Mission: What started as a one-woman operation in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory is now home to 261 staff members, including 36 Ph.D. scientists who lead their respective fields. Mote research has expanded to include twenty-four diverse research programs today. These diverse and impressive research programs make Mote a world-class scientific enterprise. Coupled with this expansive breadth of research, Mote focuses on strengthening conservation efforts as well as public education and outreach. Mote's mission is to advance marine and environmental sciences leading to new discoveries, revitalization, sustainability and greater public understanding of our oceans through
innovative research, education and outreach.

Mote Marine Laboratory is a 501(c)(3) organization, with an IRS ruling year of 1977, and donations are tax-deductible.

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Contact Information

  http://www.mote.org/

 1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota FL 34236 

  941-388-4441


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Star Rating System by Charity Navigator


Charity Navigator evaluates a nonprofit organization’s financial health including measures of stability, efficiency and sustainability. We also track accountability and transparency policies to ensure the good governance and integrity of the organization.




Exceptional

This charity's score is 92.20, earning it a 4-Star rating. Donors can "Give with Confidence" to this charity. 

This score is calculated from two sub-scores:

This score represents Form 990 data from 2019, the latest year published by the IRS.

View this organization’s historical ratings.


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Star Rated Report

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Program Expense

Program Expense Ratio

82.6%


The Program Expense Ratio is determined by Program Expenses divided by Total Expense (average of most recent three 990s).


This measure reflects the percent of its total expenses a charity spends on the programs and services it exists to deliver. Dividing a charity's average program expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Administrative Expenses

11.0%


As reported by charities on their IRS Form 990, this measure reflects what percent of its total budget a charity spends on overhead, administrative staff and associated costs, and organizational meetings. Dividing a charity's average administrative expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Expenses

6.2%


This measure reflects what a charity spends to raise money. Fundraising expenses can include campaign printing, publicity, mailing, and staffing and costs incurred in soliciting donations, memberships, and grants. Dividing a charity's average fundraising expenses by its average total functional expenses yields this percentage. We calculate the charity's average expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Liabilities to Assets Ratio

33.2%


The Liabilities to Assets Ratio is determined by Total Liabilities divided by Total Assets (most recent 990).


Part of our goal in rating the financial performance of charities is to help donors assess the financial capacity and sustainability of a charity. As do organizations in other sectors, charities must be mindful of their management of total liabilites in relation to their total assets. This ratio is an indicator of an organization’s solvency and or long term sustainability. Dividing a charity's total liabilities by its total assets yields this percentage.


Source: IRS Form 990

Fundraising Efficiency

$0.14


The amount spent to raise $1 in charitable contributions. To calculate a charity's fundraising efficiency, we divide its average fundraising expenses by the average total contributions it receives. We calculate the charity's average expenses and average contributions over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Working Capital Ratio

1.33 years


Determines how long a charity could sustain its level of spending using its net available assets, or working capital, as reported on its most recently filed Form 990. We include in a charity's working capital unrestricted and temporarily restricted net assets, and exclude permanently restricted net assets. Dividing these net available assets in the most recent year by a charity's average total expenses, yields the working capital ratio. We calculate the charity's average total expenses over its three most recent fiscal years.


Source: IRS Form 990

Program Expense Growth

2.42%


We compute the average annual growth of program expenses using the following formula: [(Yn/Y0)(1/n)]-1, where Y0 is a charity's program expenses in the first year of the interval analyzed, Yn is the charity's program expenses in the most recent year, and n is the interval of years passed between Y0 and Yn.


Source: IRS Form 990

Governance


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990 that the organization has these governance practices in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990

Governance:
Independent Voting Board Members  ... (More)
No Material Diversion of Assets ... (More)

A diversion of assets – any unauthorized conversion or use of the organization's assets other than for the organization's authorized purposes, including but not limited to embezzlement or theft – can seriously call into question a charity's financial integrity. We check the charity's last two Forms 990 to see if the charity has reported any diversion of assets. If the charity does report a diversion, then we check to see if it complied with the Form 990 instructions by describing what happened and its corrective action. This metric will be assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Full Credit: There has been no diversion of assets within the last two years.

