Song for Charlie

Pasadena, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

Song for Charlie

EIN: 85-1362612


Song for Charlie is a national family led nonprofit that encourages young people to choose healthy coping strategies over self- medication.

Ruling year info


President & CEO

Ed Ternan

Vice President

Mary Ternan

Main address

530 South Lake Avenue #632

Pasadena, CA 91101 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info

Substance abuse prevention

Population served info



Non-adult children


Ethnic and racial groups

NTEE code info

Alcohol, Drug Abuse (Prevention Only) (F21)

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?

Just Say Know

We developed a three-point strategy for reaching youth between the ages of 13-24 – Go where they are (social media); Speak their language (short videos); and get them talking (empowering messaging). We connected to the major social media platforms through our personal and professional networks, educated them about the novel dangers of counterfeit pills and convinced them to help us spread the word. Our awareness campaigns launched in July of 2021 and have reached hundreds of millions of young people across the country. These results validate our direct approach.

We have made a significant and measurable impact on what is now recognized as a national crisis. We have more to do and know together, and we can empower families across the nation.

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 take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, 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 look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection


Song for Charlie
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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 0.00 over 3 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 11.3 over 3 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 13% over 3 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Song for Charlie

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Song for Charlie

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

Song for Charlie

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Song for Charlie’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 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $689,762 -$111,553
As % of expenses 188.5% -11.1%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $689,184 -$113,272
As % of expenses 188.0% -11.3%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $1,054,173 $891,409
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% -15.4%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 100.1% 99.7%
Other revenue -0.1% 0.3%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $365,972 $1,001,767
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% 173.7%
Personnel 31.3% 38.5%
Professional fees 11.2% 6.5%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.0% 2.0%
All other expenses 57.5% 53.0%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $366,550 $1,003,486
One month of savings $30,498 $83,481
Debt principal payment $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $5,155 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $402,203 $1,086,967

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2021 2022
Months of cash 25.8 8.2
Months of cash and investments 26.1 8.2
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 26.1 8.2
Balance sheet composition info 2021 2022
Cash $787,905 $680,387
Investments $8,599 $1,903
Receivables $0 $1,874
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $5,155 $5,155
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 11.2% 44.6%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.0% 0.0%
Unrestricted net assets $801,081 $687,809
Temporarily restricted net assets N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0
Total net assets $801,081 $687,809

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2021 2022
Material data errors No No


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

President & CEO

Ed Ternan

Vice President

Mary Ternan

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Song for Charlie

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.

Song for Charlie

Board of directors
as of 02/01/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

J. Brian Ternan

Edward James Ternan

Song for Charlie Founder and President

Mary Nally Ternan


J. Brian Ternan

CEO of Health Net of California and California Health & Wellness

Alexis Anvekar, MD

The Leela Integrative Medicine Center

Garth Graham, MD

Director and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health at Google/YouTube

Patricica Marinelli-Casey, Ph.D.

Clinical researcher specializing in addiction

Patrick Nally

CEO of VeloTera Services, Inc.

Brennan Mullin

Vice President, Devices & Services at Google Inc.

Jack Symes

Singer and Songwriter

Bridget Lattimer

Young professional and recent neurobiology graduate

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 ? 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? 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 5/30/2023

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
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/26/2023

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.