Sarasota Audubon Society Inc
999 Center Rd
Sarasota FL 34240
Dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of birds, wildlife and the environment.
CEO/Executive Director Ms Marcy Packer
Board Chair Ms Marcy Packer
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Former Names
Sarasota Bird Club
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1989
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes May 2018
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Determination LetterView
Impact Statement
  1. Through a 5-year capital campaign capital we achieved our goal of building a nature center at the Celery Fields. The nature center provides environmental education programming for children and adults; acts as a destination for eco-tourists; and is a base for habitat management.
  2. Spring/Summer 2017: Our ongoing Beach Nesting Bird Protection Program (which incorporates the Bird Steward Program) is one of the most successful in the state. 
  3. In 2016-2017, Sarasota Audubon was featured in the local press and on TV, as well as in more targeted publications, e-sites and e-lists on numerous occasions. This increased publicity effort to engage the Sarasota community in environmental stewardship.
  4. CHILDREN'S EDUCATION: In January 2017, we began the fifth year of our Celery Fields Explorers programs. By the end of June 2017, we had provided 5,000 Sarasota schoolchildren and 650 adults (teachers, parents and assistants) with free transportation and environmental education at the Fields.
  5. BIRD NATURALIST PROGRAM: We completed our fifth year of this program whereby an expert birder and Audubon volunteer is positioned at the Palmer Blvd and Raymond Rd boardwalks each day for 2 hours. During the fourth season (Nov 20615-April 2017), we greeted close to 15,000 visitors from all over the world.
  1. Building the endowment. The priority for allocating the income from the Endowment is an Executive Director.
  2. To increase fledgling rate of Snowy Plovers and Black Skimmers. Working in conjunction with Audubon Florida and Florida Fish & Wildlife, we hope to increase the survival rate. In spite of the efforts of numerous volunteers, Snowy Plovers had no fledglings on Siesta Key, However, the  Black Skimmer colony on Lido Key was highly successful.
  3. To increase our volunteer base. The work of conservation is difficult and time-consuming and we need more help. 
  4. Sarasota Audubon continues to be engaged in all major bird surveys sponsored by various agencies: Florida Fish & Wildlife, Audubon of Florida, Eckerd College, Cornell University, National Audubon. 
Needs Statement
  1. Building maintenance and an Executive Director. Programming and maintenance costs will run about $40,000 per year.
  2. Engage more volunteers from admin help to bird surveyors.
  3. To continue to protect our beach nesting birds, our most pressing conservation effort.
  4. Fund our extremely successful Celery Fields Explorers ($20,000 per year). Provides an average of 3 hours of environmental study for each of 5,000 Sarasota County schoolchildren 
  5. Increase our endowment.
Background Statement
Sarasota Audubon Society began in 1952 and was known as the Sarasota Bird Club. It was incorporated as a 501c3 in 1989. SAS is one of 475 chapters of the National Audubon Society, and one of 45 in Florida. As an education organization, SAS offers a monthly speaker series (Oct - May); local, statewide, national and international field trips; local and state legislative monitoring as it relates to the environment; children's environmental education programs; meaningful participation in numerous citizen science projects, such as all major bird surveys sponsored by various agencies: Florida Fish & Wildlife, Audubon of Florida, Eckerd College, Cornell University, National Audubon. These volunteer surveys include: Breeding Bird Atlas, Christmas Bird Count, Migratory Bird Survey, Winter Shorebird Survey. Data collected from these surveys are enterd in national databases and provide information about bird movements, habitat losss, etc to scientists. In addition, we mentor high school and college students in the study of birds and habitat.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments
Sarasota Audubon Society serves Sarasota County, specifically northern Sarasota County, roughly from Oscar Scherer State Park north to the County line. Venice Area Audubon covers south county. These demarkations are not absolute; we work with VAAS and with Manatee Audubon to cover both Sarasota and Manatee counties.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Environment
Secondary Org Type Youth Development
Tertiary Org Type Recreation & Sports
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
There are many challenges facing an all-volunteer organization, but Sarasota Audubon continues to rise to those challenges. A dedicated board of directors consisting of 12 members works tirelessly to fulfill our mission of protecting birds and their habitat.

