PLATINUM2023

Force Blue, Inc

One Team. One Fight.

Mount Pleasant, SC   |  www.forceblueteam.org
GuideStar Charity Check

Force Blue, Inc

EIN: 81-2921674


Mission

FORCE BLUE seeks to unite the community of Special Operations (SOF) veterans with the world of coral reef conservation for the betterment of both. FORCE BLUE gives former combat divers a chance to experience and explore one of the most critically endangered ecosystems on the planet and to utilize their training and team work to aid in its protection.

Ruling year info

2016

Co-Founder/Executive Director

Mr. Jim Ritterhoff

Co-Founder

Keith Sahm

Main address

P.O. Box 1254

Mount Pleasant, SC 29465 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-2921674

Subject area info

Natural resources

Mental health counseling

Special population support

Population served info

Adults

Military personnel

NTEE code info

Military/Veterans' Organizations (W30)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

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

Communication

Affiliations

See related organizations info

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Force Blue has experienced tremendous success and growth over its initial four years of operations. However, the organization has struggled to establish consistent programming around its marine missions. This is attributable in part to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown, but also partially a reflection of the “mission” nature of Force Blue’s work which can be unpredictable. Force Blue would like to have more stability and control over its pipeline of marine missions so that it can (1) be more stable financially, (2) attract and sustain its donor base, (3) create a staffing structure that can meet more predictable demands on its time, and (4) demonstrate consistent, high quality outcomes. To this end, the staff and Board of Force Blue: • identified key organizational questions to be resolved to reach its goals • refined Force Blue’s statement of identity • clarified the context in which the organization works and its competitive advantages

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?

FORCE BLUE, Inc.

Established in 2016, FORCE BLUE is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that addresses two seemingly unrelated problems -- the rapidly declining health of our planet’s marine resources and the
difficulty returning combat veterans have in adjusting to civilian life. By uniting the community of Special Operations veterans with the world of marine science and conservation in one, mission-focused program, FORCE BLUE has created a model of caring, cooperation and positive change with the power to restore lives and restore the planet.

Population(s) Served
Military personnel
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of stakeholders/stakeholder groups with whom communication has been achieved and expectations shared

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Military personnel, Veterans, Researchers, Students, Widows and widowers

Related Program

FORCE BLUE, Inc.

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

With assistance from its scientific partners and support of key corporate sponsors, have deployed on several high profile projects that have produced 3 documentaries & million of $ of media coverage.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

FORCE BLUE, Inc.

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Average online donation

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

FORCE BLUE, Inc.

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Secured donations taken securely through Authrorize.net and settled daily. One noticeable metric is we are seeing more recurring donations in the $10 - $15 dollar range Ave Donations closer to $50

Total dollars received in contributions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Older adults, Seniors, Young adults

Related Program

FORCE BLUE, Inc.

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.


Through this strategy development process, Force Blue’s board and staff members identified competitors and market trends, surfaced the challenges that informed a number of “Big Questions,” and agreed on the organization’s current business model. Together, these elements constitute an identity statement to serve as a foundation for Force Blue’s ongoing strategic thinking. Force Blue then drafted, a strategy screen that can be used as a tool for assessing strategic options and making informed decisions about the organization’s future.

Force Blue began its strategy development process by identifying the most important “Big Questions” which focused this process and served to align strategy, decision-making, and implementation priorities.


Force Blue’s unique competitive advantage is its ability to bring together unlikely allies to find new shared purpose in preserving marine environments and communicating the impact to new audiences.
Over the next three years, Force Blue will expand its impact by leveraging its unique competitive advantage to meet its goals by focusing on the following strategic priorities:
 Growing the number of completed missions to be more consistent and sustainable
 Building internal infrastructure to support more disciplined organizational growth
 Strengthening stakeholder relationships as the basis for growth

Force Blue has already demonstrated it can have significant impact on improving marine environments, healing veterans, and building awareness of environmental stewardship. To have even greater impact, and to ensure the organization’s long-term viability, the following implementation plan will help Force Blue reach its potential over the next three years.

Strategic Priority 1. - Grow the number of missions completed to be more consistent and sustainable
Over the next three years, Force Blue will engage in annual mission planning to lay out the list of potential missions and the capacities needed for each. This will enable Force Blue to provide staff, volunteers, and funders with a clearer understanding of the types of work it may undertake, while remaining flexible to shift as opportunities, conditions, and budget limitations arise.

Force Blue has refined its approach to its missions and going forward it will categorize them into “light” missions and “extended” missions to standardize expectations around staffing levels, scope of work, and budget.

