aka CASW   |   Seattle, WA   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 13-1953314


The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing is committed to improving the quality and quantity of science news reaching the public. Directed and advised by distinguished journalists and scientists, CASW develops and funds programs that encourage accurate and informative writing about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment.

Ruling year info



Robin Lloyd

Main address

P.O. Box 17337

Seattle, WA 98127 USA

Show more contact info



Subject area info



Public affairs

Population served info


Young adults


NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (W12)

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


What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The wide and accurate dissemination of news about science, medicine and technology is essential to a complex modern society. CASW works to connect everyone with high-quality incisive reporting on science and to promote and inform public conversation about issues at the interface between science and society. Our educational programs and awards help raise the quality of science writing in a time when misinformation and manipulation are rampant.

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?

New Horizons in Science

New Horizons in Science, launched in 1963, is an annual program of educational briefings about emerging science to provide science writers with a broader understanding of scientific research and issues and fresh ideas for stories.

Population(s) Served

CASW's Taylor/Blakeslee Fellowship Program is the only national scholarship program supporting graduate study in science writing. At least four fellowships are awarded competitively each year.

Population(s) Served

The Victor Cohn Prize, given annually, seeks to honor a writer for a body of work published or broadcast within the last five years which, for reasons of uncommon clarity, accuracy, breadth of coverage, enterprise, originality, insight and narrative power, has made a profound and lasting contribution to public awareness and understanding of critical advances in medical science and their impact on human health and well-being. The Prize was established in 2000.

Population(s) Served

A website dedicated to sharing and critiquing award-winning science stories to celebrate excellence and to inspire and inform science journalism students and other aspiring science writers.

Population(s) Served

The award is intended to encourage young science writers by recognizing outstanding reporting and writing in any field of science.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Given annually, the Sharon Begley Science Reporting Award recognizes and supports reporting and writing that embodies the high standards embodied by Sharon Begley (1956–2021), a science journalist of unflinching dedication, skill, moral clarity, and commitment to mentoring. The Sharon Begley Award comprises a career prize, recognizing the accomplishments of a mid-career science journalist, and a grant of at least $20,000 to enable the winner to undertake a significant reporting project. The first award is to be given in 2022.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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.

The core mission of CASW remains unchanged since its founding: to enhance the quantity and quality of science news reaching the public.

CASW's core program activities advance this mission by:
● educating science writers;
● encouraging talented individuals to pursue careers in science writing;
● promoting good science communication; and
● supporting and recognizing independent journalism.

In 2019, the CASW board began work on an initiative to improve the quality and sustainability of science journalism at a time when the field is facing major challenges. The arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the difficulty of combating misinformation in a polarized society and served as a dramatic reminder of the importance of science journalism in the 21st century.

During strategic planning discussions in 2014, the CASW board noted trends and challenges that must be addressed to achieve our goals in the current environment.

Key trends include:
● the collapse of the traditional publishing economy;
● changes in science;
● reductions in government funding for science;
● dilution in the quality of science news reaching the public;
● personal branding, self-marketing and business entrepreneurship as major aspects of the writer's life;
● experimentation with new models;
● globalization of science, news, culture and the economy;
● loss of the journalist's filtering role; and
● rise of online multimedia.

In response to these trends and challenges, the strategic plan commits CASW to emphasizing five themes:
● education of science writers and communicators;
● mentoring and support of student and early-career science writers;
● resources for science communication;
● enhancing diversity in science writing; and
● partnerships.

The new Science Journalism Initiative conceived in 2019 is designed to create partnerships to launch a new suite of programs to:
● build the skill, ethical caliber, and diversity of science journalists;
● address the economic sustainability of the field;
● propagate techniques for rigorous science reporting to all journalists whose beats involve working with scientific information; and
● find new tools and alliances for confronting public skepticism, building trust and respect for journalism, and reaching underserved audiences.

As an independent 501(c)(3) organization rather than a professional association,
CASW has the flexibility to work with donors and partners to pursue ideals rather
than serve member interests.

CASW has several reputational assets:
● New Horizons in Science is recognized as a program of high educational value for
science writers.
● CASW has a highly prestigious Board.
● CASW has a good financial track record built through conservative budgeting and prudent management of early gifts.
● CASW has good relationships with a small but committed group of long-time funding partners.
● Though CASW's staff is very small, it is competent and stable.
● CASW has excellent fellowship and awards programs for encouraging excellence in science writing and relationships with many practitioners in the field through these programs.

The National Science Board honored CASW with a 2003 Public Service Award "for its achievement in bringing together scientists and science writers for the purpose of improving the quality of science news reaching the public." Each year's New Horizons in Science program is the signature accomplishment of the Council.