I am leading the transition, with our new building that opened in October 2015, a very hands on Board, as we move to a higher profile organization within the County. We expect more from ourselves and more from the community. Our crowning achievement was the opening of our $1.3 million nature center at the Celery Fields. Thanks to more than 900 members and friends who supported the 5-year capital campaign, our building and contents are fully paid for. We are now focused on building our Endowment.

The nature center at the Celery Fields will benefit children, the community, and nature-based tourists the most.

Sarasota Audubon is proudly serving the community to benefit our magnificent environment.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
The all-volunteer Sarasota Audubon Society is the "go to" organization within Sarasota County for environmental issues relating to birds. Several current board members serve on county and regional advisory panels: Environmental Policy Task Force, Science & Environmental Council, Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee, Regional Conservation Committee, Southwest Florida Water Management District Citizens' Advisory Committee, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program's advisory council. Current and past board members have served on the Audubon of Florida board. SAS works closely with various Sarasota County departments in improving bird habitat.

SAS and Sarasota County entered into a partnership to increase nature-based tourism to Sarasota. The culmination of this partnership is a nature center at the Celery Fields. The county-owned stormwater collection area of 440 acres does double duty as a public utility and an area for passive recreation, such as birdwatching, hiking, nature photography and more.
The BNB season is from Feb 1 until August 31 each year and entails heavy volunteer effort, managed by a volunteer coordinator. This conservation program is dedicated to helping beach-nesting birds raise their young to flight stage. At least 30 volunteers monitor the adults and chicks through a 10-12 week cycle by trailing them on the beach and intercepting disturbances. In addition these volunteers engage the public by providing information about the birds and their nesting habits.
Budget $1,000
Category Environment, General/Other Environment, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Families
Short Term Success
For 2012 and 2013, we saw the success rate increase 7-fold and 6-fold respectively. For 2014, we saw 5 chicks and one fledgling. In 2015, we have had a second successful colony of Black Skimmers on Lido Beach. This site has been monitored by 12+ volunteers. There was concern that the July 4-Boat Race weekend would be harmful, but we are glad to say that due to the public outreach of our volunteers, the birds made it through that weekend safely.
Long Term Success
Success is measured each year in the number of beach-nesting birds (Snowy Plovers) reaching flight stage. Before we began this program intensively in the spring/summer of 2010, the average success rate was less than 1. After the program began, the success was immediate: 7 fledglings in 2010 and 6 in 2011. During to continued vandalism of the nesting sites on Siesta Key, the plovers had trouble in 2013 and again in spring/summer of 2014. Law enforcement has been engaged, as well as the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Program Success Monitoring
We use survey protocols for bird monitoring developed by Eckerd College and work under rthe supervision of scientists from Audubon of Florida and Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission. We document every instance of scrapes (nest cups in the sand), egg laying, egg predation, chick hatching, and chick survival through to flight stage.This date is submitted to several scientific databases. In addition ageny representatives visit 2 or 3 times a season to monitor our work.
Program Success Examples
Before 2009, our volunteer base for beach nesting birds was informal and loosley managed. In 2010, we modeled our effort on the Beach Steward program developed by St Petersburg Audubon in which volunteers interact with the public on the beaches, providing information and brochures on the nesting activities on the beach. In addition, beachfront homeowners were engaaged. That first year saw a success rate of 7 fledglings, a 7-fold increase over the year before. The effort is still under way as of soring/summer 2014.
This program has been in effect for many years and is under the aegus and supervision of scientists at Audubon Florida--the state organization of National Audubon.
Our Eagle Watch coordinator manages 30-40 monitors in Sarasota County, southern Manatee County and northern Charlotte County; they in turn monitor 60+ nests (2016). The nesting season is from October through March. The program arose out of the need to protect the federally endangered Bald Eagle. Sarasota County has one of the densest concentrations of Bald Eagles in Florida.
In addition to managing volunteers, the coordinator also represents Bald Eagles at legislative hearings, as well as interacting on behalf of Sarasota Audubon with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the US Wildlife Service.
Budget $0
Category Environment, General/Other Environment, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Short Term Success
Every year, volunteers step up to the plate to help in this wildlife protection effort. Because this is the symbol of America, the Bald Eagle, volunteers are eager to help in this project.
Long Term Success
Protection of the Bald Eagle leading to more nesting success.
Program Success Monitoring
Surveys of nests:
Numbers of chicks raised are steady or increase each year--no significant declines. Audubon Florida's Birds of Prey Center supervise this project and report that it is among one of the most successful in the state.
Program Success Examples
Will provide annual figures for the past 3 years.
By June 2016, we had completed our fourth year of our Celery Fields Explorers program for Sarasota County schoolchildren. Again in Jan and Feb, 1,150+ schoolchildren came to the Fields for environmental education. There were 28 trips FREE OF CHARGE. The cost of the program is $20,000; the Gulf Coast Community Foundation and the Natural Heritage Fund provided 2/3 of the cost--Sarasota Audubon members came up with the rest.
Budget $20,000
Category Environment, General/Other Land Conservation
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) Blacks, African Heritage Latin America & the Caribbean
Short Term Success
Over 5,000 children and 650 adults have benefited from expert leadership in this standards-based environmental education program.
Long Term Success
This program introduces thousands of children to the environment and helps to instill a love for nurturing and protecting it.
Program Success Monitoring
The program is taught and monitored by experts in the field of environmental science and conservation.
Program Success Examples
Happy children with a respect for the environment! Evident in post-test results and feedback from the children and teachers. Available upon request.

