The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation

Cure ALS

aka MOFF   |   SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA   |
GuideStar Charity Check

The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation

EIN: 45-4983912


The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation is committed to funding innovative research that aims to develop effective treatments and ultimately find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of ALS and providing financial assistance to underserved patients on the Central Coast of California.

Ruling year info


Director, CEO

Larry Fernandez

Main address

3940-7397 BROAD STREET


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Subject area info



Population served info


People with diseases and illnesses

NTEE code info

Private Grantmaking Foundations (T20)

Neurology, Neuroscience (H96)

Neurology, Neuroscience (G96)

IRS subsection

501(c)(3) Private Nonoperating Foundation

IRS filing requirement

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

Tax forms



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

There are two main unmet needs the Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation (MOFF) works to address. The first is the need for a disease-modifying treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and the second is the need for support of the ALS patient population living on the Central Coast of California. In the context of our outreach, the Central Coast includes Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and San Luis Obispo Counties.

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?

ALS Patient Care Funding on the Central Coast

The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation (MOFF) supports ALS patients and their families on the Central Coast of California through the MOFF Fund which was established with the ALS Association Golden West Chapter in 2014. The money put into this fund is earmarked to help alleviate the financial burden of ALS for patients living on the Central Coast. Some applications of this fund include: transportation to ALS clinics, medications, caregiver services, durable medical equipment, communication devices, and renovations to make a home handicap accessible.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

The first $100,000 raised by the Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation was granted to the Forbes Norris ALS/MDA Treatment and Research Center in San Fransisco. This is where Martha participated in a clinical trial for the ALS treatment NP001. Since then, MOFF has been committed to donating a minimum of $25,000 to novel ALS research projects each year. Some examples of research projects MOFF funds are: investigating the underlying pathology of C9orF72 in ALS, AT-1501 development, biomarker database collection (CSF and tissue sample library), and ALS animal model development.

Population(s) Served
People with diseases and illnesses

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 research studies funded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

MOFF Research Funding Initiative

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Each year MOFF funds an ALS research study. The research grants given range from $20,000- $25,000. MOFF supports biomarker studies, animal model studies, ALS therapy development and more.

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.

In regards to our long-term goals, MOFF aims to finance research projects that ideally lead to a disease-modifying treatment or cure for ALS. In terms of our short term, more local and patient-centric goals, we aim to support ALS patients and their families by providing them with financial assistance for their disease-associated medical costs. We also aim to provide people living with ALS in our community information about ALS so that their experience is less overwhelming and they feel adequately supported.

The current strategy we utilize to accomplish our goals is the formulation of strategic partnerships with national ALS organizations who have mission statements that align with our own. In doing this, we are able to utilize the preexisting networks and research infrastructures of these organizations to further both organizations’ ALS-centric missions. Our strategic partnership with the ALS Association Golden West Chapter allows us to earmark funds specifically for ALS patients living on the Central Coast of California. We are also able to utilize their care managers to identify immediate needs within the ALS community and allow us to finance them. In terms of funding ALS research, we have cultivated relationships with research labs across the country in order to strategically invest in specific projects we believe will further the scientific field of ALS research.

We are administratively capable of managing these relationships and are working to set more processes in place to validate and promote our continued engagements with each. On the other hand, our capability to continue our mission is dependent on our donor base. Every research project that we fund and every ALS family that we support is made possible by our donors who give on average is $100,000.00 during two main fundraising events: Our annual golf tournament and our annual hike x brunch event. These donations make our annual giving to ALS research and patient care possible.

Since 2012, MOFF has invested $215,000.00 in ALS research projects and $148,000.00 in ALS patient care efforts. MOFF has partnered with ALS Association Golden West Chapter and through this partnership funded 30 grants and 200 items that have directly assisted people living with ALS on the Central Coast. MOFF has also worked in collaboration with ClinWiki in order to make the world of ALS clinical trials more navigable for ALS patients and their families. Finally, MOFF has provided information and resources to numerous ALS patients and their families from Alabama to California.

MOFF is currently expanding our board to engage more scientific key opinion leaders in the Central Coast area in the hopes of raising awareness of ALS in the medical community. In doing so, we hope to create a think tank that can identify specific areas of improvement within the Central Coast communities that have previously prevented people who potentially have ALS from seeking neurological professionals sooner. This action item addresses the issue that it takes ALS patients an average of 12 months to receive an ALS diagnosis.

We are also establishing processes that will allow researchers to apply to MOFF for grants so that we can open up ALS research money to labs outside of our network. Our future model of granting money to researchers will emphasize the need for collaborative research projects that involve data sharing. It is our conviction that this complex disease will not be solved in a siloed laboratory but in an open, inquisitive, research environment.


The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation

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


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

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Director, CEO

Larry Fernandez

The Martha Olson-Fernandez 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.

The Martha Olson-Fernandez Foundation

Board of directors
as of 12/28/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ian Parkinson

The San Luis Obispo Sheriff Department

Term: 2017 - 2021

Cheri Humphrey

Madonna Inn

John Ronca

John A. Ronca A Law Corporation

Larry Fernandez

Apricus Seeds

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 ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable