Doing the Math

By staff September 1, 2007

For nearly 30 years, the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has partnered with charitable individuals and organizations to improve our region’s quality of life. The foundation has helped thousands of committed donors create personal, flexible, tax-favored and permanent funds that are truly for good, forever—bringing together people who care deeply about their community and helping them make a significant difference for the causes they care about most, now and in the future.

Here’s a quick look at the Community Foundation’s success—by the numbers.

1979: Year the Community Foundation of Sarasota County was founded by the South West Florida Estate Planning Council, comprised of estate planning attorneys, accountants, trust officers and life underwriters.

$153 million: Current assets, making it one of the oldest, largest and fastest-growing community foundations in Florida.

5.5 percent: The percentage paid out from its permanently endowed charitable funds each year in grants and scholarships. The principal of these funds is preserved so it continues to grow in perpetuity.

Approaching 600: Number of permanent charitable funds that make up the Community Foundation’s assets. The wide array of causes these funds support demonstrates the flexibility and diversity of its donors’ charitable passions.

$7.1 million: Amount awarded in grants and scholarships this fiscal year. Grants to nonprofits totaled $6.2 million; scholarships reached almost $900,000. Donor advisors support a variety of causes all over the world, plus the foundation leverages its discretionary grants through partnerships to support local needs and important causes in our own region.

$5.2 million: The total value of scholarships awarded since 1987.

9,800 miles: The distance from Sarasota to the most faraway grant recipients (a school in Sri Lanka built by a donor through the charity Free the Children).

2,099: The number of Sarasota County residents aged 65 and over who received direct services from the Senior Friendship Center’s Falls Prevention Initiative, a nationally recognized, three-year special project sponsored by the Warnell Fund of the Community Foundation. Balance movement classes, educational workshops, and home-safety modification and medication review help make vulnerable seniors safer in their homes and prevent the potentially deadly hip fractures that shorten lives.

700: Number of locally controlled community foundations in the United States and Canada. Sarasota’s was one of the first to comply with new national standards that govern transparency, ethics and best practices for the community foundation field. The Community Foundation upholds the values of compassion, empowerment, innovation, integrity, quality and stewardship.

$200 million to $300 million: Estimated value of the future donations more than 150 families have committed through trusts, wills and bequests. These donors want to make a meaningful difference in the arts, education, the environment, animal welfare, civic engagement and health and human services. They put their trust in the Community Foundation to fulfill their dreams.

$30 million: The value of planned gifts made by donors to the Community Foundation just this fiscal year (June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2007).

300: People who have joined the Legacy Society. They plan to leave a charitable gift in their estate to support the causes they care about most—through the Community Foundation—after they are gone.

1,550: Number of subscribers to the Community Foundation’s Nonprofit Resource Center’s award-winning e-news.

900: Books in the Nonprofit Resource Center’s management library, a free resource available to the boards, staffs and volunteers of all nonprofits.

140: Candidates currently enrolled in the Board Bank, a free matching service for volunteers who want to serve on nonprofit boards and the organizations seeking great future leaders for their organizations. Twenty-five successful matches were made this fiscal year, and 59 actively open positions were posted as of May 2007.

109: The number of nonprofit organizations in the region that took part in the area’s first-ever comprehensive survey of compensation and benefits, including specific salary information for 42 types of positions. This NRC survey provided valuable statistics and information that will be updated next year.

14: The number of projects the NRC’s Consulting Services volunteers are currently handling. These experienced professional volunteer consultants offer not-for-profits expert help with critical issues such as board development, strategic planning, fund development planning, financial management, marketing and public relations, human resources, executive coaching and research.

1,814: Number of participants representing 519 not-for-profit organizations that participated in 71 individual NRC workshops from June 1, 2006, to May 2007.

800 to 1,000: The number of people each month who attend their organizations’ seminars, workshops and board retreats at the Community Foundation’s Fruitville Road headquarters. (Meeting rooms are provided free of charge for nonprofits.) As Sarasota County Commissioner Paul Mercier once said, “I don’t know what we ever did before the Community Foundation built the Leila & Michael Gompertz Center!”

24: The number of nonprofit agencies selected to participate in the first For Good. For Ever. Endowment Building Workshops, in which nationally recognized experts offer free training and technical assistance. Agencies learn how to raise permanent endowment funds that will assure their future stability and financial security, helping to fulfill their missions and accomplish their goals long into the future.

Ruth Lando is director of communications at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.

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