Sarasota World Affairs Council Inc
SARASOTA FL 34243-2101
Our mission is to foster greater understanding of world affairs among members and the local community through a community learning forum (speaker series, educational outreach programs, etc.) and enable individuals to participate and gain access to the global community and develop current, informed knowledge of international affairs. 
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
Board Chair Dr. Nat J. Colletta Board Chair
Board Chair Affiliation Adjunct Professor and International Consultant
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2015
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes May 2017
State Registration Yes 0
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
Top Accomplishments for the Past Year
1. Lecture Programs: Human Trafficking in Oct. 2014; Ronnie Chan/FSU Ringling Museum Program on China in Nov. 2014; Colonel Derek Harvey on Middle East in Jan. 2015; Amb. Christopher Hill on American diplomacy in March 2015; and Cuban Ambassador Jose Cabanas in May 2015. 
2.  Peer Mediation Program trained New College students and student mediators in Sarasota High School and Riverview High School
3. Great Decisions Seminar Discussion Program on issues framed by Foreign Policy Association and led by SWAC members - 8 weekly sessions in Spring 2015  
Top Goals for the Current Year
1.In conjunction with having established SWAC 501c3 - set up associated financial systems
2. Grow membership
3. Expand revenue sources 
4. Grow the audience size  - Speaker Series
5. Expand Peer Mediation training to an additional college and 2 additional high schools
Needs Statement
1.Purchase of financial management system in place(software)   $6,000
2. Single Speaker Series sponsorship                                              $4,000 
3. Sponsorship of Peer Mediation                                                  $3,800
4. Printing and mailing costs for annual membership brochure     $1,600
5. College student interns stipend                                       $3,500      
Background Statement

The Sarasota World Affairs Council (SWAC) is a member council of the World Affairs Councils of America, the largest non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots organization in the U.S. dedicated to educating and engaging Americans and others in the U.S. about international affairs.The Sarasota World Affairs Council joins nearly 100 Councils across 40 states that reach more than a half a million people a year. SWAC is a young organization having been organized in October 2013. In just under 2 years our 3 programs have been implemented and are operational - the Speaker Series,   Peer Mediation for Students and the Great Decisions Program.  As a new organization SWAC has benefited from its association with New College of Florida.  New College has generously hosted SWAC, providing office space, meeting space, equipment among other benefits. On December 12, 2014 SWAC received IRS  501c 3 status. Currently our funding sources are comprised of individual donors, memberships fees, and a handful of grants.

The Speaker Series. Our lecture series has primarily an international focus.  To minimize costs our speakers are not paid a fee.  Given the contacts within our membership and board of directors, we have been able to attract an esteemed group of speakers.  Our lectures have included such topics as "The Federal Courts Confront the War on Terror" by the Honorable Jon Newman, Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and  "Winds of Change in Havana and Washington" by Ambassador Jose Ramon Cabanas of Cuba. 
 Peer Mediation Program. SWAC believes an important part of our mission is to reach out to students and build the next generation of diplomats, global business people, development workers, teachers and global citizens.  Skills and techniques of conflict resolution and mediation fill a skills gap on many different levels.  SWAC trains New College students on these skills and they in turn bring these skills to the local high schools, where small groups of high school students receive mediation training positioning them to assist the schools in conflict  and other situations.  
Great Decisions Program. This program brings members together for  small group discussions. Subject matter examined is the Foreign Policy Association's public education program on current international issues.
Our geography served includes the city of Sarasota, its suburbs, as well as the balance of Sarasota county and Manatee county.  However, membership is open to all.  
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments The Sarasota World Affairs Council, Inc. serves Sarasota and Manatee county citizens, including many who have residences outside those counties. Membership and programs are open to all.    
Service Categories
Primary Org Type International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Mutual & Membership Benefit
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

SWAC's Speaker Series promotes an international affairs learning and networking forum. We have attracted a varied demographic. This has been achieved this through a number of strategies - targeted communications and scheduling. We intentionally develop and schedule our programs  for early evening to appeal to employed individuals, retired individuals, and students. The student population is important to SWAC as the exposure and knowledge helps to inform and position them for the 21st Century.

Our lectures vary by geography and topic. Ranging from foreign intelligence to peace negotiations to immigration and trade. The business community is also taken into consideration as business groups doing business or developing plans to do business in the global marketplace are invited to lectures where there is a tie-in to their markets. These lectures provide businesses with a broader context, a networking opportunity and access to information and resources not generally available to them.
Budget $4,000
Category International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adults Adults
Short Term Success

We believe the our short term success is correlated to both audience size and  membership.    Our first lecture in 2014 had an audience of 80, our May 2015 had an audience of 220.  In 2013 we had 46 members; in May 2015 our membership stands at 118. 

We have also seen an increase in our student audience.  The exposure and knowledge gained from these lectures - the world's opportunities and challenges - broaden their global view and open up consideration for international careers in business, government or education.    

Long Term Success It is our objective to present high interest and high quality lectures and grow both our membership and audience size. In part this strategy is aimed at attracting more student participants (High School and College) as well as additional groups within the community.  Long term SWAC aspires to be known as a resource within the community attuned to current international affairs and can assist community members and groups with its knowledge and expertise.
Program Success Monitoring Our program is monitored by tracking audience size and membership.  Feedback is also solicited at the receptions following the lectures. Tuning of the lectures, format, and topics, is done in part based on this feedback and suggestions.
Program Success Examples

 SWAC has experienced an increase in interest in its programs measured by membership and audience size.

