Library Foundation for Sarasota County
P. O. Box 2526
Sarasota FL 34230-2526
The mission of the Library Foundation for Sarasota County is to secure the future of our libraries as an indispensable community resource.
CEO/Executive Director No CEO
Board Chair Ms. Linda Getzen
Board Chair Affiliation retired attorney
General Info
Organization DBA
Library Foundation for Sarasota County Inc.
Supported Organization
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2012
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Nov 2016
State Registration Yes 0
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $302,000.00
Projected Expenses $226,000.00
Impact Statement

· As of December 31, 2014, the Library Foundation has assets of almost $450,000, including funds at local foundations and banks, after 30 months of operations. We have no liabilities.

· Raised over $3,700 in memory of Librarian Yvette Robison for children’s services at North Sarasota Library.

· Received $10,000 grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation to promote Sarasota County Libraries as the 2012 Florida Library of the Year.

· Sponsored a campaign on Gulf Coast Gives to save the Imagination Library program for 2013. Continued funding the program with Library Foundation donor funds, as well as a $5,000 grant from Lee Wetherington fund, $5,000 from 2014 Giving Challenge, $2,000 from Publix Charities $21,600 from Roberta Sudakoff Foundation and $3,600 from Bladel Foundation.

· Conducted three community fund drives, raising almost $15,000.

· Held our inaugural fundraising event in April, 2013, with Supreme Court author Jeffrey Toobin as speaker. Raised over $80,000, half of which was earmarked for a new endowment fund.

· Assisted funding the 2013 and 2014 Summer Reading Program.

· Created a Leaders Circle for annual donors of $1,000 or more; there are 55 current members.

· Secured a $4,400 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County for an AWE Early Literacy learning station at North Sarasota Library. Secured $25,000 grant from the William G and Marie Selby Foundation with a $10,000 match from Library Foundation donors to purchase and install 10 more AWE Early Literacy Learning Stations. Raised over $4,000 in the 2013 Giving Challenge to supplement these grants. This results in eight libraries having at least two learning stations.

· Co-sponsored with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast a reception for the kickoff of the 10th anniversary of One Book One Community.

 Held our 2nd Annual Author Luncheon in March 2014, with Carl Hiaasen as speaker. Raised over $100,000, of which half is earmarked for the endowment fund.

· Partnered with Boys and Girls Club of Sarasota in a Mobile Literacy Lab project.

· Collaborated with Community Foundation for Sarasota County and provided fiscal agent services for Prime Time Reading programs at Selby, North Port and North Sarasota libraries.

· Held our 3rd Annual Author Luncheon with David Baldacci on February 11, 2015 for 380 guests which raised almost $123,000, half of which is earmarked for the endowment fund.

Needs Statement

Telepresence: The Library Foundation will purchase and install Telepresence software and new audio-visual equipment in the community rooms of 8 libraries, with top-of-the-line components to make it possible to live simulcast programs from one library to another – and from locations around the world. Audience members will engage in lively conversation with the presenter and each other from library community rooms all over the County, without ever leaving their neighborhoods.  Funding has been secured and Telepresence is being installed in the Selby and Jacaranda libraries. We are looking for visionary investors to provide $150,000 to complete Telepresence installation in the remaining 6 libraries.

Early Literacy Programs: Through generous gifts and grants, the Imagination Library program has been fully funded for eligible children currently enrolled through 2017. We are now seeking $25,000 to expand early literacy initiatives for pre-school children in Sarasota County.

Unrestricted Gifts: Unrestricted gifts of $1,000 and more are always welcome to secure the future of our libraries. The Board of Directors will direct half of major unrestricted gifts to the endowment. 