  • Partial Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity has used Schedule O on the Form 990 to explain: the nature of the diversion, the amount of money or property involved and the corrective action taken to address the matter. In this situation, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: There has been a diversion of assets within the last two years and the charity's explanation on Schedule O is either non-existent or not sufficient. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Audited Financials Prepared by Independent Accountant ... (More)

Audited financial statements provide important information about financial accountability and accuracy. They should be prepared by an independent accountant with oversight from an audit committee. (It is not necessary that the audit committee be a separate committee. Often at smaller charities, it falls within the responsibilities of the finance committee or the executive committee.) The committee provides an important oversight layer between the management of the organization, which is responsible for the financial information reported, and the independent accountant, who reviews the financials and issues an opinion based on its findings. We check the charity's Form 990 reporting to see if it meets this criteria.

  • Full Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant with an audit oversight committee.

  • Partial Credit: The charity's audited financials were prepared by an independent accountant, but it did not have an audit oversight committee. In this case, we deduct 7 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
  • No Credit: The charity did not have its audited financials prepared by an independent accountant. In this case, we deduct 15 points from the charity's Accountability and Transparency score.
(Less)
Does Not Provide Loan(s) to or Receive Loan(s) From Related Parties ... (More)
Documents Board Meeting Minutes ... (More)
Distributes 990 to Board Before Filing ... (More)
Compensates Board ... (More)

Policies


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization has these policies in place.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Policies:
Conflict of Interest  ... (More)
Whistleblower ... (More)
Records Retention and Destruction ... (More)
CEO Compensation Process ... (More)
Donor Privacy ... (More)

Donors have expressed extreme concern about the use of their personal information by charities and the desire to have this information kept confidential. The exchanging and sale of lists for telemarketing and the mass distribution of "junk mail," among other things, can be minimized if the charity assures the privacy of its donors. Privacy policies are assigned to one of the following categories:

  • Yes: This charity has a written donor privacy policy published on its website, which states unambiguously that (1) it will not share or sell a donor's personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations or (2) it will only share or sell personal information once the donor has given the charity specific permission to do so.

  • Opt-out: The charity has a written privacy policy published on its website which enables donors to tell the charity to remove their names and contact information from lists the charity shares or sells. How a donor can have themselves removed from a list differs from one charity to the next, but any and all opt-out policies require donors to take specific action to protect their privacy.
  • No: This charity either does not have a written donor privacy policy in place to protect their contributors' personal information, or the existing policy does not meet our criteria.

The privacy policy must be specific to donor information. A general website policy which references "visitor" or "user" personal information will not suffice. A policy that refers to donor information collected on the website is also not sufficient as the policy must be comprehensive and applicable to both online and offline donors. The existence of a privacy policy of any type does not prohibit the charity itself from contacting the donor for informational, educational, or solicitation purposes.

(Less)

Transparency


Charity Navigator looks to confirm on the Form 990, or for some metrics on the charity's website, that the organization makes this information easily accessible.


Sources Include: IRS Form 990 and organization's website

Transparency:
CEO Salary Listed on 990 ... (More)
Board of Directors Listed on Website ... (More)
Key Staff Listed on Website ... (More)
Audited Financial Statements on Website ... (More)
Form 990 Available on Website ... (More)

Additional Information

Unscored

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Total Revenue and Expenses

Total Revenue and Expenses

This chart displays the trend of revenue and expenses over the past several years for this organization, as reported on their IRS Form 990.

