Funeral Consumers Alliance of Sarasota-Manatee Inc
2428 Goldenrod St
Sarasota FL 34239
Mission
The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Sarasota-Manatee serves our members and the general public by providing education, advocacy and assistance in planning and obtaining a dignified and economical alternative to elaborate and increasingly costly funeral services. We help members and families find the services they desire at the best available price.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Mr Christopher F White
Board Chair Affiliation Retired
General Info
Former Names
Memorial Society of Sarasota
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2004
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Dec 2017
State Registration Yes Mar 2017
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $6,000.00
Projected Expenses $8,000.00
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS LETTER OF DETERMINATIONView
Impact Statement
2016 Accomplishments:
 
 - Conducted and published the first comprehensive local funeral provider survey comparing services and pricing. Identified several new preferred providers that offer discount pricing to members.
 
 - Published and distributed  a  Winter and Summer newsletter to our 3400 members. Historically, we only sent out one newsletter per year.
 
 - Attended the biennial National Funeral Consumers Alliance conference in  Atlanta (June 2016)
 
2017 Goals
 
- Sustain publication and distribution of  two newsletters per year
 
- Screen the award winning film, In the Parlor, at our Annual Membership meeting on  Friday, Jan 27, 2017
 
- Sustain our comprehensive regional funeral services provider survey including detailed pricing comparison and General Price Lists for each provider
 
- Increase our electronic correspondence with the membership to include Facebook. 
 
-  Another FCA goal is to obtain more significant donations or an endowment to enable outsourcing or part-time staff to grow our marketing, research and outreach capabilities to meet the growing demand for end of life care services both for our members and the community.
 
Needs Statement
1. Support for our annual newsletter mailings. We have reduced the cost of each mailing to about $650. We mail twice a year, so the total need is $1300.
 
2. Membership database. We would like to improve our membership database by scanning paper records and then matching the information in those records to our electronic database. Ultimately this could allow us to screen the database against local obituaries in the event we are not notified of a member's passing. Estimated need is $750
 
3. Marketing support.  Our current marketing effort is accomplished through volunteers posting pamphlets in libraries, clinics and senior centers. We also belong to the Manatee Aging Network, the Sarasota County Aging Network and have published listing in their directories. We also advertise in the Herald Tribune Prime Times. We would benefit from marketing advice and financial support. Annual marketing budget is $1100.
Background Statement
Today's Funeral Consumers Alliance of Sarasota - Manatee began organizational life as the Memorial Society of Sarasota. Established locally in 1973, the organizers started at the old Sarasota Mobile Home Park auditorium near the Sarasota County courthouse. Membership grew from a few hundred to the 3400 we have today.
 
The common purpose of this non-profit, non-sectarian organization is to provide its members with access to simple, low-cost funeral services. Originally the Memorial Society had three cooperating Funeral Directors willing to offer a package of services at a discount to the membership.
 
Today, we still retain those same providers, and many more. Over the course of our 43 year history we have helped thousands of members and their families through the very difficult period following the loss of a loved one. The unseen benefit of membership, is the one call made to our secretary by a member's family that "jump starts" the process, avoiding unnecessary negotiation and "upsell" from the funeral services provider. The multiple generations that maintain membership attest to the value and peace of mind Funeral Consumers Alliance offers. 
 
Areas Served
Areas Served
Area
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
FL- DeSoto
FL- Charlotte
Areas Served Comments The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Sarasota - Manatee serves a larger,  more regional client base,  assisting members across Southwest Florida. The FCA affiliate in Ft Myers closed several years ago, so many members in Charlotte County transferred to our affiliate.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Secondary Org Type Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
Tertiary Org Type Human Services
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
I have been the President of  Funeral Consumers Alliance Sarasota - Manatee for about 2 years. I became active as a trustee after retirement from the Army and relocating back to my hometown, Sarasota. My father was the treasurer of this affiliate many years ago. My mother was a member and most certainly benefited from the discount arrangements on her passing in 2015. All of my immediate family belong to this affiliate.
 
I believe our biggest challenges are attracting younger members and modernizing our business practices. We have made progress on several fronts. I fully expect our relationship with the Community Foundation of Sarasota will  support our improvement and performance goals.
Programs
Description
If you are shopping for most any product or service, you can query the internet and find pricing and provider information easily. Try that search for a funeral service provider. You will find many Funeral Homes and little pricing. 
 
Following a lead started several years ago by our National affiliate, we have access to surveys covering about 10 major metropolitan areas. The differences in pricing are significant. We have shared those results with our members. 
 
We developed a regional survey that includes all funeral service providers in Manatee, Sarasota, Desoto and Charlotte counties. The survey includes detailed analysis and comparison of pricing for services. We also grade these funeral service providers based on compliance with the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule.
 
