A regional charity that has provided millions in grants to Idaho groups passed a major milestone on Friday.
The M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust announced that the award has provided more than $1 billion in donations across 6,718 grants to programs across the Pacific Northwest since the organization was founded in 1975.
The Vancouver, Wash., based trust was created after the death of Jack Murdock, the co-founder of Textronix who was killed in a plane crash in 1971. Murdock left directions in his will that tens of millions of dollars from his estate be used to launch a charitable foundation that focused on helping the region in as many ways as possible.
“We know that the people who can best serve the diverse needs of the wide array of communities that make up the Pacific Northwest are the individuals and organizations that live and work directly with the people who call those areas home,” executive director Steve Moore said in a statement Friday.
According to Murdock, groups in Idaho have received more than $50 million of those awarded dollars, with at least $3 million of that going to the eastern side of the state. The fifteen receiving organizations range from high school programs to environmental groups and three of region’s largest health care networks.
Clark County, Pocatello, Ririe and Shelley High Schools have all received $7,000 grants through the fund’s Partners in Science Program over the last decade. On the more expensive end, the Museum of Idaho received $300,000 from Murdock in 2017 to help pay for its current expansion. Teton Valley Health Care has received three grants from Murdock over the last 15 years, providing more than half a million dollars to install new machines at the rural clinics in Driggs and Victor.
Teton Valley Director of Philanthropy Jessica Pozzi said Murdock was the largest recurring donor they had when it came to new medical technology, such as the CT scanner they added last year.
“We do not have funds of this nature to be able to stay current with equipment that goes out of date fast. Having the support of a grant like this makes it possible meet the needs of the community,” Pozzi said.
Murdock Trust has also faced criticism in recent years for donations it has made to anti-LGBTQ groups including the Portland Fellowship and the Alliance Defending Freedom. Moore has said the donations from the trust have never gone towards discriminatory practices and the donations can be given to causes “even when we may disagree on certain topics.”