Through the work of FORCE BLUE, we envision a world:
- Where our oceans are healthy and sustainable.
- Where the general public is more aware of the threats facing our oceans and marine environments and more engaged in the fight to preserve them.
- Where scientists and veterans become teammates with a renewed sense of purpose and dedication to service and veterans no longer feel lost in their transition to civilian life or defined solely by who they were in the military.

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
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

2.90

Average of 2.04 over 7 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

5.7

Average of 4.6 over 7 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

8%

Average of 3% over 7 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Force Blue, Inc

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Force Blue, Inc

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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

Force Blue, Inc

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Force Blue, Inc’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.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $68,906 -$107,705 -$62,459 $384,817 -$196,188
As % of expenses 19.0% -13.8% -15.5% 58.4% -25.2%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $68,906 -$107,705 -$62,459 $384,817 -$202,018
As % of expenses 19.0% -13.8% -15.5% 58.4% -25.8%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $432,408 $639,941 $692,589 $797,933 $653,738
Total revenue, % change over prior year 107.9% 48.0% 8.2% 15.2% -18.1%
Program services revenue 0.0% 60.8% 16.2% 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% 39.2% 77.5% 94.0% 91.0%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 6.3% 6.0% 9.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $363,502 $777,838 $403,251 $659,055 $778,345
Total expenses, % change over prior year 21.2% 114.0% -48.2% 63.4% 18.1%
Personnel 4.6% 24.3% 42.0% 32.9% 33.6%
Professional fees 0.8% 0.5% 8.3% 4.6% 6.6%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 1.1% 1.0% 0.8% 0.7% 0.5%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 93.5% 74.2% 48.9% 61.8% 59.3%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $363,502 $777,838 $403,251 $659,055 $784,175
One month of savings $30,292 $64,820 $33,604 $54,921 $64,862
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $30,216
Total full costs (estimated) $393,794 $842,658 $436,855 $713,976 $879,253

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 3.0 0.3 12.5 9.7 5.7
Months of cash and investments 3.0 0.3 12.7 11.0 7.0
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 2.2 -0.6 -3.0 5.1 0.9
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $92,048 $22,263 $421,018 $532,434 $372,672
Investments $0 $0 $5,047 $73,659 $84,190
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $8,588 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $30,216
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 19.3%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 26.4% 279.5% 39.9% 25.9% 32.7%
Unrestricted net assets $67,744 -$39,961 -$102,420 $282,397 $80,379
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0 $358,689 $176,492 $243,470
Total net assets $67,744 -$39,961 $256,269 $458,889 $323,849

Key data checks

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

Operations

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

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Co-Founder/Executive Director

Mr. Jim Ritterhoff

Working as a professional writer for the past 30 years, Jim has penned and directed award-winning advertising campaigns, screenplays, teleplays and documentaries. As Founder/Creative Director of NYC-based Chowder, Inc., Jim wrote and produced the theatrically-released feature film, Cayman Went and the children's book, Tuke the Specialist Turtle. An avid SCUBA diver and lifelong marine conservationist, Jim previously served on the Board of Directors of the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) on Little Cayman.

Co-Founder

Keith Sahm

Before Co-Founding Force Blue, Keith was General Manager of Sunset House in the Cayman Islands for over 20 years. He is an accomplished diver, strategist, hotelier, marketer & marine environmentalist. Offering a rare blend of creative and operational strengths, he is a former board member of the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA), the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) and the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. Keith was one of the first to install coral farms in the Cayman Islands and co-founder of the island’s NGO “Save Cayman”. He has been a guest speaker at numerous DEMA events and was named “Diver of the Year” in 2015 by Beneath the Sea for his role in promoting SCUBA recreation, training, safety and advocate for the seas. In 2016, he was runner up for the Cayman Islands Governor Tourism Industry Conservation Award for his dedication and outstanding service for his commitment to the environment and was honored with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Force Blue, Inc

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
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.

Force Blue, Inc

Board of directors
as of 01/24/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Mr. Dan Orr

Dan Orr Consulting

Term: 2021 - 2024

Ryan McCombie

Retired United States Navy Captain

Tom Mullikin

Mullikin Law Firm Former U.S. Army officer and International Legal Officer attached to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command

Tim Gallaudet

CEO of Ocean STL Consulting. Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (ret)

Carl Pfleger

Former Vice-President of Global Operations Pepsico

Richard McWhorter

Private Wealth Manager with Merrill Private Wealth Management

James Ritterhoff

CEO Force Blue

Jay Haigler

Lead instructor and the safety dive officer for Diving With a Purpose

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? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • 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? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No