Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast Inc.
400 Palmetto Avenue
PO Box 902
Osprey FL 34229-0902

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast works to protect the environmental character, biodiversity and natural integrity of the bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds of Florida’s Gulf Coast.

CEO/Executive Director Ms. Christine Purvis Johnson
Board Chair Ms. Ann Charters
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Organization DBA
Supported Organization
Former Names
Sarasota Conservation Foundation
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 Yes Nov 2015
State Registration 0
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,111,142.00
Projected Expenses $1,075,724.00
Other Documents
Impact Statement

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast works to save land, forever, and to connect people to the land and each other fostering a deep sense of passion for conservation. Those of us who call Florida home and those who visit each year know there is no place like it. Our natural environment drives our economy, and is the primary reason why people visit and live here.

Our work has saved nearly 8,600 acres on 32 properties. These special places include ecologically sensitive areas providing protection for rare habitat as well as significant natural places for the public to enjoy. Our impact is far reaching, affecting the health of the entire Gulf Coast.

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is on the threshold of significant impact. Earlier this year, we launched a new comprehensive Strategic Plan that charts our ambitious five year course. Our “Myakka Island Conservation Corridor” project is in line to receive Florida Forever support which, once complete, would add over 7,560 acres to conserved lands in our region. The preservation of these properties will protect, restore, and maintain the quality and natural functions of land, water and wetland systems.

On the education front, over 5,000 school-aged children have participated in our environmental education programming since inception. For some children, it is the first time they have ever waded into water or discovered nature under a magnifying glass.

Conservation Foundation played an instrumental role in the passage of Amendment 1, Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, which passed by an unprecedented 75% statewide and 80% in Sarasota County. We are now working diligently to advocate for state legislatures to follow the will of the voters and appropriately fund Florida’s Land Acquisition Trust Fund. 

Finally, this year we made important strides on the road to building a sustainable organization. We are working to diversity our funding sources, enhance retention and deepen loyalty among supporters.


Needs Statement
Land acquisition - While market forces have created an extraordinary opportunity to acquire land and conservation easements, Federal, State and local funding for land acquisition has all but disappeared. 
Stewardship - We save land forever. Stewardship funding is needed to defend the title on that land in perpetuity, ensure that invasive species are removed and native plants and animals return.
Education funding is an ongoing need. We host 10-12 programs annually ranging from Biology in the Bay to environmental art exhibits. Through these programs, we bring people closer to Florida’s flora and fauna and we increase appreciation for the need to conserve our fragile coast. Annual programming expenses are $40,000.
The Artist in Residence program welcomes visual, literary and performing artists whose work is inspired by the environment.  Expenses are $32,000 annually.

We have an operating budget of just over $3,000,000. The Foundation has protected more than 8, 500 acres on 30 properties so far and requires the expertise of a biologist, environmental attorney, program director and additional professional staff to ensure the protection of that land and the acquisition of more.

Background Statement
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Lee
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Environment
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Environment, Arts, Education, Land Conservation, Conservation, Water, Palm Ball, Fall Family Festival,
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast has entered an exciting period of expansion. Nearly ten years ago, a small and dedicated group created Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast to protect the bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds of the Gulf Coast. Since then, the Conservation Foundation has become a go-to organization for land conservation in southwest Florida. The Foundation is a fully accredited land trust with ten professional staff members and a dedicated board of Directors, Board of Advisors and cadre of volunteers. 


Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

When you really think about it, there are few things we can do that last “Forever.” Land lasts forever. We must be the guardians of the character and natural integrity of Florida’s Gulf Coast. I want every citizen in our region to understand the value of conservation and to know that Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast is the best resource to ensure our bays, beaches, barrier islands and watersheds are protected.


