Friends of Sarasota County Parks Inc
234 Nippino Trl East
Unit 101
Nokomis FL 34275
To promote, enhance and maintain community support for Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resource department and public lands by increasing awareness of the wide variety of recreational lands and activities through fundraising, activities, projects and volunteer efforts.
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Mary Simmons Mack
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2003
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Exempt 0
State Registration Exempt Aug 2020
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $35,225.00
Projected Expenses $35,225.00
IRS Letter of Determination
FOSCP Tax Exempt LetterView
Other Documents
FOSCP Risk Management PlanView
Impact Statement

The Friends of Sarasota County Parks coordinates the energy on numerous park and recreational projects that resulted in performing over 20,000 volunteer hours.

The top five accomplishments are

· Successfully completed No Margin No Mission funded by The Patterson Foundation with the launching of Shade Is Good: Helping to Fight Skin Cancer. The startup funds from a variety of sources was matched by The Patterson Foundation. As of July 1, 2016, the product line is in stock and the marketing plan active

· A new web site will be launched in July.

· The Siesta Key Beach paver campaign, partially funded a shade structure over one of the play areas. The first youth athletic league partnership is in place with Sarasota Sun Devils. Five grants have been submitted.

· Phillippi Farmers Market estimated increased attendance by a minimum of 20% . The proceeds are helping with the Phillippi Farmhouse restoration.

· The Board’s developed new operational policies ( handling, donor acknowledgement, insurance coverage for special events).

For the upcoming year, our top goals based on a list of approved projects from the Sarasota County Department of Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources (PRNR) include:

· Successfully meeting Year One goals for Shade Is Good: Helping To Fight Skin Cancer

· Working with PRNR  to increase participation in Siesta Key Sand Sculpture Event, and 5 K events resulting in revenue to support one of 21 approved County projects.

· Successful fundraising event for scholarships for Therapeutic summer camp 2017

· Funding for the purchase and installation of two shade structures at Parks identified by the County as high priority

· Continued review of operational policies including the writing of a new strategic plan

· Begin exploration of the needs of the Tuscano Boundless playground based the the community/kids design day

Needs Statement

1. In 2016, beginning a three-five year million dollar capital campaign to purchase and install shade structures at 18 athletic fields and recreational areas through donation, sponsorship and fundraising partnerships with youth athletic leagues. (1,000,000) (Each shelter averages $56,000 including design, permits, structure and installation)

2. Scholarship dollars for 6 children with developmental disabilities to fund participation in Therapeutic Summer Camp 2017 ($3,000)

3. Water fountains at Sarasota County Paw Parks specially designed to serve the need of the dogs and their adult companions. ($10,000)

4. Funding for equipment at the new Tuscano playground conceived and designed by the children for the children. (estimate $50,000)

