Upside Down Foundation Inc
800 S Osprey Avenue
Sarasota FL 34236
Inspiring academic success and leadership through mentoring
CEO/Executive Director Greg Truitt
Board Chair Greg Truitt
Board Chair Affiliation Self-employed
General Info
Organization DBA
Supported Organization
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2007
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years?
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes June 2016
State Registration Yes May 2013
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $155,000.00
Projected Expenses $155,000.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement
  • Practicing Good Decisions (PGD) has recently celebrated its ten year anniversary!
  • In 2002, PGD recruited, trained and empowered 4 mentors to work with 16 elementary students.
  • In 2012, PGD has over 250 high school mentors serving over 750 elementary students.
  • PGD received its 4th outstanding Innovative Program Award from Sarasota County Schools.
  • Elementary students' reading fluency increases by a minimum of 85% when they complete the 16 week program.
  • Teachers want PGD mentors to come into their classroom during valuable teaching time to help their students increase their reading their reading skills.
Needs Statement
Our most pressing need is to raise monies to meet the annual program costs.
Background Statement
Greg Truitt, raised in Sarasota, FL, realized his dream of playing in the NFL by becoming the oldest rookie in 1994. Upon graduating from Penn State in 1988 and playing for two National Championships, Greg entered the hotel / restaurant industry for six years. In 1994 he had an opportunity of a lifetime to tryout with the Cincinnati Bengals as a special teams player and he made it. During Greg's six year career, he was nominated for NFL Man of The Year for his work with children.
Greg's outreach to children began in 1994, as a motivational speaker reaching over 200,000 elementary and high school students nationwide. It was a brief interaction with a local elementary school teacher that changed the course of his life. After speaking to a local third grade class, Greg asked the teacher how the students were doing. She responded that generally speaking the class was doing quite well, but pointed out one student who was in danger of repeating third grade for the third time if he didn't pass the upcoming state test. When Greg asked what he could do to help, she replied simply, "Would you read with him?"
It was this brief exchange that led him to read with the student every school day for six weeks. The impact of this small investment was tremendous: the student passed the state test, and Greg was inspired to create Practicing Good Decisions (PGD), a reading mentor program funded by the Upside Down Foundation which has impacted thousands of students across the state of Florida. It was clear from the inception that investing in quality mentoring leads to powerful long-term benefits for both mentors and their elementary school pupils. The program's remarkable growth, from only four mentors working with sixteen elementary students in its pilot year, to 250 mentors helping over 750 students, is testimony to it's overwhelming success. Today, PGD is a multi-year award winning reading mentor program that inspires academic success and leadership through literacy.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Innovative efficient effective proven desired reading early childhood literacy mentor development leadership development personal responsibililty
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
 It has been a honor to serve as a mentor for the past twenty years. Everyday is a gift and an opportunity to help another human being realize their gifts. Fredrick Douglas once said, "Once you learn to read, you will be forever free."
Reading is the single most important academic building block of education and a strong predictor of future scholastic success.
We have found that positive consistent mentoring is a powerful effective tool to accomplish this goal. We are excited and committed to developing the life and leadership skills of high school students while increasing the reading fluency of elementary students.
Practicing Good Decisions is a proven, multi-year award winning program that provides real solutions for real needs.
Thank you for considering to support our organization and mission.
Practicing Good Decisions (PGD) is a multi-year award winning reading mentor program that recruits, trains and empowers its mentors to help their students achieve reading success! The program coordinates over 250 mentors from seven high schools that individually work with students from six local elementary schools. Mentor teams travel weekly to the schools to practice reading fluency, comprehension skills, site word mastery and test taking skills. They model how practice and discipline leads to reading success, and help their students to adopt this approach to goal attainment. The sixteen-week program allows for consistent and regular one-on-one sessions which foster solid, trusting relationships critical to its success. Mentors are thoroughly trained in reading strategies, and receive ongoing support and weekly monitoring from a teacher and a PGD representative. Monitors play an important part in helping guide both the student and mentors as they develop their unique skill sets.
Budget $112,000
Category Education, General/Other Literacy
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success
When an elementary students completes the sixteen week reading mentor program, the elementary will have increased their reading fluency by a minimum of 85% 
Long Term Success
PGD mentors quickly achieve celebrity status on campus, and it is not uncommon for onlookers to be struck by the massive number of high school students walking down the hallways, all volunteering to make a difference in the lives of young students. There is nothing more gratifying than hearing the excited elementary students shout in anticipation, "Our mentors are coming!" as the high school students approach their classrooms.
It was clear from the inception of PGD that investing in quality mentoring leads to powerful long-term benefits for both mentors and their elementary school pupils. The program's remarkable growth, from only four mentors working with sixteen elementary students in its pilot year, to 250 mentors helping over 750 students, is a testimony to it's overwhelming success. Today, PGD is a multi-year award winning reading mentor program that inspires academic success and leadership through literacy. 