Description We host 10-12 programs annually ranging from Biology in the Bay to environmental art exhibits. Through these programs, we bring people closer to Florida’s flora and fauna and we increase appreciation for the need to conserve our fragile coast.
Budget $40,000
Category Environment, General/Other Environmental Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Short Term Success
100% of participants will experience the outdoors have a greater understanding of the natural environment of Florida's Gulf Coast. Hopefully, they will leave with a greater appreciation for the need to conserve it.
Long Term Success
The Educational Programing benefits approximately 6,500 visitors to Bay Preserve at Osprey. The preserve is open to everyone at no charge and offers opportunities for active and passive activities for all ages.
  • Sarasota Crew brings up to 100 youth rowers, their coaches and parents daily throughout the year.
  • In February, theUniversityofSouth Florida Sarasota-Manateeannounced their first athletic program - a rowing team that is training at Bay Preserve at Osprey. This is the first and only college rowing team inSarasotaCountyorManateeCounty.
  • Approximately 150 visitors annually use Bay Preserve to launch kayaks, skulls, canoes, paddle boards and other vessels. Bay Preserve's public dock and beach offer access to Little Sarasota Bay,PalmerPointPark, Jim Neville Marine Preserve and the surrounding environment.
  • Through a partnership with Art Center Sarasota, painters and instructors come to Bay Preserve throughout the year. They set-up outdoor easels and paint the historic structures and natural scenery in a practice known as plein-air painting.
  • Fall Family Festival draws more than 1000 people each November.
  • More than 1000 additional visitors attend educational programs and special events sponsored by the Conservation Foundation. These range from museum exhibit openings and The Palm Ball to nature photography classes and training classes to participate in the annual seagrass survey.
  • Free self-guided tours of Bay Preserve are available anytime during open hours and free guided tours are offered monthly.
Program Success Monitoring
Atttendace, Sponsorships, Surveys, Grant funding and reporting
Program Success Examples
Fall family festival attracted 1200 people of all ages three years in a row. More than one hundred survey's were completed by attendees at the watershed awareness workshop. Internationally recognized artists like Clyde Butcher and  O.M. Braida have approached the Foundation to exhibit their work at Bay Preserve.
Program Comments by Organization
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Christine Purvis Johnson
CEO Term Start Oct 2011
CEO/Executive Director Email
Experience Christine P. Johnson is a fifth generation Floridian who shares the Foundation’s vision of creating an emerald necklace of pocket parks and protected lands along the Gulf Coast. After earning a BS in Business Administration from the College of Charleston and an MBA from the University of Florida, Christine worked in management and consulted with Fortune 500 companies in fields ranging from manufacturing to media. Her Florida roots run deep though and this Manatee County native couldn’t stay away for long.

Christine has worked in the nonprofit sector in this region for the past ten years. She successfully completed the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida’s $7M capital campaign to build a regional headquarters and then served as Director of Development for Ringling College of Art and Design overseeing their largest fundraising campaign, leading a team of five to raise over $100M. In October of 2011, she was named President of Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast where she works to save land and ensure public access to natural places.

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Pamela Brownell Director of Operations
Kathy Grass Director of Finance
Suzanne Gregory Director of Programs & Marketing
Debi Osborne Director of Land Protection
Andria Piekarz Director of Philanthropy
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 6
Part Time Staff 5
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 211
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes

Sarasota County, Science and Environmental Council, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Sarasota Crew, Art Center Sarasota, Historic Spanish Point, Sarasota County Government Extension, Stetson Law, Sarasota Bay Watch, START, Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Around the Bend Tours   

External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2015
Management Succession Plan No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Management Comments by Organization
Management Comments by Foundation
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Ann Charters
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Nov 2014 to Nov 2015
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms. Ann Charters Community Volunteer
Ms. Mickey Davis Community Volunteer
Mr. Daniel DeLeo Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick
Dr. Harold L. Johnson Intercoastal Medical Group
Mr. Robert Patten Coastal Dunes, Inc.
Mr. Peter Scanlan Peter B. Scanlan and Associates, LLC
Ms. Eileen P. Scudder-Zimmerman Community Volunteer
Dr. Christopher Sforzo Orthopeadic Center of Southwest Florida
Mr. James Westman Octex, LLC
Mr. Stephen Wilberding Community Volunteer
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development?
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Board Meeting Attendance % 85
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
Constituency Includes Client Representation
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization       
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2014
Fiscal Year Ends 2015
Projected Revenue $1,111,142.00
Projected Expenses $1,075,724.00
Endowment Value $3,491,867.00
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy % 4
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years?
Historical Financial Review
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201420132012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$422,897$3,568,830$572,082
Investment Income, Net of Losses$46,888$49,837$42,883
Membership Dues$0$0$19,405
Special Events$242,755$290,922$266,186
Revenue In-Kind$31,141$23,474$106,168
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$821,503$3,716,650$880,257
Administration Expense$118,631$109,959$84,583
Fundraising Expense$88,361$88,341$41,135
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.881.031.07
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%95%88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue13%2%5%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$28,945,794$28,870,018$28,354,912
Current Assets$457,121$446,200$370,952
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$152,321$175,046$100,944
Total Net Assets$28,793,473$28,694,972$28,253,968
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $422,897Contributions, gifts, grants $3,568,830Contributions, gifts, grants $572,082
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $242,755Fundraising $290,922Fundraising $266,186
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Income $95,080Program Income $69,524Sarasota County Partners $86,685
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities3.002.553.67
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from IRS Form 990 and audit documents.  Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.  Federal tax returns and audited financial statements reconcile.
Nonprofit Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast Inc.
Address 400 Palmetto Avenue
PO Box 902
Osprey, FL 342290902
Primary Phone 941 918-2100