Salary of Key Persons

Presented here are this organizations key compensated staff members as identified by our analysts. This compensation data includes salary, cash bonuses and expense accounts and is displayed exactly how it is reported to the IRS. The amounts do not include nontaxable benefits, deferred compensation, or other amounts not reported on W-2. In some cases, these amounts may include compensation from related organizations. Read the IRS policies for compensation reporting



Michael P. Crosby, President, CEO

$360,315 (1.59% of Total Expenses)


Source: IRS Form 990 (page 7), filing year 2019

Business Master File Data

Below are some key data points from the Exempt Organization IRS Business Master File (BMF) for this organization. Learn more about the BMF on the IRS website


Activities:

Other scientific research activities (BMF activity code: 199)


Foundation Status:

Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi) (BMF foundation code: 15)


Affiliation:

Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations). (BMF affiliation code: 3)

Data Sources: IRS Forms 990

The Form 990 is a document that nonprofit organizations file with the IRS annually. We leverage finance and accountability data from it to form Encompass ratings. Click here to view this organization's Forms 990 on the IRS website (if any are available).

Pandemic Response

Due to the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, we give charities such as this one the opportunity to share the story of COVID's impact on them. Charities may submit their own pandemic responses through their nonprofit portal.


Mote Marine Laboratory reported being impacted by COVID-19 in the following ways:
  • Program Delivery

  • Revenue

  • Grants Received


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's operations financially:

As a result of COVID-19, Mote was forced to close its Aquarium for 3 months. It reopened to vastly reduced capacity, and the combined effect resulted in a substantial loss of revenue that lasted for 15 months. In a normal year, the Aquarium generates positive net revenue from a number of sources including attendance, membership, gift shop and diner that provide much needed funding to Mote's research institution. Similarly, Mote's education division was forced to cancel or modify a number of revenue-generating programs such as summer camp and field trips also resulting in further substantial losses. Finally, key fundraising activities such as Mote's annual gala and other in-person events were cancelled forfeiting additional income. Despite these losses, Mote continued its daily care of 500 animals, 70,000 corals and thousands of living cells and microorganisms, and Mote's animal rehabilitation hospital remained open as a beacon of hope to wild animals in need of care.


How COVID-19 impacted the organization's delivery of programs:

Mote's education enterprise was forced to cancel in-person programming including field trips, on-site education programs held at community partner locations, internships and summer camps. A number of engagement experiences held in the Aquarium and for donors and members were also cancelled.


How this organization adapted to changing conditions caused by COVID-19:

The pandemic provided Mote with the unique opportunity to adapt and innovate. Education programming went entirely virtual. Aquarium guests were now required to make specific reservations to attend in order to allow it to control capacity. Development launched a variety of new, virtual experiences for donors and prospective new donors that helped to tell the story of Mote's impact and keep people who were now confined to their homes engaged in the mission.


Innovations the organization intends to continue permanently after the pandemic:

Virtual programming, whether for education, development or research allowed Mote to expand its geographic footprint and increase the visibility of Mote's mission to a wider audience in a cost-effective manner. Virtual and hybrid programming is now a part of life across the Mote enterprise. The new reservation policy implemented at Mote Aquarium vastly increased the amount of guest information collected. Mote has launched a new outreach effort for guests that seeks to educate and inform while increasing audience and engagement.


Historical Ratings

Date PublishedForm 990 FYEOverall ScoreOverall Rating
Rating Version: 2.1
4/1/20212019 92.20
12/1/20192018 91.42
12/21/20182017 92.18
7/1/20172015 89.83
6/1/20162014 87.90
Rating Version: 2.0
4/1/20162014 88.71
2/1/20152013 89.44
4/1/20142012 80.11
5/1/20132011 78.23
4/1/20122010 76.50
9/20/20112009 74.90
Rating Version: 1.0
5/1/20112009 64.54
6/1/20102008 81.22
7/1/20092007 75.20
7/1/20082006 77.76
12/15/20062005 79.66
12/1/20052004 79.83
6/1/20052003 79.94

...   Impact & Results


This score estimates the actual impact a nonprofit has on the lives of those it serves, and determines whether it is making good use of donor resources to achieve that impact.


