Western Flyer Foundation


Moss Landing, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Western Flyer Foundation

EIN: 47-4184235


Our mission is to stir curiosity by connecting art and science in the spirit of John Steinbeck, Ed Ricketts, and their journey on the Western Flyer.

Notes from the nonprofit

It is a pivotal time for the Western Flyer Foundation. After seven years restoring the historic Western Flyer vessel, the boat is returning to Monterey, California, where it will embark on its next exciting chapter as a platform for research and education. In preparation for its return, we have been building and strengthening the operational infrastructure needed to successfully implement this next chapter. We have hired a team of leaders, scientists, and educators to develop and implement our programs, shipwrights and engineers to maintain the vessel, and a seasoned captain to oversee the crew and safely run the boat. We have established strong partnerships and community support from Baja California to Southeast Alaska, and received funding from state, federal, and private foundations. With your support, we can continue the legacy of Steinbeck, Ricketts, and their 1940 journey on the Western Flyer, inspiring future marine scientists, conservationists, artists, and writers.

Ruling year info


Principal Officer

Sherry Flumerfelt

Main address

10928 Clam Way

Moss Landing, CA 95039 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Education services

Population served info


Young adults

Economically disadvantaged people


NTEE code info

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Public Charity

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Tax forms

Show Forms 990


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SEACOAST (STEAM Experiential Approach to Critical Ocean and Atmospheric Topics)

SEACOST engages high school and post-secondary students in marine science and research onboard the historic Western Flyer. The program aims to increase awareness of ocean health and how it's studied, provide students with technical research skills and knowledge, and inspire career choices in the maritime field.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback


Western Flyer Foundation
Fiscal year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.04 over 6 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 3.1 over 6 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0% over 6 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Western Flyer Foundation

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Western Flyer Foundation

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Western Flyer Foundation

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jul 01 - Jun 30

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Western Flyer Foundation’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $183,351 $1,326,508 $1,212,486 $644,697 $1,364,121
As % of expenses 847.8% 311.0% -1640.5% 1110.7% 1212.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $183,351 $1,316,289 $1,153,006 $550,816 $1,364,121
As % of expenses 847.8% 301.4% -7991.4% 362.6% 1212.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $204,978 $1,752,103 $1,138,578 $702,741 $1,527,825
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% 754.8% -35.0% -38.3% 117.4%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $21,627 $426,567 -$73,908 $58,044 $112,493
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% 1872.4% -117.3% -178.5% 93.8%
Personnel 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 53.8% 52.0%
Professional fees 30.1% 18.1% -8.1% 21.2% 25.1%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 11.1%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 69.9% 81.9% 108.1% 25.1% 11.8%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $21,627 $436,786 -$14,428 $151,925 $112,493
One month of savings $1,802 $35,547 -$6,159 $4,837 $9,374
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $228,285 $1,335,014 $1,177,339 $657,131 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $251,714 $1,807,347 $1,156,752 $813,893 $121,867

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 6.6 0.1 -6.2 5.4 12.9
Months of cash and investments 6.6 0.1 -6.2 5.4 13.4
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 6.6 0.1 -6.2 5.4 493.3
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $11,842 $3,336 $38,483 $26,049 $121,023
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $4,494
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $0 $63,294
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $228,285 $1,563,299 $2,740,638 $3,397,770 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.7% 2.5% 4.8% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 9.2%
Unrestricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $4,624,359
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 $0 N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $240,127 $1,556,416 $2,709,422 $3,260,238 $4,624,359

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Principal Officer

Sherry Flumerfelt

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Western Flyer Foundation

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Western Flyer Foundation

Board of directors
as of 06/07/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Tom Keffer

John Gregg

Gregg Drilling

William Gilly

Stanford University

Susan Shillinglaw

San Jose State University

Linda Powell-McMillan


Jack Barth

Oregon State University

Enrique Hambleton

Pronatura Noroeste

Bob Lesko

Tom Keffer

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/25/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/25/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.