Through our Bird Naturalist program, we served over 15,000 boardwalk visitors from Nov 2016 thru April 207. Experienced birders and Audubon members volunteer to be on the Palmer Blvd boardwalk for 2 hours each day to meet and greet visitors to help them to ID birds and plants of the Celery Fields.

The docents engage the public, welcome them to Sarasota and the Celery Fields and provide any information needed for other parks and natural areas of Sarasota, restaurants, hotels, and beaches. This is all part of our role in helping Sarasota County increase its eco-tourism base.

Budget $1,000
Category Environment, General/Other Environment, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults General/Unspecified Families
Short Term Success Increased members and donations.
Long Term Success To make visitors to Sarasota County aware of its natural benefits. To make them aware of the environment and the need to protect it.
Program Success Monitoring Board of Sarasota Audubon and Bird Naturalists.
Program Success Examples Increased membership. Repeat visitors. Word of mouth recommendations to visit the Celery Fields.
Description From Oct 2015 through May 2016, we provided workshops and classes to 400 members and non members. This was in addition to nature walks and plant/butterfly ID walks. Altogether, we impacted over 10,000 community members and visitors.
Budget $3,000
Category Education, General/Other Adult Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adults Adults
Short Term Success Excellent class evaluations.
Long Term Success The classes and workshops strengthen and underpin our mission to provide environmental education so that participants will have a greater awareness of the natural world.
Program Success Monitoring By instructor evaluation and class content.
Program Success Examples Our classes and workshops were fully subscribed. Evaluations of the teachers proved to be outstanding. As a result, we will offer more classes in the coming year.
Program Comments by Organization Getting reliable volunteers is the main challenge. Most of our members leave Sarasota in April or May, so summer programs, such as the Beach Nesting Bird project are especially hard hit. The need for continuous management and volunteer recruitment is crucial. This ensures that the imperiled species that rely on our help are not neglected.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms Marcy Packer
CEO Term Start June 2017
CEO/Executive Director Email
Experience 2007-2010. Board of Directors, Taoist Tai Chi Society
1981-2009. IBM Corp., Technical/Administrative Management
1979-1980. Women’s Athletic Director, Loras College, Iowa
1977. M.S., Northern Illinois University
1975. B.S., Springfield College, Massachusetts
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms Jeanne Dubi June 2006 - May 2017
Ms Betty Matthews June 2004 - May 2006
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 120
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No
Sarasota Audubon Society partnered with Sarasota County to build a nature center at the Celery Fields.
Sarasota Audubon works with other environmental agencies on projects within our county: FWC, USFWS, Audubon of Florida, Eckerd College, Cornell University/National Audubon, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Florida House Institute, Science and Environmental Council.
In addition, Sarasota Audubon has worked with various schools in Sarasota County on environmental projects: Sarasota HS, Venice HS, Riverview HS, and Laurel-Nokomis School. Sarasota Audubon has worked with young people's organizations, such as Girl Scouts, Girls Inc., Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Boy Scouts. 
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization
External Assessments and Accreditations
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leeds) Certification2016
Awards & Recognition
Conservation Chapter of the YearAudubon of Florida2002
Chapter of the YearAudubon Florida2016
Leadership Award - Jeanne DubiAudubon Florida2016
Gold LevelLeadership in Energy and Environmental Design2016
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization
Having raised $1.4 million for a nature center, we achieved our major 5-year goal. This center will allow Sarasota Audubon to expand its programs for children and adults and provide eco-tourist information to visitors to Sarasota County.
