Location: 703 Broadway St Ste 710, Vancouver, 98660 WA
Types of Grants Awarded:
For Fiscal Year
Change in Assets FY :
Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits:
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
Current or former grantee
Funded for amount requested
Program officers are very accessible and friendly, always willing to talk. The challenge is that the foundation itself and trustees have many rules and regulations regarding the grants they give out.
By focusing on the PNW and giving funding to many orgs here, the Trust is improving and enriching lives. However, its arduous and labor-intensive process leaves out many organizations who don't have time to spend 60 or 80 hours over months or years to get a grant. Many of these orgs are smaller grassroots organizations.
Simplify your grant process. Focus funding on grassroots organizations.
Research the Trust before you apply, as there are some controversies surrounding organizations they have or are funding that may be against progressive values.
Program officers are great and very approachable. And the foundation's willingness to do multi-year grants is very helpful to many organizations.
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.
Applied and not funded
Please be more bold in your grantmaking.
the Trustees (decision makers) are three, older white men.
Clear process and timeline. Very friendly and communicative program officers.
Thank you for your constructive feedback on our process. We are constantly seeking ways to improve our approach and notes like this are critical to our ongoing process.
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
Applied and not funded
They are well-funded and staff are responsive to inquiries. This is a big strength.
I don't know.
When funding in the area of human services, it's important to understand the limitations of the trustees and staff based on their life experiences, race, class, and gender. I would recommend an assessment of the gender and race make-up of the executive leadership and the board leadership of the organizations that you have funded. Simply becoming aware of your limitations and unconscious biases will help the staff and trustees to figure out how to address those shortcomings and how to evaluate organizations fairly. Also, your grant process--LOI, grant application, grant meeting, follow-up--took at least 100 hours of staff labor.
Staff responsiveness and analytics.
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).
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
Grant currently pending
If their philanthropic goals are to act and fund like a paternalistic-conservative 1960s funders they are on the mark. If they want to act as a leader in the field they fail miserably.
Shorten application and stop acting like a savior.
If you are fiscally sponsored pass until you get your own 501c3 number. They don't stipulate this up-front but currently they won't fund sponsored orgs, only found this out after submitting an application.
Good funding with a multi-year commitment.
We appreciate this feedback though we are saddened to hear that you did not have a positive experience with our process. We strive to strike a balance between providing a thorough review of each program and project so as to help ensure that nonprofits are set up for success in the long term while incorporating efficiencies that help ensure time is not lost arbitrarily.
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.
Grant Applicant - applied in 2013
Be sure you are really well-prepared
Worth the time to pitch, Multiyear funding, Positive leader in the field
Applied for funding
$100,001 - $250,000
Thank you for sharing this feedback with future applicants!