitive, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, Responsive

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Jun 26, 2019

Grant Applicant - applied in 2019

The grants manager we worked with was genuinely interested in helping us increase our chances of receiving a grant from the Trust. We implemented their suggestions and were recently notified that the project was approved by the trustees! The application took quite a bit of thought and was very thorough, so it's very clear the Trust funds projects that they believe are sustainable and realistic and will truly make a difference. The resources on the Trust's website were helpful in guiding us through the application process and required documents.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Jun 19, 2019

Grant Applicant - applied in 2019

The team is really a partner in the process - When you approach, do your homework in the grant areas and have a fleshed out idea. However, don't be afraid to share some other things in your pipeline and how they relate to your larger goals. This is a funder that cares about your institution.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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Jun 17, 2019

Reviewer 6787 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2019

In our limited view based on our own experience and that of a partner organization, the application process is rigorous but the structure and intensity of the process definitely varies depending on the program officer.

Pros

Gives more than money, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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May 01, 2019 1

Reviewer 7964 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2014

The program managers really act as a partner in developing your grant proposal. Begin a conversation with them early, ideally at the idea formulation/planning stage. The program manager can help shape the project, and help set goals and strategies.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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Apr 09, 2019 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Reach out and connect with a program officer.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Culturally sensitive, Friendly, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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Apr 09, 2019 1

Reviewer 1739 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

The Trust staff are accessible and responsive. Questions are answered quickly and with respect. The process has been significantly updated in recent years and has cut down on the time it takes to apply. The process also created an internal review of our funding goals and how to better inform and engage our current and prospective investors.

Pros

Gives more than money, Culturally sensitive, Friendly, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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Apr 09, 2019 1

Reviewer 1273 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

This funder is highly relational and works hard to provide coaching throughout the application process. With their intentionality towards capacity building, MJ Murdock Charitable Trust is a sought-after foundation for nonprofits needing an operational boost to take their work to the next level! The application and reporting requirements are lengthy, but instructions online are clear and Program Directors are available to assist as needed. Once you've received a grant from Murdock (and successfully met markers in the grant proposal), they are committed to your organization's success and welcome future proposals, as well. The Murdock team sees the importance of infrastructural and programmatic sustainability, and works hard to provide that for the nonprofit organizations it works with.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded

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Apr 08, 2019 1

Grant Applicant - applied before 2014

Study the web page and fill out the forms in advance. You will learn a lot about your own project and organization. Their process is a detailed analysis of your organization.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Friendly, Likes site visits, Responsive

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M J Murdock Charitable Trust