A 2016 program evaluation documented an impressive impact for the continuing graduate fellowships program, which is now enhanced by an enterprise grant competition for recent graduates. And CASW has launched a website, CASW Showcase, to curate and critique award-winning science writing. A demonstration of CASW's growing capacity was a partnership to produce the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco in 2017. CASW's conference work has been done in partnership with the National Association of Science Writers. In 2020, CASW forged a partnership with the Center for Excellence in Health Care Journalism and the Society of Environmental Journalists to create a new fellowship program designed to break down barriers to entry into specialized journalism by providing early-career training, networking and mentoring in science, health, and environmental journalism while allowing reporters to stay on the job.

CASW is a well-managed nonprofit with a good reputation, sound financial track record, strong and engaged board, and important mission. Strong annual giving, program support, and long-term underwriting for awards and fellowships will ensure that CASW continues to advance its mission. The Council's new Science Journalism Initiative will build new partnerships and programs to boost CASW's impact and reach for our second 60 years.

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 inform the development of new programs/projects, 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 take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?


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 125.15 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 7.8 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 11% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


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


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of COUNCIL FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE WRITING 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.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$198,077 $29,409 $151,382 -$98,303 -$252,015
As % of expenses -45.5% 6.8% 54.3% -22.3% -36.6%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$198,077 $29,409 $151,382 -$98,303 -$252,015
As % of expenses -45.5% 6.8% 54.3% -22.3% -36.6%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $286,250 $395,641 $275,680 $1,147,107 $556,073
Total revenue, % change over prior year -82.5% 38.2% -30.3% 316.1% -51.5%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 25.7%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 6.9% 5.4% 6.0% 1.7% 5.5%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 10.0% 2.9% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 74.5% 86.9% 66.0% 90.4% 64.7%
Other revenue 18.6% 7.8% 17.9% 5.0% 4.1%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $434,978 $431,432 $278,598 $441,121 $688,373
Total expenses, % change over prior year -68.3% -0.8% -35.4% 58.3% 56.1%
Personnel 48.9% 43.5% 53.3% 35.3% 24.2%
Professional fees 14.9% 6.9% 15.1% 11.0% 22.8%
Occupancy 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 6.3% 8.1% 12.5% 44.8% 32.1%
All other expenses 29.8% 41.5% 19.1% 8.9% 20.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $434,978 $431,432 $278,598 $441,121 $688,373
One month of savings $36,248 $35,953 $23,217 $36,760 $57,364
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $471,226 $467,385 $301,815 $477,881 $745,737

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 5.8 3.9 10.6 17.5 5.7
Months of cash and investments 27.6 30.6 56.0 56.2 29.3
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 25.8 26.9 48.1 27.7 13.4
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $209,950 $140,718 $245,674 $643,256 $324,959
Investments $790,183 $959,064 $1,054,640 $1,422,495 $1,355,664
Receivables $0 $0 $2,990 $27,000 $25,400
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 2.4% 1.8% 11.2% 6.3% 12.0%
Unrestricted net assets $936,968 $966,377 $1,117,759 $1,019,456 $767,441
Temporarily restricted net assets $628 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $39,132 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $39,760 $114,605 $48,983 $958,958 $744,815
Total net assets $976,728 $1,080,982 $1,166,742 $1,978,414 $1,512,256

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


Robin Lloyd

Robin Lloyd, a science writer going back to the Galileo mission to Jupiter, now works as a freelance writer and contributing editor to Scientific American, where she was news editor from 2009 to 2015. She also teaches reporting and writing to master's degree candidates in NYU Journalism's Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. Previously, she was a senior editor for and She has additional experience in print journalism (Pasadena Star-News); wire service journalism (City News Service in Los Angeles); and network online journalism ( She worked for five years as a science publicist at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. She earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and received a Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at MIT for the 1998-99 academic year. From 2010 to 2012, Lloyd served as a board member for the National Association of Science Writers.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


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.


Board of directors
as of 11/20/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Robin Lloyd

Freelance Journalist

Term: 2023 - 2026

Christie Aschwanden

Freelance Journalist

Deborah Blum

Knight Science Journalism at MIT

William Kearney

National Academies of Science, Medicine, and Engineering

Maggie Koerth


Celeste LeCompte

Chicago Public Media

Debbie Ponchner


Cristine Russell

Harvard Kennedy School

Ashley Smart

Knight Science Journalism at MIT

Kenneth Trevett


Dan Vergano

Scientific American

Alan Boyle


Robin Lloyd

Freelance Journalist

Richard Harris


Betsy Mason

Freelance Journalist

Czerne Reid

University of Florida

Richard Stone

HHMI Tangled Bank Studios

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


Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.