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Salk Institute for Biological Studies

CharityWatch report issued
October 2023

Top-Rated Charity
CharityWatch Grade
Our independent grade based
on a number of factors.
Program Percentage
Amount spent on programs
relative to overhead.
Cost to Raise $100
Amount spent to raise
$100 of contributions.

Contact Information

Salk Institute for Biological Studies
10010 N Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037

Other Names


Tax Status




Stated Mission

The advancement & dissemination of knowledge relevant to the health & well-being of man. Basic research in the following: molecular biology & genetics, neuroscience, and plant biology.

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Data based on Fiscal Year Ended 06/30/2022

Program Percentage: 85%

The percentage of Salk Institute for Biological Studies's cash budget it spends on programs relative to overhead (fundraising, management, and general expenses).


Calculated Total Expenses



Cost to Raise $100: $11

How many dollars Salk Institute for Biological Studies spends on fundraising to raise each $100 of contributions.


Calculated Total Contributions


Government Funding

25% to 49%

Percentage of cash revenue
coming from government sources


Financial Documents

Entity Document Type Tax ID
Salk Institute for Biological Studies Audited Financial Statements 95-2160097
Salk Institute for Biological Studies IRS Form 990 95-2160097
Entity: Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Document Type: Audited Financial Statements
Tax ID: 95-2160097
Entity: Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Document Type: IRS Form 990
Tax ID: 95-2160097

Governance & Transparency

CharityWatch evaluates certain criteria related to a charity's Governance and Transparency. Donors may want to consider a charity's willingness to be open and transparent with CharityWatch to be a good litmus test for determining its commitment to public accountability.
This charity is Top-Rated
What does it mean to be Top-Rated?
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
meets governance benchmarks.
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
meets transparency benchmarks.
Provides Financial Information
Audit Accessibility
Governance: Policies
Reports regularly & consistently monitoring & enforcing compliance with a written Conflict of Interest Policy
Reports required, annual disclosure by officers, directors, and key staff of interests that could give rise to conflicts
Reports having a written Whistleblower Policy
Reports having a written Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Governance: Financials
Reports providing copy of tax form to all board members prior to filing it with IRS
Reports that financial statements were audited by an independent accountant
Governance: Board of Directors
Reports at least 5 voting board members
51% or more of voting board members reported as independent
Reports documenting minutes of board and board committee meetings
Privacy Policy
Privacy Policy No Sharing  

  Name Title Compensation
1 Fred Gage President $895,384
2 Kim E. Witmer Senior VP, Finance & Administration $506,117
3 Martin Hetzer Chief Science Officer $503,340
Name: Fred Gage
Title: President
Compensation: $895,384
Name: Kim E. Witmer
Title: Senior VP, Finance & Administration
Compensation: $506,117
Name: Martin Hetzer
Title: Chief Science Officer
Compensation: $503,340

CharityWatch Analysts perform an in-depth analysis of charities' audited financial statements and IRS tax filings, and often review other documents such as state filings, annual reports, and fundraising contracts during their evaluations. Below are select notes that CharityWatch believes may be of interest to donors.

According to The Salk Institute for Biological Studies audit of June 30, 2022 (Note 13, Concentrations of Credit Risk):

"The Institute receives funds under various research grants from federal and non-federal agencies. Funding from the National Institutes of Health represents approximately 67.9 percent and 60.9 percent of total grant revenue for the years ended June 30, 2022 and 2021, respectively."

According to The Salk Institute for Biological Studies audit of June 30, 2022 (Note 12, Commitments and Contingencies) [$s reported in thousands, as noted]:

"Commitments — At June 30, 2022, contractual commitments on purchases pending or in process are $14,173 [thousand]."

According to The Salk Institute for Biological Studies tax filing for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2022, the Institute reports for Loans to and/or from Interested Persons a "home loan" made by the Institute to four professors in the amounts of $400,000, $700,000, $300,000, and $300,000. The reported balance due on the loans at June 30, 2022 is $400,000, $400,629, $180,000, and $180,000, respectively. It is also reported that the board or a committee approved the loans, there are written agreements for the loans, and the loans are not in default (IRS Form 990, Schedule L, Part II).

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