SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence)
1781 Dr Martin Luther King Way
Sarasota FL 34234
SCOPE connects and inspires citizens to create a better community.
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Lance Arney
Board Chair Tom Tryon
Board Chair Affiliation Herald Tribune
General Info
Organization DBA
Former Names
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2001
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Dec 2018
State Registration Yes Dec 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS 501 (c) (3) letterView
Impact Statement


SCOPE’s primary work during 2017 was conducting research and community engagement in support of developing a countywide community plan for children and youth. Sarasota County Government funded this work, and the idea for developing such a plan for Sarasota County originated from the Positive Youth Development Council. SCOPE reached out to potential stakeholders and project participants to map existing programs, services, and initiatives related to children and youth; collected, analyzed, and summarized gaps and needs assessment data from subject matter expert interviews, focus groups, and surveys; and engaged stakeholders, such as youth, parents, teachers, service providers, and others throughout the development of the youth plan. In sum, we have:

  • Interviewed 52 local subject matter experts
  • Surveyed over 700 adults and over 2,000 youth
  • Conducted 13 focus group discussions with a total of 155 youth and adults
  • Convened more than a dozen leadership committee meetings with dozens of organizational representatives, culminating in the articulation of a vision and mission statement, determination of priority areas based on unmet need, designing action steps, and identifying data indicators for measuring progress once the plan begins to be implemented.


Assist other organizations with implementing the youth plan and enhance their work by helping them make better decisions based on research and data analysis.

Reduce operational expenses, develop earned income projects, implement our strategic fundraising plan, and reconstitute our donor database.
Obtain funding to support SCOPE’s administrative support for the Community Alliance of Sarasota County, a countywide working group of dozens of health and human service agencies, organizations, and funders who collaborate to create positive outcomes in the community.
Expand services regionally to include Manatee County. 

Needs Statement

1. Sponsor a study group project and report on a local topic of community importance. $25,000-$75,000

2. Sponsor a student internship for a local college student to learn how to conduct community engaged research. $3,000-$5,000

3. Sponsor the Community Alliance of Sarasota County. Help SCOPE provide administrative support to the Community Alliance, a county-wide working group of health and human service providers who work together to create positive outcomes in the community. $10,000

Background Statement


Seeking a better way to address emergent issues, community leaders in Sarasota sought a means to bring greater civility to community discourse and public policy discussions. Finding a nonprofit model in the Jacksonville Community Council Inc., our founders created Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence (SCOPE) to harness both objective data and the wisdom of our residents inspire citizens to enhance the quality of life and development of the entire County.

Since its founding, SCOPE has convened study groups, has produced data rich Community Report Cards, and has developed citizen leadership through the Grass Roots Leadership Initiative. SCOPE has delved into issues such as race and ethnicity, transportation, and aging with dignity and independence.

Throughout its history, SCOPE has been a consultant to foundations, nonprofits and local government. This work has allowed a deeper understanding of our community. SCOPE continues to serve as a consultant, bringing together the wisdom of people—with objective community data—to serve the specific needs of clients. Through this work we help others achieve their goals while embracing our mission “to connect and inspire citizens to create a better community.”

Past Projects

Since it began, SCOPE has produced eight issue-based Community Reports (2002-2009), composed six Community Report Cards, created several Stories Project documentary films, produced People Count (2003) and People Count: Race and Ethnicity (2005), convened the Winter Forum on Aging (2007 through 2011), and the Summit for Environmental Action (2008). SCOPE helped to seed new programs such as the Nonprofit Resource Center, the Hispanic Latino Coalition and the Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse.


SCOPE provides tools that allow our community to understand ourselves better. In recent years, data analyzed and presented by SCOPE has enhanced the value of initiatives related to education, economy, and transportation. SCOPE led study groups have helped the community to recognize and address major issues and opportunities. Leaders developed under the Grassroots Leadership Initiative have become role models in the community. Community reports and report cards have focused attention in targeted areas and have resulted in several spin-off programs that continue to serve the community.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
FL- Manatee
Areas Served Comments
SCOPE focuses our work on geography of Sarasota County and also has the capability to provide services to adjacent counties, such as Charlotte and Manatee.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Community Improvement, Capacity Building
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

As the Chair of the Board of Directors, I am excited by our new board members and by the accomplishments of our talented staff team. The response to SCOPE’s work has been exhibited in excellent attendance at events and positive feedback on our info-graphics and Results Scorecards. As we adopt new technologies, like our new Results Scorecard software, we will be in a stronger position to assist with community issues and document the success of various partnerships.   

