By the Numbers

By staff September 1, 2004

I love data.

Data doesn't lie. True, you can juggle numbers to flavor any argument, but if your data source is trustworthy, you can make better decisions, whether it's choosing who should operate on your hip, which car to buy-or which community really puts its money where its heart is.

This, our Annual Charity Register, is the ideal place for us to celebrate some recently published data about the not-for-profit sector in Sarasota, and how much it means not just socially and culturally but to our local economy. A study commissioned by the Sarasota County Arts Council has discovered, in an empirical data-gathering way, proof positive that Sarasota's nonprofit arts groups and activities add nearly $123 million to the local and state economy. That's awesome.

The arts add so very much to the central character of this blessed paradise. And economists now agree that the arts are indeed an industry, one in which investment yields dividends in all other market segments, bar none. And if we had the data to include the economic-as well as social-effects of another not-for-profit industry, human and social services, the results would be even more impressive.

This magazine is for all of you, who through talent or treasures, support our local arts and social service organizations. It's for everyone who is, or aspires to be, a community supporter of some shape, form or fashion.

In this special edition of SARASOTA, you'll find more than 200 local nonprofits where your time, talents and treasure are needed. Your support will be appreciated, and when you need more information than we've provided here, call our partners in this publication, The Community Foundation of Sarasota County. They are the primary resource center for everything revolving around community-based philanthropy. You can contact them at 955-3000.

Enjoy this issue, And remember the $123-million point. The next time someone asks you "what makes Sarasota so special?".you'll have a very good answer. 

Jimmy Dean

Publisher and President,

Gulfshore Media 

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