Gulf Coast Heritage Association Inc aka Historic Spanish Point
PO Box 846
Osprey FL 34229-0846

The Association's mission is to connect people of today with 5,000 years of human history in southwest coastal Florida by preserving and interpreting objects and traditions significant to our region's past.  

CEO/Executive Director Mr. John D. Mason
Board Chair Mr. Todd Stainbrook
Board Chair Affiliation CIA Access and Gate Control
General Info
Organization DBA
Historic Spanish Point
Gulf Coast Heritage Association
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1975
Awarded competitive grant from Community Foundation in the last 5 years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Sept 2016
State Registration Yes Apr 2017
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $851,000.00
Projected Expenses $790,214.00
Impact Statement
Historic Spanish Point's major accomplishments for 2014/2015 include programs and services for visitors of all ages.  The museum was open daily, providing educational and entertaining experiences for over 24,000 people, including over 3,600 school children.   Highlights include a successful summer camp for nearly 1,000 children, late summer concerts on the White Cottage Lawn, fall "ghost" tours and outdoor movies, and the Holiday Lights with evening openings a special event held during November and December.
Major accomplishments during the year included: rehabilitation of Acorn Cottage, repaving existing shell pathways with architectural sand to improve accessibility to the site, construction of kayak racks to provide additional amenities to visitors, and the dedication of our latest attraction, Window to the Bay, which interprets how our prehistoric residents used plants in their daily lives and diets. Additionally, the museum performed a major refurbishment of its signature exhibit, Window to the Past, with new lighting, electronics, audiovisual equipment, flooring and benches, all of which will enhance the visitors' experience.  The Bertha Palmer exhibit, a long-time staple at White Cottage, was totally revised and reinstalled, with new text, graphics and lighting.
Goals for 2016 include new strategic planning and board development so that Historic Spanish Point successfully builds on its past accomplishments.  With federal funding, the museum's professional staff will continue to develop creative educational programming, to better connect seniors with the treasures preserved and interpreted at Historic Spanish Point. The museum is actively engaged in the Invest in Incredible capacity building program sponsored by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
Needs Statement
Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc., needs financial support from the community for essential work in the areas of historic preservation, environmental preservation, and program services.  The top five most pressing needs are:
  1. $55,000 to fund the first year's salary and benefits for an experienced Director of Development and special events. 
  2. $10,000 to update and expand capabilities of our donor management system. 
  3. $50,000 to cover repair of critically deferred items e.g., associated with preserving the historic fabric of the museum. HVAC in the 1901 Guptill House and termite remediation in the 1927 Osprey School House.
Background Statement

The Association owns and operates Historic Spanish Point, which opened to the public in 1982. It features prehistoric shell middens dating back to 3000 B.C., a restored pioneer homestead from the 1880s, and the formal gardens of Mrs. Potter Palmer.  A natural environment featuring over 200 species of native plants and a beautiful butterfly garden are also featured at the 30-acre site. Historic Spanish Point is one of the finest historic site museums in the country and is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The Association supports several major commitments:

· Preserving Historic Spanish Point, a 30-acre site listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This site includes evidence of human experience spanning 5,000 years; while each period is significant, it is the sum total of human activity on one piece of land that makes this site unique.

· Preserving the history and prehistory of southwest coastal Florida and communicating them in accurate and entertaining ways.

· Contributing to the community’s sense of place by providing a historical context for those qualities that have attracted people to this region for thousands of years.

· Maintaining a responsible environmental ethic, fostering the preservation and use of native plants, and communicating the importance of the natural habitat to the community and its quality of life.

· Encouraging, by example, the preservation of historic buildings, landscapes, and archeological sites.

· Preserving and teaching the skills and crafts used in this region in the past.

· Inviting people of all ages to experience the serene beauty of Historic Spanish Point.

Historic Spanish Point traces its history to 1973, when the Junior League of Sarasota conducted a study of cultural organizations serving the community and identified the need for a history and natural science museum in Sarasota County. Members of the Junior League and other community leaders organized the Sarasota County Historical and Natural Science Center in 1974, which became Gulf Coast Heritage Association, Inc. (GCHA), in 1980. 

One property identified for the museum was the “Osprey Archaeological and Historic Site,” which in 1975 became the first nomination from Sarasota County listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The site features two shell middens and a burial mound of a prehistoric Indian village (3,000 BC – 1,000 AD), buildings and a small cemetery from the Webb Family homestead called Spanish Point (1867-1910), and gardens from the early 20thCentury estate of Mrs. Potter Palmer, a wealthy widow from Chicago. Palmer’s heirs donated the site to GCHA on December 31, 1980.  Known today as Historic Spanish Point, the museum opened to the public on April 9, 1982. 