These results are published on our website, We have also shared a summary and analysis with the press and maintain a repository of General Price Lists from each provider. We will update this survey every other year.
Budget $400
Category Public, Society Benefit, General/Other Consumer Protection
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Elderly and/or Disabled
Short Term Success Our near term objective is to publicize the data available for the  54 regional providers. Our members have access to this survey through our website (open to the general public) and recently published newsletter. Our press release about the survey should help the general public learn more.  This survey provides common pricing information in a format that permits simple comparison of service and pricing. Before this survey was available, consumers would need to contact each provider for this information.
Long Term Success Long term success will be based on our ability to maintain the survey database and update on a biennial frequency. Members and the general public could look to our survey for unbiased information on funeral services and costs; thus meeting our objective of a dignified funeral of choice at a price that is fair and reasonable.
Program Success Monitoring Our best indicator of program success will be website hits. Members and the general public using our research to make informed decisions. The secondary method will be based on requests for General Price Lists. We plan to furnish those on request.
Program Success Examples
In our pilot survey conducted late last year, we surveyed 8 random funeral service providers to determine how much difference there was in pricing. Surprisingly, a simple cremation could be $695 or as high as $5000. Why the difference? Prestige of the provider, upsell on products, pure profit. True cost of a cremation locally is about $325. We presented this information at our Annual Membership meeting in January 2015. 
 
No surprise, the membership wanted more information.  They are looking for real value in these services.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email None
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
NameTerm
Senior Staff
NameTitle
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 0
Volunteers 2
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
Collaborations
N/A
External Assessments and Accreditations
Assessment/AccreditationYear
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Plans
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
Policies
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr Christopher F White
Company Affiliation Retired
Board Term Oct 2015 to Oct 2020
Board Chair Email white.christopher.f@gmail.com
Board Members
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Nancie Edwards Community Volunteer
Mr Bill Feiberg Retired
Mr Mohan Prasad Retired
Mr Rocky Ruoff Retired
Ms Suzanne Takerian Community Volunteer
Mr. Christopher F. White Retired
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 1
Board Gender
Male 4
Female 2
Unspecified
Governance
Board Term Lengths 5
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 96
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 100
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $6,000.00
Projected Expenses $8,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
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
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$0$0--
Administration Expense$10,268$7,382--
Fundraising Expense$0$0--
Payments to Affiliates$0$0--
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.651.47--
Program Expense/Total Expenses0%0%--
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%--
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$32,238$36,281--
Current Assets$32,238$36,281--
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0--
Current Liabilities$48$0--
Total Net Assets$32,190$36,281--
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $3,365Membership Dues $4,280--
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership Dues $2,120Contributions, gifts, grants $3,440--
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $784Records Fees $1,725--
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Solvency
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities671.63----
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%--
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
FCA has been a grassroots organization over the years, whereby volunteers work out of their homes and meet quarterly. There have been no paid staff. The aging of America trend, however, is beginning to drive a significant increase in end of life care services, and the FCA must be prepared to assist its members and the community in making funeral and disposal decisions that meet their needs and wishes in the most cost effective manner.
 
These decisions, unlike other consumer decisions, are sometimes encumbered by unexpected, emotionally difficult and chaotic circumstances such that it is difficult to obtain adequate, competitive information to make clear decisions. The FCA would like to strengthen its infrastructure, capability and financial stability in order to assist the growing demand for assistance with these decisions, preferably well before a death occurs which begins the rapid need for these decisions.
 
Assisting consumers with obtaining low cost funeral and disposal services, especially when cost is a critical component of their decision, allows them to preserve their remaining resources. Information from the FCA also reduces a consumer's risk of overpaying for services, reduces the likelihood of regretting a decision, and reduces the feeling of chaos when making all the decisions needed for a funeral and disposal of remains in a short period of time. It can also reduce the costs to funeral homes and the County for the unclaimed bodies which they must process and ultimately pass on those costs to other consumers. 
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from the organization's unaudited compilations.  Donations may include foundation and corporate support as they are not separately stated on the compilations.
Nonprofit Funeral Consumers Alliance of Sarasota-Manatee Inc
Address 2428 Goldenrod St
Sarasota, FL 34277
Phone 941 953-3740

THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY, INC. IS A REGISTERED 501(C)(3) NON-PROFIT CORPORATION. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE (1-800-HELP-FLA) OR FROM THE WEBSITE: WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT (100%) OF EACH CONTRIBUTION IS RECEIVED BY THE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF SARASOTA COUNTY. REGISTRATION #SC-02471.