Impact & Results Score

Not Currently Scored

Mote Marine Laboratory cannot currently be evaluated by our Encompass Rating Impact & Results methodology because either (A) it is eligible, but we have not yet received data; (B) we have not yet developed an algorithm to estimate its programmatic impact; (C) its programs are not direct services; or (D) it is not heavily reliant on contributions from individual donors.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.

Learn more about Impact & Results.

Do you work at Mote Marine Laboratory? Join the waitlist for an updated Impact & Results score.


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Additional Information

Unscored

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Largest Programs

Largest Programs



Mote Marine Laboratory reported its three largest programs on its FY 2019 Form 990 as:


$11,733,728

Spent in most recent FY

62%

Percent of program expenses


SEE SCHEDULE O:


$3,927,083

Spent in most recent FY

20%

Percent of program expenses


SEE SCHEDULE O:


$1,252,335

Spent in most recent FY

6%

Percent of program expenses


SEE SCHEDULE O:


...   Leadership & Adaptability


This score provides an assessment of the organization's leadership capacity, strategic thinking and planning, and ability to innovate or respond to changes in constituent demand/need or other relevant social and economic conditions to achieve the organization's mission.


Leadership & Adaptability Score

100

out of 100

The score earned by Mote Marine Laboratory is a passing score.

Encompass Rating V4 provides an evaluation of the organization's Leadership & Adaptability through the nonprofit organization submitting a survey response directly to Charity Navigator.


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Leadership & Adaptability Report

100

of 100 points

Mission

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s mission


The advancement of marine and environmental sciences leading to new discoveries, revitalization, sustainability and greater public understanding of our oceans through innovative research, education and outreach.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Vision

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking through articulating the organization’s vision.


Mote Marine Laboratory will excel as a leader in nationally and internationally respected research programs that are relevant to conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity, healthy habitats and natural resources. Mote research programs will positively impact a diversity of public policy challenges through strong linkages to outreach and education.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Strategic Goals

The nonprofit organization presents evidence of strategic thinking and goal setting through sharing their most important strategic goals.


Goal One: Increase ability to conduct world-class research in order to expand science-based conservation, sustainable use, and environmental health of marine and coastal biodiversity, habitats and resources.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Two: Recruit and retain the best and brightest minds in science through recruitment and nurturing programs that facilitate a diverse workforce and ensure long-term prosperity of our research enterprise.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Goal Three: Translate and transfer science and technology development and research findings as a public service to increase ocean literacy and positively impact human society and the marine environment.

Goal Type: Grow, expand, scale or increase access to the existing programs and services.


Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Leadership Development

The nonprofit provides evidence of investment in leadership development


Describe an investment in leadership

Mote expanded its Postdoctoral Research Fellowship program to provide 100% philanthropic support of 4 new scientists working in diverse research areas for three full years. This fellowship provides for their development, giving them the necessary resources they need to conduct new research, build program and attract the resources they need to advance their career in science.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Mobilizing for Mission

The nonprofit provides evidence of leadership through focusing externally and mobilizing resources for the mission.


This organization mobilizes for mission in the following ways:
  • Strategic Partnerships

  • Networks of Collective Impact Efforts

  • Thought Leadership

  • Raising Awareness

  • Community Building

  • Policy Advocacy

What are this organization’s external mobilizaton efforts?

Built on a long tradition of partnerships, Mote scientists and staff collaborate globally to advance ocean conservation and sustainability. In the last year alone, 6 Mote programs and 8 universities studied and addressed climate change impact on coral reefs. Mote's effort to fight red tide impact with science involved more than 15 partners and 20+ projects. Mote scientists and staff provided nearly 40 briefing to local and national decision makers and 17 public forums on marine science topics. Mote offered 57 informal education programs and was host to nearly 200 undergraduate interns and 15 interns from underrepresented minority backgrounds in a Mote led program that opens doors in marine science to underrepresented minorities. 242 stories on Mote's pioneering expeditions to study the mysterious blue holes in the Gulf of Mexico received an estimate 850 million views. Finally, Mote's experienced a 584% growth in social media engagement on its pages over the last year.