5. Funding for the completion of the restoration of Phillippi Farmhouse ($50,000)

Background Statement
 In February of 2003,  meetings were held with the Board of County Commissioners to discuss how more participants, volunteers and wildlife could use our  parks. Friends of Sarasota County Parks was incorporated and charged with  raising $36,000 to cover operating expenses – the Chapters keep all the funds they raise.
In the past 13 years, the Friends has 
  •  relocated the Dr. Wilson House to Urfer Family Park 
  • started Chapters at Woodmere Park, Shamrock Park and Nature Center, Challenger Park, Carlton Reserve, Newtown Estates, Knight Trail, The Legacy Trail, Nokomis Park, Arlington Park, Urfer Family Park, North Port Parks and Phillippi Estate Park
  •  relocated the Decagon Houses from Manasota Key to Buchan Community Park (some residents refer to it as Kiwanis Park),
  • installed numerous memorial benches and trees in a variety of parks 
  • constructed a volunteer garage at Shamrock Park and Nature Center. 
  • at Shamrock Park, FOSCP wrote grants and built the first Community Demonstration Butterfly Garden with a facility brochure. 
  • Working with the Florida Master Naturalist program, completed a gopher tortoise/habitat survey at Shamrock Park 
  • an environmental survey at the Urfer Family Park 
  •  produced  brochure on  benefits of  the ‘Wrack Line’ on the beaches.
  • involved with  exotic animal trapping at Shamrock and Lemon Bay Parks. 
  •  moved the “Cookie House” –  first Mote Marine facility – Bass Laboratory – to Cedar Point park. 
  •  donated money for  sidewalks at Bee Ridge Park and for Legacy Trail Extension feasibility study
  • staffed information booths at trade shows, art festivals and other community events to increase community awareness of County parks 
  • actively involved in the design,completion of the Skip Stasko Park, the Arlington Playground and the Hopewell Memorial Park (Cemetery) amenities/improvements projects.
  • sponsored an auction for the summer “Adopt a Camper”
  • helped in building two community gardens
  • fiscal agent for 6 community gardens, the Master Gardeners program, the Phillippi and Englewood Farmer's Markets, and the VCC.
  • a sponsor of the Ringling College Student Volunteer Day twice a year.
  • harvest the casings at the gun range for earned income to pay our expenses
  • listed with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation's Invest in the Incredible, Gulf Coast Gives and you'd be perfect Volunteer program.
  • new memorial fish site at the North Jetty Park
  • chapters purchased GPS units for gopher tortoise surveys,
  • purchased a boombox for scrub jay surveys and purchased motion cameras for Carlton
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Community Improvement, Capacity Building
Secondary Org Type Environment
Tertiary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
It Starts In Parks!
How many communities can you think of that have voluntarily taxed themselves for parkland acquisition? When asked to vote on a citizen initiated referendum to fund more parks the results were clear; the residents recognized parks are a part of the fabric of our community and play an important role in making Sarasota County a wonderful place to live, work, visit and play. 
Our parks system offers a wide range of recreational opportunities from kayak trips through the pristine mangrove tunnels of South Lido Beach to a visit the next day to Siesta Beach, named America’s Number One Beach, or a canoe trip on the Wild & Scenic Myakka River to see turtles and alligators. Destinations like those and others like the world class rowing facility under construction at Nathan Benderson Park and the renown bird watching opportunities at Celery Fields Park also show the vital role our parks play in fueling the economic engine of our community. 
The “Great Recession” presented hard choices to our elected officials when it came to the allocation of public dollars. Basic infrastructure needs and funding for law enforcement and fire safety had to be weighed against amenities like libraries and parks with the bottom line for parks and recreation dropping creating an even greater need for organizations like Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP) and our network of volunteers helping to fill the gap to make our park system be the best it can be. 
 Whether it’s building an information kiosk, maintaining a trail, raising funds for an amenity, creating a Chapter website, or organizing a birding tour FOSCP offers a wide array of volunteer opportunities. Email us at for more information. While we know filling the department ‘s budget gap is not likely an attainable goal, philanthropic opportunities abound at FOSCP. For the 2014-2015, FOSCP and the Chapters raised and spent over $251,000 in our County parks and public lands. For information on funding a picnic pavilion, purchasing the naming rights to a community room at your favorite park or even funding an entire park, please contact me at    

Terry Redman
Immediate Past President, FOSCP
A volunteer driven program installs engraved fish plaques and/or pavers designed by individuals as a tribute to/in memory of others.  FOSCP has established installation locations in many county parks providing opportunities for community participants and visitors to remember their positive PARK experiences. 

