M J Murdock Charitable Trust

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

EIN: 23-7456468

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30 hours




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Important Information

2017 Deadlines:

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Top descriptors for this funder

16Builds relationships14"Gets" nonprofits and issues13Likes site visits13Responsive13Positive leader in the field11Friendly10Gives more than money9Insightful7Culturally sensitive6Risk averse6Openminded6Risk taker

Advice from a Friend

M J Murdock Charitable Trust

May 22, 2018 3

Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

I wish we hadn't wasted our time pursuing a Murdock grant. It was a long and arduous process and to invest so much time and not get funded is painful. If you do direct service and are a large(r) mainstream organization maybe you'll do better than we did. They are the epitome of a white-savior-funder. Their own agenda built on hierarchies of white privilege.


Difficult to work with, Culturally incompetent, Risk averse

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Feb 20, 2018 1

Grant Applicant - applied before 2014

This was the most laborious grant application I ever had to write. We had to jump through many hoops, had an extensive in-person visit, and then were not funded. The whole process took almost a year.


Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Bureaucratic

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Jan 22, 2018 1

Reviewer 752 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Their time is limited, but they will take time for projects that interest them. They are exacting in their expectations.


Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Insightful, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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Oct 23, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

Definitely call before you write the LOI. But I've seen them encourage several grants that they would never fund. Very difficult processes. Not very nice site visit. They have a ton of money, but... I'm not sure it's worth working with them. It's the worst, longest, most difficult application I've ever done. And to do that, and then not get funded....


Difficult to work with, Culturally incompetent, Bureaucratic, Risk averse

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Oct 10, 2017 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Murdock staff are helpful, easy to connect with and genuinely care about supporting young people. They do not fund current, ongoing programming, so I would recommend applying if you are planning to grow or add a staff person. The process is extremely onerous, especially once you get past the LOI stage, which likely makes it hard for smaller, community-based and POC-led nonprofits to apply.


Risk taker, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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Oct 06, 2017 3

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Definitely make contact with foundation staff. Be very clear if your organization's status and the proposal. Give yourself plenty of time to complete the application. Make sure your financials and other documents are in order. The application is very intertwined so a change in one area has ripple effects that requires changes to other responses to be internally consistent.

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Oct 06, 2017 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

This is one of the most arduous and time-consuming grants you will ever tackle. Be prepared mentally and emotionally. Multiple pages of narratives, lots of attachments, a 5-year proforma, all across different methods of submission (online, email attachments, etc). It is also a very long timeline, taking 9 to 18 months. Lots of vetting. They are very focused on sustainability, so be sure to have an answer for that. However, they are one of the only funders to fund new staff positions, even administrative or development positions.


Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Difficult to work with, Culturally incompetent, Bureaucratic, Risk averse

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Sep 27, 2017 2

Reviewer 490 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Program Officers are very open and communicative, but the process and how much they ask for in preparation for their meetings with the 3 Trustees is excessive. While it is respectful that so much time is put into the process, there should be a better way to help organizations not spend so much time on a grant proposal.


Risk averse

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Aug 30, 2017 2

Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

Murdock has a lot of capacity and experience and can make large grants. They are one of few foundations I've found that will fund for capacity building (i.e. development). They also have a lot of experience and are very metric oriented and analytical. That being said, their trustees are four white men of advanced age and their grantmaking reflects that. They place no value on board diversity or on internal leadership by people impacted by the issue the org is working on. I believe that our diversity worked against us. The only orgs that I know that have received funding from Murdock had a relationship with a trustee and the organization was run by white people.


Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Culturally incompetent

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Response from M J Murdock Charitable Trust

Mar 13, 2019

The Murdock Trust places a high value on diversity across all measures. Though our staff is small, we work diligently to ensure that we bring a diverse collection of voices to the table, representing a wide variety of backgrounds, view points and perspectives. In addition, the Murdock Trust regularly partners with a wide array of individuals and organizations from outside of our immediate team that represent the diverse communities serving the various populations of the Pacific Northwest.

The Murdock Trust regularly invests in nonprofit organizations managed by people of color in order to serve communities of color, such as Greater Than, Adelante Mujeres, Urban League of Seattle, African American Health Coalition, the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Mending Wings, and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation to name just a small handful. A full list of our grantees can be found on our website (murdocktrust.org).

Aug 30, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Think hard about your capacity to start this grant process. While the funding is substantial and helpful the process is time-consuming and you are at the whim of the funder. Others have told us if you are invited to submit a full application the chances of being funded are 80-90%, great. But it is a long and complicated application process where you'll need to create detailed financial documents, write long essays, etc.


Difficult to work with, Culturally incompetent, Bureaucratic, Risk averse

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M J Murdock Charitable Trust