Greater Sarasota Chamber Of Commerce Foundation Inc
SARASOTA FL 34236-4203

The purpose of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Foundation is to conduct educational, training and leadership development programs for the business community. 

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Kevin Cooper
Board Chair Mr. Tim Clarke
Board Chair Affiliation Clarke Company
General Info
Organization DBA
Leadership Sarasota County
Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!)
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2008
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Jan 2018
State Registration Yes Mar 2017
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement

Top Goals of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Foundation in FY 2015/2016:


  1. To gain understanding of areas in the community’s education and workforce development infrastructure that could be most improved. 
  2. Convening key organizations and partners around the cradle-to-career, collective impact concept.
  3. Evaluation of potential programs to utilize in Greater Sarasota.
  4. Post-secondary enrollment and graduation.



Top Goal Areas for the FY 2015/2016 Year


  1. Gathering and sharing key education, workforce, and economic indicators with the community.
  2. Providing a web-based community platform to learn about and engage in Cradle-to-Career activities.
  3. Launching the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA). 
  4. Introducing the Roadtrip Nation career exploration tool to our community.
  5. Post-secondary enrollment and graduation.


Needs Statement

Activities supported by the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Foundation are extensive, much in demand, and often not underwritten by fees or other revenue streams. Supporting job creation through providing assistance to entrepreneurs and small businesses is an on-going need, as is the provision of programs and experiences that develop leadership in both youth and adults in the greater Sarasota/Suncoast area. 

Turning to the area of education and workforce development, the needs are becoming even more critical. Due to the retirement of millions of “baby boomers,” the need for younger generations of workers – and for students to gain education that will allow them to become successful in an extremely competitive world – is constantly increasing. Projects that create synergies between businesses, schools, and civic groups often fall through the cracks of traditional funding, making the provision of resources by The Chamber Foundation extremely important. Given the need for 33,000 qualified workers in greater Sarasota over the next ten years, the various demonstration projects and innovative programs supported by The Chamber Foundation are absolutely key in helping us bridge this significant gap.

Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) has secured their location partner, the State College of Florida.  YEA! was designed at the University of Rochester and has been secured by The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.  First and foremost volunteers are needed to act as mentors and instructors.  During the first three years of operation, the Chamber will require funds to pay YEA! licensing fees, student awards, student travel and to provide student tuition assistance.  
Background Statement

A.    Chamber Foundation Background: The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is, under IRS Regulations, a 501(C)6 organization that historically was referred to as a “business league.” Progressive Chambers of Commerce often create a Chamber Foundation to further educational, social, and community/civic objectives under the 501(C)3 IRS regulation.

Doing this allows different types of support and supporters to invest in the Chamber Foundation’s programs and projects that are designed and implemented for the good of the community and typically all of its residents.

B.    History of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Foundation: A number of years ago, the Chamber had a Foundation in place with one example of its activities being the coordination of the resources for the celebration of Sarasota’s Centennial. This previous Foundation was not utilized for several years and its existence ended.


In 2005, increasing needs for programs helping youth, unemployed, educational activities, and more became apparent. Chamber leaders worked with Michael Pender of Cavanaugh & Co., an expert in both not-for-profit accounting and Chamber foundations, to create the new/modern Greater Sarasota Chamber Foundation. All of the organizational and governance materials were created; extensive submissions made to the IRS; and the new Chamber Foundation was approved and started a decade ago. 

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- DeSoto
FL- Manatee
FL- Charlotte
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Education
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

As Board Chair of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Foundation, it has been a high priority for me and my counterparts to direct resources to quality programs that help community-minded efforts get traction and make steady progress. Sarasota was built on the backs of entrepreneurs and successful business people, such that the support we are able to provide entrepreneurship through activities such as the Young Entrepreneurs Academy is just a matter of paying back and building the next generation of community-builders that will sustain our standard of living and quality of life in the 21st century.


The instances in which we have been able to support innovative practices in helping students find career pathways – be that through internships or other means of career awareness and career exploration – have been similarly rewarding. It is a “win-win” scenario when we help young people find and move forward on a career pathway that not only provides well for them and their families, but helps area employers compete and thereby keeps our local tax base and economic status strong.


The challenges we face include growing our capacity and both fund-raising and funding activities, particularly in the face of a lower level of recognition about Chamber foundations than many other philanthropic enterprises that have been in existence much longer. That said, it is a pleasure to volunteer with The Chamber Foundation and I look forward to its incrementally growing its positive work while maintaining high quality year in and year out.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

The Distinctive Nature of the Chamber Foundation: Several factors make the Greater Sarasota Chamber Foundation able to fill key niches in the philanthropic and community development landscape. These include:


·         The Chamber Foundation links us to a national and, in fact, global network of best practice Chamber Foundation activities.

·         There are various local, state, and national foundations that are comfortable and experienced in either funding or otherwise partnering with Chamber foundations.

·         Members of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce can refer the local Chamber Foundation to their various business and corporate foundations for synergistic partnerships.

·         Chamber members, business leaders, and community volunteers are interested in, and supportive of, activity areas that the local Chamber Foundation is willing to address.

Description YEA! is a fun and exciting class that guides middle and high school students through the process of starting their own REAL business or nonprofit organization, and teaches them how to make a job - not just take a job! Students learn as much about self-esteem, personal potential and leadership skills as they do about budgeting, planning and production, and have an opportunity to work directly with, and learn from, business leaders in the community.  12 - 18 year olds start as students and graduate as CEOs!
Budget $75,000
Category Education, General/Other Guidance & Counseling
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success By the end of the 33 week series of classes, students will have their own companies up and running.
Long Term Success Students will jump start their careers by owning and operating their own companies.  They may continue on and create other companies as well.
Program Success Monitoring Success will be measured by the companies established by the students.
Program Success Examples The Young Entrepreneurs Academy has been in existence for 10 years and has graduated over 1400 students who have launched over 1000 enterprises.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Kevin Cooper
CEO Term Start Oct 2016
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Mr. Stephen Queior Jan 2008 - Sept 2016
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 0
Volunteers 5
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
CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, USF Sarasota-Manatee, Ringling College of Art & Design, Sarasota County Schools, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Economic Development Corporation and Leadership Sarasota County - Young Entrepreneurs Academy
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
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 No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Tim Clarke
Company Affiliation Clarke Company
Board Term Sept 2016 to Sept 2019
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Tim Clarke Clarke Company
Mr. Kevin Cooper The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Robert Messick Icard, Merrill, et al
Mrs. Pamela Truitt Truitt Consulting
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 4
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 3
Female 1
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 1
Board Meeting Attendance % 100
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 0
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Oct
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2016
Tax Year End Month Sept
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $51,002.00
Projected Expenses $49,917.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
IRS Form 990s
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$31,744$8,240$52,649
Administration Expense$0$750$65
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.821.961.22
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%93%100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$20,167$27,067$15,131
Current Assets$20,167$27,067$15,131
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$2,297$3,597$95
Total Net Assets$17,870$23,470$15,036
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $20,591Contributions, gifts, grants $9,240Contributions, gifts, grants $42,044
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOther $5,540Leadership Income $4,675Other Income $22,461
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $13Other $3,5100 $0
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities8.787.52159.27
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from audited compilations as the organization files a Federal 990-N (postcard).  Contributions include foundation and corporate support.
Nonprofit Greater Sarasota Chamber Of Commerce Foundation Inc
Address 1945 FRUITVILLE RD
SARASOTA , FL 34236 4203
Phone 941 955-2508