Sarasota Garden Club Inc
1131 Boulevard of the Arts
Sarasota FL 34236-4809
Preserving our gardens and our historic landmarks while promoting the environment, conservation, and civic beautification through education and programs.
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair CJ Danna
Board Chair Affiliation Community Volunteer
General Info
Organization DBA
Sarasota Garden Club
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1964
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2019
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Other Documents
Garden Tour 2017View
Fashion Show 2017View
Impact Statement

*Sarasota Garden Club will be celebrating our 90th Anniversary throughout 2017 and will showcase our rich history every month in 2017.

*Our goals are to continue to give back to the community though education, youth and senior therapy, civic beautification, and horticulture and floral design programs.

*We will continue to increase our community outreach, scholarships and the myriad of programs to meet our goals.

*Our fundraisers; GardenFest, Fashion Show and Gardens in Paradise supports our missions to education, youth and therapy programs, Scholarships, maintenance of our historic mid-century modern building, our botanical gardens and civic beautification.

*Our flower show, Music in the Garden, earlier this year was free to the public and a gift to the community. It was a juried show with horticulture displays, floral arrangements, photography exhibits, and educational exhibits for viewing.  In addition, educational materials were available to take home for reference.

We celebrate our 90th Anniversary this year, 2017. We have sustained our position in the Sarasota Community for the past 90 years. Our historic building and grounds are 100% maintained by our members. We have 14 affiliate associations that meet in our building and they share the same objectives as the Sarasota Garden Club. We are very proud of our accomplishments throughout the years. Our members are very passionate about our gardens and historic building.  
Needs Statement


  1. $8,000 Funding to paint the outside of our mid-century modern building exterior.
  2. $14,000 Funding to replace the fence around a portion of our building and gardens, and to replace the library roof
  3. $66,000 Funding to repair/replace the large sliding glass doors at the back of our building.
  4. $12,000 Funding to purchase new window blinds. 
  5. $8,500 Funding to continue giving scholarships and sending children to camp.


Background Statement

The history of the Sarasota Garden Club began on May 6, 1927 with Mrs. John Ringling. Membership was organized in Circles with the first Founders Circle President being Mrs. John Ringling. On November 14, 1933 the Federated Circles of the Garden Club of Sarasota joined the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and National Council of State Garden Clubs. Many more circles were formed and in 1947 the name changed to the Sarasota Garden Club and became incorporated in 1955. Over the years, the Circles waned and in 2008 the members voted to reorganize the Club into a non-Circle Club run by a 19 member Board of Directors.

After many years of planning and saving, the Garden center was built in 1959 on land leased from the City of Sarasota referred to as the Civic Center (Cultural District). It was built in a mid-century modern style and contained an enclosed garden, which remains today with Florida friendly horticulture. In 1962 the Garden House, built in Japanese style, was added and named “The Selby Garden House” in honor of Mrs. Marie Selby, the donor. The Japanese lantern, given to the Club in 1939 by Mr.& Mrs. Caples, was lost in the Tuttle's Puddle and was rededicated in December 2014 after being found submerged in the pond. In 1993 a library addition was built and named in honor of major donors, Charles and Julia Sounders. IN 2009 THE BUILDING WAS PLACED ON THE CITY'S HISTORIC REGISTER.

The newsletter for the Sarasota Garden Club is called “Blooming Chatter.” The logo for the club was adopted in 1982 and includes the 1982 adopted Club butterfly the “Sulphur”.

In 1995 and 1996, a Butterfly Club was formed by seven members of the SGC. It has been very successful with a grant received for the creation of a handicapped Memorial Brick pathway through the garden. In 2009 the Butterfly Garden was named after Catherine and Richard LaBrie who continue to this day to work in the Butterfly Garden located on the grounds.

In 2012 the property was renamed “Sarasota Botanical Gardens” to make the gardens more welcoming to the public free of charge.