In 1983, GCHA hired its first museum director and began documenting its collections and developing programs for visitors. During the next 25 years, over $4 million was spent on historic restorations and exhibits to interpret our community’s history.  In 1996, GCHA acquired use of the Osprey School, a six-room school built in 1927 and also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  Adjacent to Historic Spanish Point on U.S. 41, the building was renovated to house an orientation theater/lecture hall, meeting room, offices, museum store, and since 2011, a connections branch of the county library system.  Another significant accomplishment was museum accreditation, awarded by the American Association of Museums in 2002.  This designation places the museum in the top 5% of all institutions nationwide and among only 4 such in Sarasota County.

Today a motivated professional staff and over 200 trained volunteers provide the museum’s services to the public. Historic Spanish Point is open to the public daily (closed Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day), serving an average of 28,000 visitors annually. Key programs include guided tours, living history interpreters, and curriculum-based field trips for third and fourth grade children. It is noteworthy that over 90,000 children have been educated through field trip experiences at Historic Spanish Point. Outreach activities include a speakers bureau, small traveling exhibits, and the museum’s website,


Areas Served
Areas Served
Throughout the United States
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments
Historic Spanish Point interprets 5,000 years of human history of southwest coastal Florida for residents and tourists to Sarasota County.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Environment
Tertiary Org Type Education
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Historic Spanish Point, which has ably served this community for thirty years stands as an outstanding example of excellence supported by a cadre of dedicated supporters and volunteers. The board is fully committed to continuing to seek new and innovative ways to enhance the museum's attractiveness to its visitors by offering a wide diversity of programming and engagement opportunities. To assist us in this, we have engaged with Gulf Coast Community Foundation's Invest in Incredible program for capacity building.  We are also participating in the Patterson Foundation's Margin and Mission Ignition initiative, aimed at increasing the museum's capability to increase revenue/margin from earned income activities.
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
Historic Spanish Point is one of the finest historic site museums in Florida.  The institution is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, joining the top 5% of museums in the nation to have this designation.  The museum is committed to providing quality educational experiences to visitors of all ages.  Donors to Historic Spanish Point understand that the care of historic buildings and gardens is an on-going process that requires financial support. 
Description Historic Spanish Point features a wide variety of educational programs. Guided tours are offered daily, special programs are offered throughout the year including classes, speakers, and special demonstrations. Programs are designed for all ages and interests. The museum is open daily.
Budget $100,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Families US
Short Term Success
Visitor surveys and evaluations continually document that people completely trust the information they learn at Historic Spanish Point, that their museum experience was an excellent value in terms of their time, effort, and cost, and that Historic Spanish Point provides great opportunities to have memorable shared experiences with family and friends
Long Term Success Historic Spanish Point celebrated its silver anniversary in 2007, and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2012.
Program Success Monitoring
Visitor surveys and evaluations are combined with member surveys to analyse program success.  Membership has grown by 5% in 2013, despite continuing economic challenges in our community.
Program Success Examples
Historic Spanish Point has maintained its accreditation status with the American Alliance of Museums, which measures excellence in museum operations and services to communities.
Description Historic Spanish Point has provided our Adventures in Learning curriculum to over 100,000 school children over the past 30 years. The Pioneer Lifeways program is designed for fourth grade students and features a curriculum booklet for each student for interdisciplinary classroom preparation prior to an experienced-filled field trip to our 30 acre outdoor museum. The 3-hour museum visit includes docent-guided tour, interaction with historic characters, and a hands-on activity.
Budget $10,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short Term Success
Since 1984, the museum's Adventures in Learning school programs have reached over 90,000 children.  These educational field trips are developed in partnership with educators and meet stated curriculum standards.  Teachers provide important evaluations every year.
Long Term Success
The Pioneer Program is the museum's signature educational offering for school children.  It has its roots in a Traveling Suitcase Program created by the Junior League of Sarasota in the 1970s and found a home at Historic Spanish Point in 1984.  Fourth grade children from Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough, DeSoto, and Charlotte Counties are invited to participate each year.
Program Success Monitoring
The first basic tool of measurement is bookings every year by teachers.  In today's economy, teachers have to be very selective about field trip experiences for their students.  Teachers not only continue to schedule this field trip, but also provide feedback about the program.  Museum staff makes changes as indicated by these evaluations.
Program Success Examples
The students send letters to the museum, thanking their docents and sharing with us part of what they learned while at Historic Spanish Point.