Background Statement
The Library Foundation was launched in April, 2011 after over two years of planning and research. 2011 was spent incorporating our foundation, creating a sound organizational foundation, and a solid board of directors with all making monetary contributions. We received our 501(c)(3) approval in May, 2012 and formally announced our organization and activated our website. Coinciding with the announcement of the Library Foundation was the recognition of our library system as Library of the Year 2012 by the Florida Library Assn. To leverage that acknowledgement and to implement  one of our goals to create awareness of our library system, we conducted a 12-month educational campaign of all the resources and services of our libraries, funded by a grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type
Library, literacy, books, community programs, children reading
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Establishing the new Library Foundation is similar to starting a small business with the inherent challenges of creating policies and procedures, developing budgetary, strategic and communications plans and raising funds to ensure goals are met. However, a big difference is the passion and dedication that the Board of Directors bring to the mission and goals. It seems most people have a "library story" that glows warmly as a memory. With that comes the determination that future generations will enjoy "library memories" also. Personally, my love of libraries evolved from my pre-school days, through my legal career, to my current involvement and leadership with the Foundation. There is nothing as positive as a library, which always brings a smile when I visit weekly. Seeing the activities with children, teens, seniors and even pets (Reading with Pets programs) confirms the impact of libraries as meeting places that foster literacy, problem solving and pubic dialogue.  With 24/7 online access to library databases, ebooks and information, the  the library system is reaching even more people. The Foundation looks forward to initiating a community discussion about the future of our libraries, what they may be and the potential they hold.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
We have no employees. We have chosen to contract with three professionals to fulfill our needs. Building a sound organization and securing a donor base in our first years will allow for full evaluation of employee needs for the future.

The Sarasota County Imagination Library was created in 2009 with a  grant from the Community Foundation .  More than 100,000 books were provided to 3,500 children in 12 County zip codes where the need for early literacy skills is greatest. 

 The cost of the Imagination Library is $24/year per child for 12 books mailed to the home. For $120 covering the full 5 years, donors can ensure that a child enters school with strong literacy skills and a love of reading
In 2013, the Library Foundation assumed responsibility for funding  the Imagination Library for current enrollees. With the grant running out, no new children were enrolled so current enrollees could continue to receive their 60 books through 2017.
Funding for 2013 included gifts from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation,  Gulf Coast Gives campaign, and  Library Foundation supporters. Funding for 2014 and 2015 is made possible by gifts from Lee Weatherington Foundation, Publix Charities and Roberta Leventhal Sudakoff Foundation. 
Budget $15,000
Category Education, General/Other Education, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Infants to Preschool (under age 5) At-Risk Populations At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success
By the end of the 5-year period, eligible children will have a home library of 60 books which parents and caregivers will have read to them.
 Research has shown  that the availability of reading materials in the home and how often a parent or caregiver reads to a child are primary indicators for the development of strong early literacy skills and later success in reading and learning in school.   
In March, 2105 there were 550 enrollees. 

Long Term Success

· 74% of students who fail to read proficiently by the end of third grade falter in the later grades and often drop out before earning a high school diploma.

· By age three, low-income children have heard 30 million fewer words than higher-income children.

The National Campaign for Grade Level Reading is addressing the problem by concentrating on three areas where low-income children fall short: school readiness, school attendance and summer learning. The goal is: by 2020, a dozen or more states will increase by at least 100% the number of low-income children reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade.

Program Success Monitoring Evaluations by parents are completed by the Library staff.  Parents report the children race to the mailbox to find the book each month.  Parents and caregivers  read more to their children and visit the library more.
Program Success Examples Laurie Dillon, parent of two children in the Imagination Library program, reports that her children sit still better, quiet down better for bedtime, and are more curious about many things since starting in the Imagination Library program. They beg to be taken to the library and bring books home. 

The public library has always been a community gathering place. Today, more than ever, libraries serve the role of connecting people with ideas and with each other – both in person and through technology. The Library Foundation is undertaking a bold new project to make the Sarasota County libraries a model of connectivity, a forum of ideas in the community’s “living room.”

The Library Foundation is installing Telepresence technology, including all new audio/visual equipment, in our libraries in the next 12 months. This new video-conferencing technology will make it possible for a program presented at one library to be simulcast to other libraries, with participants in every location able to ask questions and interact with the presenter in real time. Attendees at each library location will act as one audience to experience “virtually” events at libraries throughout Sarasota County.