Program Success Monitoring
During each mentor session a PGD mentor will track and log the progress for every elementary student.
Program Success Examples
This is a thank you letter written by a 1st grade teacher who partners with Practicing Good Decisions.
This year my 1st grade classroom has had the pleasure to work with the Practicing Good Decisions mentors. The amount of time was perfect and the impact was great! My students greatly benefited from the one-on-one individual fluency practice. Not only did my class make more than a one year's growth academically, through the PGD program in only 5 months, which is amazing feat by itself, but my students also grew socially. My class was excited each week to read with their PGD mentors, and they beamed when they had the opportunity to communicate with them. Thank you, PGD mentors, for taking the time out of your busy schedules to work with my students. Your time will stay with these students not only throughout their learning careers, but throughout their lives.
Program Comments by Organization
The challenges facing Practicing Good Decisions is its growth. PGD has had tremendous growth and continues to recruit top high school students to become effective reading mentors. Our main goal is to maintain the same high standards, expectations and experience for both the high school and elementary students.
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Greg Truitt
CEO Term Start Feb 2012
CEO/Executive Director Email
The entire board of the Upside Down Foundation volunteers their time to raise funds for the Practicing Good Decisions Program and other future projects.
The CEO, Greg Truitt, is the founder of The Upside Down Foundation. Greg was raised in Sarasota, FL and is a graduate of Riverview HS. Upon graduating from Penn State University, where he was a student athlete and national champion for Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions, he excelled with Marriott Hotels as a restaurant manager.
After working six years in the hotel/restaurant industry, Greg signed a two year contract to play football for the Cincinnati Bengals becoming the oldest rookie in NFL history. He was nominated for the NFL Man of The Year Award for his extensive work with inner city schools. Greg played for six seasons with the Bengals, was a union representative for three seasons, wrote a financial workbook and facilitated an annual rookie financial seminar to educate incoming rookies on how to build a strong financial future.
Greg has held motivational seminars for over 300,000 students both nationally and internationally inspiring students to develop the mind of a champion.
He has produced a national and international award winning publication called TEAM magazine which to date has generated over a half a million dollars in scholarships for high school students.
His most recent creation, Practicing Good Decisions (PGD), is a multi-year award winning reading mentor program, which has produced outstanding results in developing the reading fluency of elementary students while developing the life and leadership skills of high school students. To date, PGD has produced over 55,000 volunteer hours and has helped to increase the reading fluency of elementary students by a minimum of 85%!
Greg's focus is to use his gifts, strengths and influence to educate, inspire and challenge community members to step up to the plate and serve their country well. 
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 6
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 1
Volunteers 300
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A
The Practicing Good Decisions Program collaborates with both elementary and high schools within Sarasota County.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 1
Strategic Plan Adopted June 2012
Management Succession Plan No
Policies and Procedures No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Management Comments by Organization
The Upside Down Foundation has focused more of its energy on developing the Practicing Good Decisions program and has taken steps to balance its efforts to equally develop both the foundation and the PGD program.
Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair Greg Truitt
Company Affiliation Self-employed
Board Term Feb 2012 to June 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mickey Chard Bonefish Proprietor
Eddye Howard Ed Howard Lincoln, Mazda & Nissan
Bill Reynolds Retired
Greg Truitt Self-employed
Nathan Weinbaum Veteran Affairs
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development?
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 0
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 79
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Standing Committees
Governance Comments by Organization
With great assistance from the Community Foundation of Sarasota and others, we are making great progress in developing our board to become efficient and effective.
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2014
Fiscal Year Ends 2015
Projected Revenue $155,000.00
Projected Expenses $155,000.00
Endowment Value
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Policy %
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign Yes
Campaign Purpose We are currently focused on increasing our fund raising intiatives through private, public and business donors. We will soon be starting an endowment to secure the future of the foundation and PGD program
Campaign Goal $1,000,000.00
Campaign Dates June 2012 to June 2015
Amount Raised To Date 36000 as of May 2012
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
IRS Form 990s
990 2013-20142014
990 2012-20132013
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$0$375$175
Administration Expense$195,515$6,727$5,101
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.2320.935.65
Program Expense/Total Expenses0%5%3%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$16,089$166,515$24,978
Current Assets$16,089$166,515$24,978
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$16,089$166,515$24,978
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $27,500Contributions, gifts, grants $100,200Contributions, gifts, grants $29,811
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $17,589Fundraising $48,4390 $0
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount0 $00 $00 $0
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
We have not had an audit for the foundation due to the amount of revenue. When we reach the amount that the Community Foundation of Sarasota recommends an audit, we will do so.
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the IRS Form 990.  Financial figures were taken from the Federal 990s.
Nonprofit Upside Down Foundation Inc
Address 800 S Osprey Avenue
Sarasota, FL 34236
Primary Phone 941 366-3600