Sarasota United For Responsibility And Equity - SURE
7750 Beneva Rd
Sarasota FL 34238-2848

SURE is a faith-based Justice Ministry designed to train volunteer leaders to work with community leaders and public officials to correct inequities in the Sarasota community adversely effecting the poor, under-served and disadvantaged. We provide hope for equality of opportunity for the future.

CEO/Executive Director Mr. Will Newton
Board Chair Rev. Patrick Miller
Board Chair Affiliation Bethlehem Bible Church
General Info
Organization DBA
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2000
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2018
State Registration 0
Financial Summary
IRS Letter of Determination
Impact Statement
1. In 2016 SURE secured $2.4 million over the next three years for a Comprehensive Treatment Court that will help homeless people with mental illness get into 6 months of housing and wrap around services. This court will keep them out of the jail cycle that so many homeless individuals are caught in. 120 people per year will benefit from this court.
2. In early 2015 SURE got the local stakeholders - the State Attorney, Public Defender, and Chief Judge - to support the implementation of Civil Citation in Sarasota for the first time ever. In the fall of 2015 the Sheriff implemented Civil Citation. Kids who have been arrested for first time, non-serious misdemeanors have trouble getting into the military, qualifying for college scholarships, and getting good jobs.  Since Civil Citation was implemented youth arrests in Sarasota have dropped by over 60%. 
3.  SURE worked with Mental Health Professionals, Manosota 211 and Sarasota County Health and Human Services to create a central access point for low-income and other at risk populations to access care to Mental Health services via Manasota 211 referral service.
1. Build the power of our organization by recruiting new congregations, new community partners and new corporate partners in order that we may bring even greater justice to the citizens of Sarasota County.  
2. We are working to see the city and county commissions of Sarasota create an affordable housing fund to lend support to the 14,800 families in Sarasota making less than $37,000 per year who are one paycheck away from homelessness.
Needs Statement
1. Local introductory and advanced training for volunteers [$8,000] starting research on new issue approved by congregational assembly in November 2014.
2. SURE has need of an associate organizer to support the organization in growing to South County and expanding the effectiveness of the SURE organization.  Full-time Assistant to the Executive Director to recruit new member congregations, offer leadership training, grant writing and relationship building in the community [$34,000]
3.   IT and related support with emphasis on social media outlets, e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc. [$5,000]
4.  Office staff support to organize files, records and correspondence and communication with members.[$8,000]
Background Statement

Founded by religious and community leaders more than 15 years ago, SURE is united by its member’s commonly shared interests and values. As a grassroots, nonprofit, congregation-based community organization, our challenge is to bring people together across racial, religious and socioeconomic lines to pursue justice in Sarasota County.  We believe that through mutual training and outreach our faith-based organization effectively strengthens the witness of each member and is a positive network for improving many lives.  Further, SURE's working in cooperation with other similarly constituted organizations on issues of common concern enhances the social and economic well-being of the Greater Sarasota area.


2010 SURE leaders sought and received a commitment from the Sarasota County School Superintendent to implement restorative discipline programs in two elementary schools and one middle school, each of which had a significantly higher than average out-of-school suspension rate. This commitment followed a determination that the County used out-of-school suspension at a far higher rate than many similar counties and that these suspensions proved to be ineffective in curbing undesirable conduct while pushing children out of school. Restorative discipline focuses on peer accountability and raising awareness of the consequences of inappropriate actions. Schools adopting these practices have had dramatic success in reducing both the number of out of school suspensions and the number of occurrences of troublesome conduct. SURE leaders expect results to lead to expansion of restorative discipline to other schools.


2006 At the April Nehemiah Action, commitments were secured to protect and expand downtown and Newtown’s stock of affordable housing through expansion of the Community Redevelopment Area serviced by Tax Increment Financing and the reduction or deferral of impact fees when constructing new affordable housing. On April 10, 2008, SURE held its Nehemiah Action with over 500 people in attendance to press public officials for a renewed commitment to “preserve and expand” the stock of affordable housing. A breakthrough saw the earmarking of nearly $14 million for the redevelopment of the county’s largest public housing project to address facilities long neglected by local government and lagging far behind code.

Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments

SURE serves all of Sarasota County.  Two prime examples of Countywide issues are affordable housing/impact fees and helping to create a dedicated jail pod for inmates working to end the addiction-jail-addiction-jail cycle.  For City and other related issues, please see the Background Statement.

Service Categories
Primary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Secondary Org Type Religion- Related
Tertiary Org Type Community Improvement, Capacity Building
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

We have recently hired a new Executive Director and added a number of new congregations to our organization.  Over the next few months many more congregations are voting to join in our mission of justice in Sarasota County.  These new members bring an increased need for training and education.  New staff is already needed to keep up with the tremendous growth we are experiencing.  We intend to hire a new Assistant to the Director in June as well as part-time administrative help.  These new positions will cause us to out-grow our currently donated office space, so we anticipate the necessity of larger office space in June as well. We need infrastructure like a dedicated phone line, updated computers and software and an updated website.