Sarasota County collaborated on this project by providing one acre of land at the Celery Fields. The location of the center could not be more appropriate. It is next to a 100-acre restored wetland so will provide a great opportunity for children and visitors to learn more about birds, wildlife and native habitat.
We believe that our center will help increase visitation to Sarasota County. The Celery Fields are already designated as a site on the Great Florida Birding Trail and birdwatchers come from all over the country and beyond to view Florida's unique wildlife.
Our next financial goal is to build our endowment. Currently it stands at $220,000, but our goal is to increase it to $1 million.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
In January 2012, the Celery Fields and Jeanne Dubi were featured on Gulf Coast Journal with Jack Perkins.
Due to a generous donor underwriting a PR campaign in the summer/fall 2013, Sarasota Audubon was featured on TV, radio, and in print culminating in a lead article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune of January 27, 2014. This has resulted in more visitors at the Celery Fields, an area of passive recreation for residents and citizens alike. It has also resulted in more members and additional donations.
Annual ongoing TV and print coverage during the beach bird nesting season (Feb thru August) helps Audubon volunteers educate the general public, and especially beachgoers, about the birds that allow us to share their beaches. Hundreds of birds nest on our busiest beaches and an annual education campaign helps the beach stewards and volunteers protect the young as they strive to flourish. During the 2014 nesting season, Audubon representatives were interviewed by ABC, SNN, The Observer, Herald Tribune, and Sarasota News Leader, in some cases, several times.
Other Documents
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms Marcy Packer
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term June 2017 to May 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms Naomi Deutsch Community Volunteer
Ms Jeanne Dubi Community Volunteer
Ms Mary Heinlen Community Volunteer
Ms Lynn Jakubowicz Community Volunteer
Ms Sara King Community Volunteer
Ms Mikaela Michalik Student
Ms Betty Neupert Community Volunteer
Ms Marcy Packer Community Volunteer
Ms Martha Straub Community Volunteer
mr James Wallace Community Volunteer
Mr Rob Wright Community Volunteer
Ms Kathryn Young Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 2
Female 10
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 6
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 8
Board Meeting Attendance % 83
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 3
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month June
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year End Month May
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $106,485.00
Projected Expenses $106,217.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $220,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$134,760$42,324$47,573
Administration Expense$8,127$5,144$4,771
Fundraising Expense$17,913$11,614$25,598
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.789.454.61
Program Expense/Total Expenses84%72%61%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue8%2%9%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,667,714$1,432,639$933,452
Current Assets$252,068$947,882$933,452
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$1,557,714$1,432,639$933,452
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $211,353Contributions, gifts, grants $484,702Contributions, gifts, grants $287,708
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $36,486Program Service Revenue $42,083Program Service Revenue $34,484
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNet Income from Sales of Inventory $13,314Investment Income $17,965Membership Dues $8,925
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Sarasota Audubon Society operates a zero-based budget. Our annual budget includes programming expenses.  Any funds left over are added to the capital campaign fund or to another dedicated fund. We solicit funds from our members annually. We also seek out grants. Our normal fundraising activities include income derived from our field trips, especially our national and international field trips.
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures based on IRS Form 990s. Professional audits are not performed. Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support, as listed on Form 990s.
Nonprofit Sarasota Audubon Society Inc
Address 999 Center Rd
Sarasota, FL 34232
Phone 941 312-6533