Over the years the Sarasota Garden Club has undertaken many projects of Civic Beautification and has been involved with the community in awareness of environmental concerns. The Club has promoted knowledge of floral arts, gardening, conservation and preservation of our fragile ecology. Other projects have been working with Habitat for Humanity, Children with Autism, Independent and Assisted Living and their related components, Mable Ringling Secret Garden, Annual Flower Show and consultation with various aspects of the community.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments We are located within the Sarasota Historic District boundaries. Our members come from both Manatee and Sarasota Counties as well as the city of Sarasota.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Environment
Secondary Org Type Community Improvement, Capacity Building
Tertiary Org Type Community Improvement, Capacity Building
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
The theme of my presidency is "The best is yet to come". We increased our membership and have increased our footprint in the Sarasota Community. We have the only green space in the Cultural District. Together we maintain our beautiful gardens for the community. We use our historically designated mid-century modern building for a meeting place for many nonprofit groups. We rent our building for wedding which brings in about 50 percent of the revenue for our community out reach projects. We give scholarships, send elementary age kids to nature camps, we host school groups, scout groups, autistic kids, Hospice Grieving Groups. We use our gardens for garden therapy as well as for a beautiful, peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. Together we put on a Flower Show every year as an educational gift to the community. We put on four major fundraisers in order to carry out our educational and outreach programs. We have a two day Garden Fest Plant Sale, a Fashion Show, a premier Garden Tour called Gardens in Paradise Tour,, and the Giving Partners. We have 187 members who volunteer many hours of their time to accomplish all of this and we do this together!
Description We present natural science scholarships to outstanding local students who have completed two years of college, and for the past few years, also to local high school seniors who will be attending college and studying a natural science field.
In 2017 we gave three scholarships to students studying natural sciences. Two were given to high school seniors for $2000 each and one for a college junior for $4000.
Budget $8,000
Category Environment, General/Other Environmental Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adults Adults
Short Term Success In the short-term, our goal is to ensure that students with an environmental interest have the financial ability to pay for their higher education in this field. 
Long Term Success Ideally, this program will encourage and support professionals working in the environmental sciences field that remain in our community.
Program Success Monitoring We follow up with students receiving funding and may continue to fund their education if they meet our criteria.
Program Success Examples A young man, Alex, received a scholarship to Camp Wekiva for summer nature camp.  He received two additional scholarships to attend the succeeding two years, and last year he actually became a counselor teaching other children what he had learned.  Alex's younger brother, Andrew, also received a scholarship to camp. They come from a family that would not have been able to afford to send him to camp.

Both brothers now volunteer at all of our events to help out and give back. 
Description Our goali is to use our Gardens to enrich the community. Although we provide beauty to the community, we are trying to use the Gardens for therapeutic purposes. Toward that aim we have a Garden Therapy Tea and host 100+ senior citizens from nursing homes and assisted care to an afternoon of tea! gardens and companionship. We also have times scheduled for Face Autism. We host parents and children in for time in a no threatening environment with activities and refreshments. This year we will also host the Grieving Group from Tidewell Hospice.
Budget $400
Category Human Services, General/Other Personal Enrichment
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Children Only (5 - 14 years) Adults
Short Term Success The people involved look forward to coming back to the gardens due to having a positive experience.
Long Term Success The gardens will enrich the lives of people in many people in different circumstances.
Program Success Monitoring We have a meeting after the event to evaluate what what was working well and what we need to change.
Program Success Examples The parents of the autistic program loved the environment because it was so no threatening for their children and they got a chance to interact with each other which is something they said they don't get to do very often.
Program Comments by Organization The challenges the Sarasota Garden Club have are raising enough funds to keep our historic building and gardens in tip top condition and up to code. We need to replace our sliders to make them hurricane proof and the estimates to do that job range from $60,000 to $66,000. We also need to replace our old library roof and the original fencing around part of our gardens. We have a two/five year plans in place to continue to upgrade and maintain our building and our gardens, community outreach programs, scholarships and therapy programs.  Our members have to work very hard to support them.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email N/A
We do not have a CEO/Executive Director
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Carol Alexander Secretary
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 3
Volunteers 187
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No