Budget $275,000
Category Education, General/Other Library
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adults
Short Term Success

We anticipate increased new program offerings in response to Telepresence and increased attendance at existing programs.  The first installation is underway with completion expected in May, 2015. The opportunities for programs using Telepresence are unlimited. Examples are author presentations, cultural programs such as Ringling Museum, Florida Studio, Venice Theatre, Asolo, youth exchanges such as trivia competitions, enhancing foreign languages by  virtually talking with other youth in foreign countries, toddlers listening to story time by Mother Goose, and lifelong learning and TED presentations. This project will impact all ages countywide.

The County will use this technology for staff training and meetings, eliminating need to travel to a central site but rather to a north or south county library.
 This system-wide project will put the Sarasota County Library System on the cutting edge of library programming technology serving as a model for library systems throughout the country.

Long Term Success

Sarasota County libraries will extend the reach of existing programs such as One Book, One Community, Summer Reading, Teen Read Week and National Library Week, as well as expanding programming with the Area Agency on Aging, including the new Achieving Positive Balance Series: 4 Keys to a Healthy and Fulfilling Life after 50. Opportunities for additional lifelong learning are limitless.

Expanding programs for youth, such as the Teen Trivia Challenge are anticipated. Increasing the popular technology instruction program on how to use smartphones, tablets, digital photo albums, Pinterest and many of the new digital services will help meet the current and growing demand at all libraries.

Telepresence will enhance community partnerships like the Ringling Museum and Education Outreach Series and the Herald Tribune hot topic panel discussions. Lecture series and author book talks, held at several of the libraries, can be simulcast with cross-county discussions. New collaborations to include Venice and North Port Art Centers, Venice Little Theater and Lemon Bay Playhouse and Florida Studio Theatre are probable.

