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Salk Institute Receives Charity Navigator’s Highest Rating for Tenth Consecutive Time

La Jolla CA— For the tenth consecutive time, the Salk Institute has earned the highest ranking—4 out of 4 stars—from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity and nonprofit evaluator. Only three percent of the roughly 10,000 nonprofits evaluated have achieved this recognition ten consecutive times. The coveted ranking indicates the Salk Institute has demonstrated strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency, outperforming most other charities in America in regard to executing best fiscal practices and carrying out its mission in a financially efficient way.

“This recognition by Charity Navigator of Salk’s continued success achieving the highest level of fiscal accountability and transparency among our peers is exciting and something we are proud to receive once again,” says Salk Institute President Rusty Gage.

Charity Navigator’s data-driven analysis of the 1.5 million American charities has been covered by Forbes, Business Week and others for providing donors with a way to recognize nonprofits that provide greater accountability, transparency and concrete results.

“Our donors showed their faithful support of Salk science through an uncertain year, as our scientists and the world worked through the many challenges presented by a global pandemic,” says Rebecca Newman, Salk’s vice president of External Relations. “We are deeply gratified that the Charity Navigator rankings reflect our donors’ confidence in the Institute’s stewardship and trustworthiness.”

Since receiving its previous rating from Charity Navigator in 2019, the Salk Institute has made bold progress in pursuing ambitious solutions to the difficult challenges facing humanity, including climate change, aging and cancer.

Support for these initiatives included gifts of $30 million from the Bezos Earth Fund and $12.5 million from Hess Corporation, both in support of Salk’s Harnessing Plants Initiative. This scalable approach to help humanity deal with a warming planet aims to optimize plants to store more carbon and adapt to diverse climate conditions.

In addition, the NOMIS Foundation gave $9.5 million to Salk’s NOMIS Center for Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis to grow and expand, while the center continues to be a leader in health and immunity research.

The Institute continues to make bold progress through its Conquering Cancer Initiative, which seeks to tackle six deadly cancers: colon, pancreatic, ovarian, lung, glioblastoma and triple-negative breast.

“I wish to congratulate Salk Institute for Biological Studies on attaining the coveted 4-star rating ten consecutive times. This designation sets Salk apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness,” says Michael Thatcher, President and CEO of Charity Navigator.

Since 2002, Charity Navigator has used objective analysis to award only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating: only a quarter of charities rated receive this distinction. In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability and Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders.


About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Every cure has a starting point. The Salk Institute embodies Jonas Salk’s mission to dare to make dreams into reality. Its internationally renowned and award-winning scientists explore the very foundations of life, seeking new understandings in neuroscience, genetics, immunology, plant biology and more. The Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark: small by choice, intimate by nature and fearless in the face of any challenge. Be it cancer or Alzheimer’s, aging or diabetes, Salk is where cures begin. Learn more at: salk.edu.

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