Description Historic Spanish Point continues its tradition of historical interpretation for the public. Our volunteer performers work tirelessly to bring the rich cultural history of our museum to life. Each year during the holiday and spring season visitors encounter historical figures who interact with the tours and answer all those pressing questions about what life was like in their time. Additionally, costumed interpreters are sent out by request to community organizations for presentations.
Budget $6,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Families
Short Term Success
National surveys have reported that visitors to historic sites learn more when they have the opportunity to interact at various levels with the museum.  Drama and first person interpreters are extremely effective ways of conveying historical information.  Noted institutions such as Colonial Williamsburg, Sturbridge Village, and Plymoth Plantation use this interpretve method.
Long Term Success
Interpreters program began in 1988 and is extremely popular with visitors of all ages.
Program Success Monitoring
Visitors to Historic Spanish Point throughout the year fill out surveys that evaluate their experiences.  . 
Program Success Examples Based on the analysis of 300 comprehensive visitor surveys that represented seasonal visitor types, the report noted that people completely trust the information they learn at Historic Spanish Point, that their museum experience was an excellent value in terms of their time, effort, and cost, and that Historic Spanish Point provides great opportunities to have memorable shared experiences with family and friends.  A third of those suveyed experienced our historical interpreter progam and ranked it very high as an element that contributed positively to their museum visit.
Description The Prehistoric People program is designed for third grade students and features a curriculum booklet for each student for interdisciplinary classroom preparation prior to an experience-filled field trip to our 30-acre museum. The 3-hour museum visit includes a docent-guided tour and hands-on activities in our outdoor archaeology dig site classroom.
Budget $15,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Archaeology
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success
Students learn about the earliest Floridians and their lifestyle.
Long Term Success
Since 1984, over 90,000 school children have participated in curriculum-based field trip experiences at Historic Spanish Point.  This program was developed 12 years ago. 
Program Success Monitoring
Teacher and docent assessments are used to adjust/improve program components.
Program Success Examples
Teachers continue to request this field trip experience year after year.
With significant grant funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Historic Spanish Point is creating new on-site and outreach programming designed to serve seniors as well as others with special needs.  We have implemented contiuous-loop tram services, provide listening devices, and are working on additional access initiatives, including specialized tram tours and large print brochures.  Outreach programming has continued to increase since the summer  of 2013 and takes Historic Spanish Point to Independent and Assisted Living facilities, community organizations, and special needs groups.
Budget $200,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Elderly and/or Disabled People/Families with of People with Physical Disabilities
Short Term Success The anticipated short term result will be an increase in museum attendance (10% in year one) and an 50% expansion of outreach programming.
Long Term Success
The program's goal is to remove barriers, real or perceived, for people visiting or learning about Historic Spanish Point.  The long range goal is that museum attendance will increase and earned income and contributions will fund the program's staff and related costs. 
Program Success Monitoring
Historic Spanish Point will evaluate program success through visitors surveys, attendance records, and analysis conducted by the program staff and community advisory committee.
Program Success Examples
This program began in October, 2012 and is in the implementation stage. 
Description Historic Spanish Point offers the opportunity to see and explore our history without having to travel to our outdoor site. Off site outreach programs include historical overviews, costumed interpretation, hands on exploration, and customized programs to meet the needs of a group or organization
Budget $12,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other History & Historical Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Aging, Elderly, Senior Citizens Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success The short term goal of this programs is to reach additional audiences who would otherwise not be exposed to Historic Spanish Point.
Long Term Success The program's long term goal is to increase awareness of and visitation to the museum. Also, serve as a valuable resource for learning about different eras of Florida history and native plant life.
Program Success Monitoring Measurement tool include quantitative and qualitative data through one on one survey, attendance counts, and staff review of program success.
Program Success Examples  Examples of program success included increased programs offered in the community by 60% in the last quarter. Survey results signify the program is appreciated and participants are becoming members and visitors to the museum.
Program Comments by Organization
With the completion of the new entrance landscaping and signage project, the Board and Staff of Historic Spanish Point are focusing energies on our core mission, commitments, and strategic plan goals so that every resident and visitor may have the opportunity to visit, enjoy, and learn.  Highlights in 2014 and 2015 were was Historic Spanish Point's first and second Fairy House Festivals attended by 3000 visitors.In 2015, the Festival drew nearly 2000 visitors and is scheduled for a repeat in March 2016. The event promoted protecting Florida's natural environment and engaging the audience with nature. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mr. John D. Mason
CEO Term Start Apr 2013
CEO/Executive Director Email