Program Success Monitoring Sarasota County libraries will measure the number of programs simulcast using Telepresence and the new audio-visual equipment, the number of participants at the host site and connected sites, and the number of programs accessed from sites around the world.
Program Success Examples Evaluation is still in the planning stages. Likely outcome measurement will be in the number of Telepresence events, demographics of those attending, and categories of programming used with quantifiable statistics. Follow up with participants to monitor behavioral change, such as improved reading stills may be included. Surveys of users will most likely provide measurement of success.
Program Comments by Organization
The future of libraries is an ongoing discussion. Our Foundation plans to lead the community conversation about what our libraries will be in the next decade and beyond. With digital advances, we want to be on the leading edge to ensure that our library system offers not only technological equipment/software/databases but reaches even more children, youth and adults by offering  programs/activities and  presentations and discussion events that stimulate educational growth and build a stronger community.
A challenge we have is to show that libraries will not become obsolete but rather will change with the times and become more valuable as a community resource. Another challenge is to show the positive impact that libraries have on individuals and a community like Sarasota County. Studies show that reading from birth through retirement results in raising our quality of life overall. Hearing the experiences of  teens who began reading through public library programs and continues into adulthood with library usage and  seeing an adult who benefits from job search resources of a library are rewarding. Learning that the only socialization some people, especially seniors, have is their visits to a library and socializing with library staff or other seniors is eyeopening. We want to share these stories and the many faces of public libraries so that we will receive financial support to guarantee the future of our libraries.
Program Comments by Foundation
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No CEO
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email
The Foundation has no CEO/ED but rather contracts out to three professionals for clerical/database operations, bookkeeping, and organizational/development planning and implementation. This format fits our organization at this stage of development.
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 3
Volunteers 15
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
the Foundation works closely with Library System administration, the Library Advisory Board and the Friends groups of all nine of our libraries. We also collaborate with business, community and non-profit organizations as needed on projects/goals. We co-sponsor some events such as the One Book, One Community kickoff with the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, Summer Reading Program Artists in Libraries with the  Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County and Mobile Literacy Lab with the Boys and Girls Club of 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
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization The Library Foundation Board spent its first two years of operation creating the foundational building blocks for a strong, non-profit organization including an active and contributing Board of Directors.  We have and are creating the policies and procedures needed for smooth and transparent management and financial operations.  We have contracted for data base, bookkeeping and administrative and fundraising staff rather than hire personnel as this works best in this early stage of our organizational development.  We have created the marketing fundamentals of mission, messaging, web site and graphic identity.  We have created our case for support, purchased donor management software and have created our list of top and secondary donor prospects.  We are working with our Board and Library leaders to focus our fundraising efforts so we meet the greatest needs of our libraries now and secure the long term health and viability of the Sarasota County libraries. Our fundraising efforts continue to grow with two successful annual author luncheons, and our  Leaders' Circle with over 50 annual donors of $1,000+. We have secured grants from Selby Foundation, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Publix Charities Foundation and various donor advised funds. These leverage our ability to enhance children and adult literacy programs and provide new technology to our library system.  Our challenge is to continue to progress with our projects while simultaneously trying to build our endowment fund for financial sustainability. 
Management Comments by Foundation
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization
Planning & Policies Comments by Foundation
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Securing the Future of our Libraries YouTube video:
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Linda Getzen
Company Affiliation retired attorney
Board Term Jan 2014 to Dec 2015
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms Claudia Cardillo retired corporate executive
Ms. Hannah Carlo STAR StudentStudent at Cardinal Mooney High School
Ms. Connie Hake Davis Community Volunteer
Mrs. Karen Eastmoore community volunteer
Ms. Linda Getzen retired attorney
Mr. Bob Gussin Oceanview Publishing Owner
Mrs. Pat Gussin author
Mr. Charlie Huisking retired journalist
Mr. John Jakes Emeritusbestselling author
Mrs. Helen McBean retired educator, community volunter
Ms. Lydia McIntire Community Volunteer
Ms. Shannon Staub retired former Sarasota County Commissioner
Mr. Bob Vedder consultant, retired newspaper publisher
Student serving on the board through Community Youth Development? No
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 4
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 71
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 20
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Governance
Governance Comments by Organization
All board members serve on and are active on at least one committee. Committees meet at least monthly since we are in the formative stage of development. All board members serve on the donor outreach/development committee and are dedicated to securing the future of our library system. Board members are former professionals, library users and advocates and philanthropists.
Governance Comments by Foundation
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $302,000.00
Projected Expenses $226,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations
Endowment Value $120,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Endowment Spending Policy %
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign Yes
Campaign Purpose Telepresence: Connecting Library Audiences
Campaign Goal $275,000.00
Campaign Dates Jan 2015 to Dec 2016
Amount Raised To Date 115000 as of Apr 2015
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
IRS Form 990s
990 20142014
Form 9902013
990 EZ2011
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$96,159$108,034$35,308
Administration Expense$13,877$14,029$11,668
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.542.292.41
Program Expense/Total Expenses87%89%75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$494,698$324,369$158,716
Current Assets$494,698$324,369$158,716
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$92$0$0
Total Net Assets$494,606$324,369$158,716
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $181,194Contributions, gifts, grants $218,480Contributions, gifts, grants $120,112
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $89,837Fundraising $52,203Net gain from sale of assets other than inventory $2,076
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $8,263Investment Income $8,475Other $1,074
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Co-CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5377.15----
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization Since incorporation, May, 2012, we have now have about $182,000 in funds with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Gulf Coast Community Foundation. $120,000 of those funds are endowed.  We have operating funds for 2015 in our checking account as well as some restricted funds for library system programs totaling about $211,000. A 2015 author luncheon event raised almost $123,000, half of which are earmarked for endowment.The Board has voted to raise funds for two major projects in 2015 in addition to increasing the endowment.  The opportunities for funding the Telepresence technology project are vast with corporate, individual and grant potential.  The opportunity to make the Imagination Library sustainable will be part of our Children's Literacy Endowment project.  The upside is that the Imagination Library is that it very attractive as a early literacy project and is cost efficient...$2 per child per month--$120 for 5 years of books for a child. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest 'bang for the bucks' project.  The challenge is to keep our board motivated to raise funds and to grow our Leaders Circle of donors ($1,000 and up annual donors) from our current 60. The Board is still vested 100% in major gifts yearly and all are in the Leaders' Circle. 
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990.  Financial figures were taken from the short year Federal 990 (6/13/11 - 12/31/11).
Nonprofit Library Foundation for Sarasota County
Address P. O. Box 2526
Sarasota, FL 342302526
Phone 941 228-6274