Budget $10,000
Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Citizen Participation Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Families Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens
Short Term Success This program brings people into the parks and gives an opportunity for a person/family to honor a loved one. Many of our trees are placed to provide shade and are an environmental resource for our park visitors and climate. We are presently starting new ones at North Jetty Park and Siesta Key Park. By the end of the 2016-2017 program year, engraved message units (pavers or fish) will increase 65% bringing the number of positive experiences related through messages to over 500. 
Long Term Success The long term benefits of the messaging program is it provides an opportunity for people from all walks of life and geographic areas to share their or their families/friends "joy of Parks".  It underlines the important role the parks play and that the participants over 500 different individuals want to publicly share their how they feel about our Parks. 
Program Success Monitoring As we place more benches/trees in the parks, more individuals are aware of the opportunity and want to take advantage of what the County is offering. We always meet with the park director in selecting the site and follow all permitting rules and regulations. Due to the specific location, some benches are two leg (we install in the ground) and others are four legs. We do not introduce a new tree species in the park, we compliment what is already in the park. The demand for the memorial areas are great so the County is designing new facilities with memorial areas built into the new facility.The method by which this program will be measured will be the number of memorials placed in our recreational sites (which is averaging 6 per month currently).
Program Success Examples The memorial program is extremely successful. The Board of County Commissioners in 2010 gave FOSCP the Sponsorship/Naming Rights to all park facilities in the County. We have now expanded the program to ball fields, nature trails, tennis courts, building, entire parks, etc. Mr. Abraham, the Urfer and Benderson families and other individuals have made significant donations to our County park system.
Shade Is Good, a social enterprise to provide shade structures over the aluminum bleachers at the athletic fields and playgrounds. This project will minimize the suns exposure during outdoor recreational time by creating shade at 18 sporting facilities. ADA seating is also planned for shading. This will provide safety and protection year round. To raise funds for this project, FOSCP will be selling sun shade products. 
Budget $80,000
Category Recreation & Sports, General/Other Athletics & Sports
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families US Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success We will start by meeting with Apollo Sun-Guard of Sarasota, contracting with a part-time grant writer and meeting with County staff in charge of the athletic programs.
Long Term Success We will know we are successful when a person can sit in the bleachers during an event and not have to stand under trees. Many parents are dropping off the players and sitting in their cars to watch the events. The bleachers and sun are hot!
Program Success Monitoring Surveys, interviews with participants and players
Program Success Examples Increase in the number of observers as monitored by game coaches.
Program Comments by Organization The Friends energized BY YOU ARE THE ONE, the park participants who share and remind the dedicated volunteers and County Park staff of the jewel of the Sarasota County Park system and the importance roles they play in the lives of so many different people of all ages and from all walks of life.  
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email n/a
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 2
Volunteers 500
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, U.F. Cooperative Extension Center, Florida Master Gardeners, Florida Master Naturalist, Sarasota County Sheriff, Keep Sarasota County Beautiful, Audubon (Venice and Sarasota), Sarasota Convention and Visitors Bureau, local foundations, Senior Friendship Center, Venice Area Beautification, Inc., Leadership Sarasota, local schools, neighborhood park Chapters, National Wildlife Federation, Chamber of Commerce and many local businesses.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 3
Strategic Plan Adopted Oct 2013
Management Succession Plan Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization As all volunteer boards, Friends has leadership challenges. FOSCP has contracted with two part-time independent contractors; an administrator and a fund-raiser. The public and County professional staff have been excellent to work with and we enjoy their support. Friends has recently decided that our mission shall consist of projects, branding/marketing, fundraising and Chapter/volunteers. FOSCP is fortunate to have an agreement with the County that FOSCP can obtain sponsorship/naming opportunities for County amenities.
Other Documents
Other Document 2
Whistleblower Policy
Board Chair
Board Chair Mary Simmons Mack
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term June 2016 to Sept 2016
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms Caitland Blanchard Star Student
Mr. Russell Johnson Retired
Mrs. Mary Mack Community Volunteer
Mr. James Mahoney community volunteer
Mrs. Susan Noah Michael Saunders and Company
Mr. Marcello Paolini Community Volunteer
Mr. Lee Perron Community Volunteer
Mr. Terry Redman Community Volunteer
Mr. Fred Whitehouse Retired Community Volunteer
Mrs. Roxanne Williamson Retired Sarasota County
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 6
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Board Meeting Attendance % 70
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Program / Program Planning
Project Oversight
Governance Comments by Organization Friends has been in existence for 13 years and has received  the Gulf Coast Community Foundation's Invest in the Incredible program. Please note that our Friends Treasurer has moved to Italy but wanted to continue on as our Treasurer. His move was due to his wife's health. Since he is on the Board of Directors, we will never have 100% attendance but we do not want to lose him -- he is GREAT! FOSCP has successful launched a new revenue enhancement initiative supported by The Patterson Foundation's No Margin No Mission Earned Income program.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $35,225.00
Projected Expenses $35,225.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $72,174.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign Yes
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Campaign Purpose Installing shade structures over playgrounds and 18 athletic bleachers at the County Parks.
Campaign Goal $1,000,000.00
Campaign Dates Jan 2016 to Dec 2021
Amount Raised To Date 70000 as of July 2016
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$398,783$229,523$325,332
Administration Expense$32,313$21,767$21,549
Fundraising Expense$6,156$16,156$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.731.351.07
Program Expense/Total Expenses91%86%94%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue2%5%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$345,077$462,154$377,074
Current Assets$263,013$462,154$337,074
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$345,077$462,154$377,074
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $312,209Contributions, gifts, grants $354,218Contributions, gifts, grants $365,688
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $7,966Investment Income $6,346Investment Income $6,765
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount0 $00 $00 $0
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
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 Friends is the fiscal agent for all its 30+ chapters and projects. Our Treasurer is a volunteer we are very fortunate to have. Mr. Paolini provides a very timely and accurate accounting function and immediate check disbursement. He provides monthly reporting of operational budget, financial statement of position, fund balances, and check register for all Chapters and FOSCP.
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990 or audit.  Financial figures taken from 990.  990 and audit are reconciled.  Financial information for 2016 was taken solely from the audited financial statements as the Federal tax return was not available at time of review.
Nonprofit Friends of Sarasota County Parks Inc
Address 234 Nippino Trl East
Unit 101
Nokomis, FL
Phone 941 275-9397