Though this list of needs is great, we know that our task is great and will require this kind of growth if we are to be successful.  We are obliged, called, inspired, impassioned, commissioned and determined to be successful.  Any investment in SURE is an investment in the Sarasota community.  We have a solid system of checks and balances and you can count on the fact that your investment is secure and going to precisely what we've said it will go towards - training, education, expansion and delivery of determinative wins for justice in our community.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
SURE brings together large numbers of diverse individuals from diverse congregation and faith backgrounds to powerfully address issues of injustice in our community.  We listen to our individual members through our intensive listening process where we engage more than 800 people each year around issues in our community that personally affect them.  Then as an organization we vote on which problem to address, which leads to a period of deep research and crafting of a viable solution based on best practices.  At our Nehemiah Action Assembly this year we plan to bring out more than 1000 people in support of our cause and call on local officials to act upon our solution.  Then we engage in a monitoring phase where we ensure that the desired results are achieved.
We consistently hold the largest community events of this kind year after year in order to bring greater justice to Sarasota County.  Why?  Because our God calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves - we believe all people to be our neighbors and we believe that all people deserve justice and a fair shake at leading productive lives. 
Direct volunteers from faith-based coalition of local congregations to collaborate with local governments and local agencies both public and private in order to produce new policy aimed at increasing the affordable housing stock in Sarasota County.
In 2017 worked with congregations and community organizations; Sarasota County Commission, Sarasota City Commission, local foundations, local developers, and planning commissions.
Budget $40,000
Category Housing, General/Other Affordable Housing
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Short Term Success
We are working on zoning changes with the city and county.  We already have a victory with the county in dropping the parking requirement for small units (under 900 sq. ft.).  This will lure more affordable housing developers as their bottom line is positively affected with this change.
We are pursuing other zoning changes related to impact fee mitigation, storm water removal fees, and utility fees for affordable housing development. 
Finally, we are working with city and county commissioners in order to create an affordable housing fund that will subsidize the private sector and non-profit developers who build affordable housing in Sarasota. 
Long Term Success Long term success would be a fully implemented, fully funded affordable housing fund that has an oversight board, regular reporting, and a renewable revenue stream.  This fund could bring hundreds of units of affordable housing into the county each year and help the more than 35,000 cost-burdened households in Sarasota to achieve stable housing.
Program Success Monitoring The oversight board will give direct accountability for success.  SURE will either have a representative on this board or closely monitor it.
Program Success Examples Over 770 cities and counties across the country have put affordable housing funds into their budgets over the past 30 years leveraging millions of dollars in those communities.
Description SURE congregations are working with the Sarasota County School district to implement restorative strategies fully into all schools, elementary through high school.  We've worked primarily with the Superintendent and staff, but have also had multiple meetings with school board members and other local officials regarding this program.
Budget $10,000
Category Education, General/Other Education Policy Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Short Term Success
Short term goal is to reduce suspensions by half in the next year by implementing a strong restorative strategies program throughout the school district.
Long Term Success Long term goal is to have restorative strategies and restorative practices fully implemented elementary through high school and to do away with out of school suspensions in the elementary levels and to drastically reduces out of school suspensions at the middle and high school levels.
Program Success Monitoring SURE monitors success by meeting with local school district officials.
Program Success Examples
Denver City schools implemented restorative strategies and saw a 90% reduction in out of school suspensions.  Philadelphia great reductions as well.  Duval county schools are seeing great results in their young program as well. SURE has already established a relationship with the Superintendent and staff, and we already have had multiple meetings with school board members.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Will Newton
CEO Term Start Jan 2018
CEO/Executive Director Email

Will Newton is our Executive Director.  Will has served as worship leader and chief of staff of two churches in the past four years.  He is from Sarasota and graduated from Pineview School.  He received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Religion from Florida State University. He is deeply committed to this community.

Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Ms. Michaella Brady Jan 2010 - Oct 2012
Rev. Ryan McBride Dec 2013 - Feb 2018
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 1
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 80
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Sarasota County Commission
Sarasota City Commission
Sarasota County Health and Human Services
Manasota 211
Behavioral Health Consortium, consisting of Mental Health Provider, Justice system, State of FL Dept of Children and Families and Health and Human Services.
Sarasota County Schools
Sarasota County Transit
Suncoast Workforce
Salvation Army
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
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Board Chair
Board Chair Rev. Patrick Miller
Company Affiliation Bethlehem Bible Church
Board Term Nov 2017 to Nov 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Rev. Wes Bixby First United Congregational Church
Mrs. Jane Boritz Church of the Holy Spirit
Rev. Wayne Farrell St. Boniface Episcopal Church
Rev. Carla McCook St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church
Rev. Patrick Miller Bethlehem Bible Church
Ms Sue Morusiewicz Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church
Rev. Keturah Pittman Greater Hurst Chapel AME Church
Ms Valerie Reeves New Bethel MBC
Rev. Vincent Smith Trinity Christian Fellowship Center
Ms Sue Tharp St. Wilfred Episcopal Church
Rev. Paul Werner St. Andrew United Church of Christ
Mr James White Bethlehem Baptist Church
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 5
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 6
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Board Meeting Attendance % 83
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
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
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Start Month Jan
Fiscal Year Start Day 01
Fiscal Year Begins 2018
Fiscal Year End Month Dec
Fiscal Year End Day 31
Fiscal Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $110,000.00
Projected Expenses $93,750.00
Organization has Endowment No
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
IRS Form 990s
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$28,825$83,629$47,000
Administration Expense$57,183$6,798$22,874
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.170.881.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses34%92%67%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$32,610$18,303$29,345
Current Assets$32,610$18,303$29,345
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$32,610$18,303$29,345
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $72,919Contributions, gifts, grants $51,464Contributions, gifts, grants $61,684
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership Dues $26,178Membership Dues $27,920Membership Dues $10,250
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountOther $1,2170 $0Program Service Revenue $1,215
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from 990-EZ where available.  If 990-N filed, financial information taken from compilations.  For 2011, no expense information was provided by the organization.  Additionally, no balance sheet information was provided for 2011 - 2013. No 990 was filed for 2013.  For 2017, financial information taken from unaudited compilations.  No balance sheet information provided.
Nonprofit Sarasota United For Responsibility And Equity - SURE
Address 7750 Beneva Rd
Sarasota, FL 34238 2848
Phone 941 323-4221