We collaborate with the Sarasota Giving Challenge to continue our mission. We collaborate with the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs and the National Garden Clubs on various projects including sending students to Camp Wekiva, an environmental summer camp; District 8; Deep South We offer programs in Sarasota County schools STEM programs with Sarasota County Butterfly Club. This year we will collaborate with Girl Scouts to set up programs for their organization. We collaborate with Tidewell Hospice for special tours at the gardens. FACE Autism and Beyond the Spectrum do programs with us including flower arranging and planting. We work with nursing homes for Garden Therapy Tea. Sarasota Garden Club maintains a Blue Star Marker and the Dough Boy Statue for the City of Sarasota. We also collaborate with the Ringling Museum to maintain Mable Ringling's "Secret Garden," to provide design services for special projects at Ca'dZan, and to participate in Ringling in Bloom. Our Civic Beautification Program presents awards to businesses that provide excellent landscaping around their properties We plant trees around one of Habitat for Humanity's homes during Arbor Day. We collaborated with the Ringling Museum on the newly redone Secret Garden and have given educational presentations about the garden. We also collaborate with the Historic Alliance and provide docents for their Historic Home Tour. Another collaboration is with the Bayfront 20/20 group.

Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce2014
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Garden Therapy Tea programFlorida Federation of Garden Clubs2015
best publication for our book Combined WisdomFlorida Federation of Garden Clubs2015
Best Publication Combined Wisdom bookNational Garden Clubs2015
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization The Sarasota Garden Club has 187 members and almost every member volunteers on at least one project or committee. Our members work very hard and put in hundreds of hours to make this organization function. Our beautiful gardens and building are taken care of by member volunteers as well. Other than our office manager who is paid, everything that we accomplish is done by volunteers. We have 8 major community outreach projects as well as as 12 standing committees.
Board Chair
Board Chair CJ Danna
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Term Apr 2016 to May 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Janet Allgair Community Volunteer
Dianne Beaver Community Volunteer
Susan Brown Community Volunteer
John Chrzczonowski Community Volunteer
Shirley Cook Community Volunteer
Jackie Cutrone Community Volunteer
CJ Danna The Thinking Center
Aurora deFex Community volunteer
Carol Dornbush Community Volunteer
Susan Kershaw Ways and Means
Janet Leonberger Community Volunteer
Carol Maher volunteer
Andrew Papineau Community Volunteer
Meridith Stanton Community Volunteer
Penny Thomas Community Volunteer
Ginger Vance Community Volunteer
Kay Weber Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 18
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 2
Female 15
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Board Meeting Attendance % 94
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
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Governance
Governance Comments by Organization We face a challenge in that the property the club is located on is very valuable and is right near the Bayfront in the Cultural District and there are several opposing plans for Bayfront development. Our challenge is to show that we are a valuable asset to the Sarasota community and we should not be relocated or have parts of our property used for other purposes. We must convince the city and county that the green space park, that we provide, with all volunteer labor is an important and valuable asset to the community.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month May
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year End Month Apr
Fiscal Year End Day 30
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $146,850.00
Projected Expenses $169,740.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $61,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
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 Year201620152014
Program Expense$88,471$94,521$92,173
Administration Expense$52,429$39,754$12,552
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.081.011.32
Program Expense/Total Expenses63%70%88%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$171,697$201,386$235,438
Current Assets$106,061$126,476$167,200
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$22,986
Total Net Assets$171,697$201,386$212,452
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $65,490Program Service Revenue $69,213Net Rentals - Facility & Gardens $48,057
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $61,028Contributions, gifts, grants $65,452Contributions, gifts, grants $44,895
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $25,401Investment Income $418Fundraising $32,558
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities----7.27
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation
Organization's 2016 financial statements are not for an entire year.
Financial information taken from Federal Form 990.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support.      
Nonprofit Sarasota Garden Club Inc
Address 1131 Boulevard of the Arts
Sarasota, FL 34236 4809
Phone 941 955-0875