SCOPE was formed out of a desire to better understand our community, to provide fertile ground for addressing issues, and cultivate civic leadership for positive community change. This direction is embodied in our mission “to connect and inspire citizens to create a better community.”

We are thankful for our community partners, citizens, businesses, local governments, non-profit organizations and foundations. The broad range of supporters provides a diverse perspective on community issues, and stimulates new opportunities for engagement in the community.

Statement from the CEO/Executive Director

SCOPE’s value in the community has been enhanced through our new resource-rich website that brings together all the work of SCOPE since its founding in 2001. Our new Results Scorecard provides a way to connect various efforts toward “turning the curve” as we move forward with positive community change.

Today, with “big data” spinning all around us—it is still important to hone in on critical data, enhanced with open engagement to inform and inspire a community. This is the essential work of SCOPE, and yet it is just a part of the work we do each day. From engaging with a group of concerned citizens, to connecting partners, to helping people understand data – each day leads to a greater understanding of the community and the opportunity to inspire opportunities to make Sarasota County better. As a mission-driven organization, we depend upon our partners and supporters to fuel our work, and we invite you to be a part of SCOPE’s mission.


SCOPE’s Community Data program is designed to present data so that the community can better understand what is happening in Sarasota County. The data reflect trends across many facets of community life, such as the state of the education system, the economy, and health, to name a few. Community data highlights strengths and weaknesses in a community and can be directed to inform both effective dialogue and effective action concerning the future of Sarasota County.

Like the gas gauge of a car, community indicators show us information that we cannot see directly, but that is still important to us. While they are not a comprehensive illustration of an issue, they do tell one part of the story.

Community data can:

  • Help policy makers make informed decisions
  • Initiate and inform dialogue about the community
  • Highlight positive trends so that they may be maintained
  • Detect negative trends early so that they may be addressed
Budget $150,000
Category Community Development, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success

In September 2014, SCOPE completed the Community Report Card and Human Services Needs Assessment.

Long Term Success

Engaged residents will have easy access to community data through the online and printed versions of the SCOPE reports. Community leaders, citizens, and organizations will use this data to make informed decisions and positive changes in the community.

Program Success Monitoring

Success will be monitored by web activity including number of users, feedback through social media, utilization of data and creation of new community programs, business development, etc. As well, SCOPE will pay attention to activity in the community to see if engagement around community issues has inspired action.

Program Success Examples

SCOPE completed the 2014 Community Report Card, which has been widely used to understand and influence changes and trends in the community.


As SCOPE openly plans for excellence, the Board of Directors continues to support and promote opportunities for community engagement as the key mechanism to connect and inspire citizens to create a better community. SCOPE’s engagement strategy includes reaching out to key partners to share updates on SCOPE’s current community building work and to enhance the processes and skills offered by SCOPE. From SCOPE’s “outward thinking” perspective, our work has the potential to change the way our community approaches issues and the way it develops innovative and collaborative partnerships that may not have been otherwise realized. This year one of our focus areas is the natural environment in Sarasota, and sustainability efforts by groups and individuals.

Budget $75,000
Category Community Development, General/Other Community Development, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified General/Unspecified General/Unspecified
Short Term Success

The Community Engagement program team will reach out to key partners to share updates on SCOPE’s current community building work, and will explore and enhance the processes and skills offered by SCOPE.

Long Term Success

The Community Engagement program is designed to inform and reinforce SCOPE’s direction, establish priorities and open lines of communication with key partners and the community.

Program Success Monitoring

Notes, interviews, community feedback and reporting.

Program Success Examples

SCOPE will have identified issues in the community that are important to residents and their quality of life. New programs and initiatives will be started by SCOPE and others in the community based on the information that has been gathered. SCOPE’s team of trained community engagement facilitators are highly valued in the community.

Program Comments by Organization

SCOPE continues to build the infrastructure needed to analyze, report and engage citizens around data to address community issues and discover opportunities for positive community change. Our new website allows easy access to a wealth of community-based work facilitated by SCOPE over the past 15 years. Our Results Scorecards allow a way to display numeric data and trends, with narrative descriptions, links to data sources and a wide variety of supporting documents. Moreover, the scorecards provide an opportunity to link actions with community outcomes and aspirations, and share the power of partnerships. By offering our services to other non-profits, with scorecards and infographics, we can help others tell their story with data in compelling ways.


CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Dr. Lance Arney
CEO Term Start Jan 2017
CEO/Executive Director Email

Lance earned a Ph.D. in applied anthropology from the University of South Florida, where he was associate director of the Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships. He has 20 years of experience with nonprofit organizations and community engagement, including eight years volunteering as executive director of Moses House, a grassroots nonprofit organization based in a high-poverty neighborhood of Tampa, FL. Lance is a sociocultural anthropologist with long-term fieldwork experience in the urban United States and Brazil. He uses community engaged ethnographic research methods to study the impacts of poverty, inequality, and criminalization on urban populations and to explore how community engagement can address social problems, improve quality of life, and foster positive change in such communities. While at USF, he taught courses on nonprofit leadership and management, schools and society, social foundations of education, community development, urban life and culture, and exploring cross-cultural diversity.

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Tim C. Dutton Apr 2001 - July 2012
John McCarthy - Jan 2017
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 5
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 0
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce Talent for Tomorrow initiative
Local College Access Network
Newtown Historic Conservation District Project  
Community Alliance of Sarasota County 
Aspirations to Actions initiative (sponsored by The Patterson Foundation)
Brotherhood of Men 
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years 2
Strategic Plan Adopted Nov 2013
Management Succession Plan Yes
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization

SCOPE’s current Executive Director has invested efforts in the professional development of existing staff (e.g., GIS geospatial data analysis training; expansion of community engaged research methods library for SCOPE staff; streamlining administrative processes) to reduce budgetary expenses in having to rely on outside consultants—that is, building our internal capacity such that we have most of the skills we need in-house.

Board Chair
Board Chair Tom Tryon
Company Affiliation Herald Tribune
Board Term July 2016 to June 2019
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Rev. Glen Bell First Presbyterian Church
John Dart Adams & Reese
Hon. Lee Haworth court system
Emma Johnson CYD STAR (Students Taking Active Roles)
Robert Lane Kerkering Barberio & Co., P.A.
Mr. Bruz Noel Kimley Horn
Tracy Seider RE/MAX Alliance Group
David Sessions Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc.
Thomas Tryon Herald Tribune Media Group
Norman Vaughn-Birch Kirk Pinkerton, P.A.
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 8
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 70
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 70
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 7
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Governance Comments by Organization

Board meetings have included presentations by staff on new data tools, the new website, and new ways that SCOPE can add capacity for other non-profits through consultative work. By keeping the board updated regarding ongoing projects there has been a greater opportunity for both board understanding as well as contributions from the board.

Robust board participation has allowed the elimination of regular executive committee meetings, allowing such meetings on an as-needed basis. In addition, certain routine agenda items have been shifted to a consent agenda to allow more time for strategic discussions.
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month July
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2016
Tax Year End Month June
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $354,127.00
Projected Expenses $354,067.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
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
Form 9902016
Form 9902015
Form 9902014
Form 9902013
Form 9902012
Form 9902008
Audit/Financial Documents
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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$190,038$215,478$215,478
Individual Contributions$101,742$53,855$29,966
Investment Income, Net of Losses$4,248$1,348$1,774
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$253,205$274,085$231,191
Administration Expense$22,813$17,361$11,975
Fundraising Expense$17,215$22,983$23,387
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.030.860.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%87%87%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%9%10%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$244,341$240,777$278,657
Current Assets$239,728$234,419$269,909
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$2,136$7,971$4,654
Total Net Assets$242,205$232,806$274,003
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovernment Grants - Local $190,038Government Grants - Local $215,478Government Grants - Local $215,478
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $101,742Contributions, gifts, grants $53,855Contributions, gifts, grants $29,966
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMiscellaneous $6,604Investment Income $1,348Administrative Fees $12,772
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $50,001 - $75,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities112.2329.4158.00
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financials taken from IRS Form 990 and audit documents. 990s and audits reconcile. Individual contributions include foundation and corporate support.
Nonprofit SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence)
Address 1781 Dr Martin Luther King Way
Sarasota, FL 34230
Phone 941 706-3665