Executive Director John D. Mason has over 30 years of corporate experience in a variety of industries including: non-profit organizations, the U.S. Government, transportation, consumer products, information services, arts and entertainment. Before joining Historic Spanish Point in 2013, he had over 25 years of experience in consulting to the no-profit sector.  Earlier, he directed international financial operations for the Motion Picture Association of America as Vice President, Finance. As Manager of Corporate Planning for The Dun and Bradstreet Corporation, John directed the annual corporate planning process and supported acquisitions activities. He began his corporate career at Consolidated Rail Corporation as Manager of Corporate Planning. Before attending business school, John served as a program officer for the National Endowment for the Humanities. John holds a BA from Amherst College, an MA from Claremont Graduate University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Linda Mansperger 1986 - Feb 2013
Senior Staff
Ms Kara Morgan Deputy Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 5
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 86
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 1
Volunteers 145
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Historic Spanish Point partners with Sarasota County with the Osprey Public Library located in its Visitors Center, provides free meeting space for the Friends of the Osprey Library.The museum collaborates with Gulf Coast Conservation Foundation in Osprey to market both properties in a joint site rental program as well as on other programs of mutual interest.  Historic Spanish Point hosts the quarterly meetings of the county-wide Historic Preservation Coalition. Historic Spanish Point hosts periodic meetings of the Sarasota County Science and Environmental Council and a staff member serves on its board.
American Association of State and Local History2008
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2013
Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County
Florida Association of Museums
Science and Environmental Council of Sarasota County
External Assessments and Accreditations
American Association of Museums - 10 Year Accreditation2002
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 Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization Historic Spanish Point is in the process of working with the Invest in Incredible capacity building program sponsored by Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  It is also actively engaged in the Margin and Mission Ignition program sponsored by the Patterson Foundation to expand its earned income capabilities. 
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization As part of its participation in the Invest in Incredible capacity building program of Gulf Coast Heritage Foundation, Historic Spanish Point is developing a new strategic plan, along with fundraising, communications and management succession plans.  These plans should be completed by the end of calendar 2016 and will be uploaded as they become available.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization Please visit our YouTube channel 
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Todd Stainbrook
Company Affiliation CIA Access and Gate Control
Board Term Apr 2016 to Apr 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mr. Rogan Donelly Tervis Tumbler
Ms. Darla A Furst Michael Sauners & Company
Rep. Douglas Holder Florida State House of Representatives
Mr. Gregory LeBar SunTrust
Mr. James Malmfeldt Community Volunteer
Mr. John Mercurio John J. Mercurio CPA LLC
Mr. Robert Moore Retired
Mrs. Laura Peters Community Volunteer
Mr. Sean Skinner Community Volunteer
Mr. Todd Stainbrook CIA Access
Ms. Judy Veale Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 9
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 66
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization
Every board member financially supports Historic Spanish Point, attends museum events and programs, and participates on at least one committee.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $851,000.00
Projected Expenses $790,214.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $41,000.00
Endowment Spending Policy Percentage
Endowment Spending Policy % 5.5
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Campaign Dates 0 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
IRS Form 990s
Form 9902015
Form 9902014
Form 9902008
Historical 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 Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$181,203$65,140$104,187
Individual Contributions$194,010$124,272$210,659
Investment Income, Net of Losses$9$17$42
Membership Dues$89,915$121,440$115,759
Special Events$74,778$77,655$57,537
Revenue In-Kind$1,569$14,382$44,532
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$593,892$613,847$603,917
Administration Expense$108,274$117,937$97,315
Fundraising Expense$46,732$48,368$46,103
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.080.841.00
Program Expense/Total Expenses79%79%81%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue10%18%12%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$3,462,731$3,365,097$3,404,400
Current Assets$189,675$236,712$173,470
Long-Term Liabilities$37,461$0$33,904
Current Liabilities$144,438$144,804$36,000
Total Net Assets$3,280,832$3,220,293$3,334,496
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $194,010Admissions $145,330Contributions, gifts, grants $210,659
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGovertnment Grants - Unspecified $181,203Contributions, gifts, grants $124,272Admissions $137,899
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountAdmissions $157,671Membership Dues $121,440Membership Dues $115,759
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $75,001 - $100,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.311.634.82
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets1%0%1%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization
Historic Spanish Point manages to keep expenses in line with revenues.  We need to build reserves, fund depreciation, and eliminate deferred maintenance. 
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial figures provided based on IRS Form 990 and audit documents. 2010 - 2012 Form 990s and audits reconcile. 2009 audit document not provided. Individual contributions include foundation/ corporate support, as reported on Form 990.
Nonprofit Gulf Coast Heritage Association Inc aka Historic Spanish Point
Address PO Box 846
Osprey, FL 34229 0846
Phone 941 966-5214

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