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

Story of Adaptability

The nonprofit has an opportunity to tell the story of how the organization adapted to tremendous external changes in the last year.


While much of the world came to a halt last year, COVID-19 did not stop Mote’s progress in advancing important ocean conservation initiatives. For example: In 2020, Mote’s Fisheries Ecology & Enhancement Research Program completed tagging of juvenile snook and maintenance of the antenna array to detect them among four creeks in Sarasota and Charlotte counties, and then we released nearly 10,000 of these healthy, juvenile, hatchery-reared snook—the largest experimental stock enhancement effort at Mote since 1999. Mote scientists became the first to document that fragments of typically slow-growing, reef-building corals restored with Mote-pioneered technology reached sexual maturity and spawned in their natural settings in just five years instead of decades. These restored coral colonies had also survived a coral bleaching event, a Category 4 hurricane, and the deadly stony coral tissue loss disease, which has killed millions of corals. The corals’ resilience underscores the critical importance of Mote’s science-based strategy for resilient reef recovery, which includes amassing one of of the world’s largest single collections of living coral genetic diversity—over 1,600 coral genotypes from 17 species of Florida coral, with more to come. Mote innovation, largely fueled by philanthropy, has demonstrated that we now have the science, not just the hope, for quickly restoring coral populations to a sexually mature, potentially self-sustaining state, and fundamentally changing the paradigm for coral restoration. To further Mote’s leadership in the development and implementation of innovative research, science education, and public outreach partnerships we launched a strategic expansion of advanced technology research and education infrastructure in 2020 including the construction of an International Coral Gene Bank. This infrastructure will serve as a “Noah’s Ark” for coral, housing one of the widest arrays of coral genetic diversity on the plane

Source: Nonprofit submitted responses

...   Culture & Community


This score provides an assessment of the organization's engagement with the constituents it serves, a practice we term Constituent Feedback. When organizations listen to constituents, they are able to better deliver on programs and meet the needs of stakeholders. A future version of this Beacon will also assess an organization's people operations and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) metrics.


Culture & Community Score

Not Currently Scored

Mote Marine Laboratory is currently not eligible for a Culture & Community score because we have not received its Constituent Feedback data. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.

Note: The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated the organization.


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Culture & Community Report

Unscored

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Constituent Feedback

Constituent Feedback


Constituent Feedback and Listening Practice data are not available for this organization. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile. This data will provide the basis for the initial evaluation of Culture & Community.


Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people and communities they serve, may be more effective. We award every nonprofit that completes the Candid survey full credit for this Beacon, in recognition of their willingness to publicly share this information with the nonprofit and philanthropic communities. Although the data is not evaluated for quality at this time, future iterations of this Beacon will include third party or other data that will serve to validate the information provided by the nonprofit.

Analysis and Research


Like the overall Encompass Rating System, the Culture & Community Beacon is designed to evolve as metrics are developed and ready for integration. Our partnership with Feedback Labs and Guidestar by Candid, and other partners including Fund for Shared Insight, GlobalGiving, and Keystone Accountability, enables us to launch the first version of this beacon with Constituent Feedback information collected on Candid's site.


Feedback practices have been shown to support better Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion outcomes, an essential area of assessment that we intend to further expand and develop in the future. Feedback Labs has documented several studies which indicate that beyond achieving organizational goals, nonprofits that are attentive and responsive to concerns and ideas raised by beneficiaries establish stronger relationships with the people they serve, promote greater equity, and empower constituents in ways that can help to ensure better long-term outcomes. You can find resources to help nonprofits improve their feedback practices here.

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