2013 Membership -  46 Audience 80-100

2014 Membership -  80   Audience 90-130
2015 Membership - 118 Audience 95-220  
Description An important part of our mission is to reach out to students and build the next generation of diplomats, development workers, teachers and global citizens.  SWAC's Peer Mediation Program is jointly sponsored with New College of Florida. College students are trained as facilitators and in turn these skills are transferred to students at the local high schools. Mediation and conflict resolution skills address a myriad of issues and provide an alternative to discipline and bullying; they focus on constructive problem solving and teach good decision-making and leadership,while reducing violence. 

We anticipate training at additional schools in the 2015/2016 time frame. We also have interest in expanding the College level training to an additional college.  The training for both groups  results in acquiring a number of skill sets-negotiation and mediation skills, listening skills, team skills, and skills in reading verbal and non-verbal cues, among others.  

Budget $3,800
Category Education, General/Other Postsecondary Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Adults Adults
Short Term Success Through this training the College Students and High School students acquire a unique skill set. By the end of this training the students are able to work with various groups and individuals to mediate problems and resolve conflict situations. 
Long Term Success This training provides the participants with life long conflict resolution skills which have application to both personal situations and can be used professionally in a work environment or should the students consider a career as a professional mediator.  It is also noted the program's foundational skills  - communication, teamwork, problem solving and decision making skills are key to independent and effective work teams in the 21st century.
Program Success Monitoring Program monitoring is done by feedback from the College Students/ College Administration and High School Students/High school Administration.  
Program Success Examples

We have received feedback from two High School Administrators where the program has been implemented. 

"Peer Mediation is youth by youth problem solving.  It has helped students learn how to communicate in an appropriate manner and resolve differences peaceful.  The program has built self esteem in students and assisted in developing decision-making skills.  The Peer Mediation Program has been invaluable."
"Programs made a measurable difference for the students and the cultural climate in the school." 
Description This program brings SWAC's members together for facilitated small group discussions.  The subject matter examined is the American Foreign Policy Association core public education program.  The group comes together to study issues important to American foreign policy.  Topics for 2015 include Russia and the Near Abroad, Privacy in the Digital Age, Sectarianism in the Middle East, India Changes Course, US Policy toward Africa, Syria's Refugee Crisis, Human Trafficking in the 21st Century, and Brazil's Metamorphosis.  It fosters a greater understanding of world affairs, important to many sectors of our community - business, government, education, manufacturing, technology among others. 
Budget $300
Category International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Adults Adults
Short Term Success Group participants will have a broader understanding of US foreign policy in the specific areas of study for 2015 
Long Term Success Participants for the Great Decisions Program develop a larger world view - developed from the study materials and the class interaction. Given the strong international experience in our membership, the group interaction is especially illuminating, usually extending beyond the level of the curriculum.    
Program Success Monitoring Feedback from the participants and numbers of participants are the tools used to measure the program's success. Our participants also provide feedback to the Foreign Policy Assn.'s annual survey of citizen knowledge and opinion on foreign affairs which is reported to the U.S. Department of State and the press. 
Program Success Examples As SWAC's membership has grown, there is an increased interest in the Great Decisions Program. The first year,2014 the program attracted 8 participants,  in 2015 the program had 15 participants.   
Program Comments by Organization

The Sarasota World Affairs Council offers a variety of programs - Speaker Series, Student Peer Mediation, and Great Decisions discussions - to promote knowledge of and engagement with international affairs. We have engaged a varied demographic through a number of strategies, targeted communications and scheduling. We are particularly  encouraged by our student participants - they benefit by the opportunity to see a broader world and the programs benefit by having differing perspectives and a unique energy. Our lectures vary by geography and topic. 

Sampling of 2014/2015 lectures:
  • "American and Afghanistan as partners for Peace"Ms.Khris Nedam, Founder and Director of Kids4Afghan Kids
  • “Function and Dysfunction – How the Mexican and US Governments Interact over Migration” Ambassador Daniel Hernandez Joseph, Consul General of Mexico in Boston
  • “The New Global Order China’s Rise and Our Shared Future” Mr. Ronnie Chan, Chairman of Hang Lung Properties LTD.
  • Outpost: Life in the Frontlines of American of American Diplomacy Ambassador Christopher Hill, former Ambassador to Iraq
  • “Winds of Change in Havana and Washington" Ambassador Jose Cabanas, head of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington
Following our lectures SWAC’s membership and guests are invited to a reception, providing an opportunity to meet the speaker and network.
One of the measures of success for the Peer Mediation Program is that after the college students have trained the high school students, the latter are able to continue the program largely on their own, bringing in successive classes of peer mediators. 
The Great Decisions seminars have a number of prominent people with impressive backgrounds and credentials in foreign affairs and kindled insightful discussions, along with suggestions for following through in the policy arena.  Some of these are passed on to the Foreign Policy Association, and others result in individual initiatives. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director No Executive Director
CEO Term Start 0
CEO/Executive Director Email N/A
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 0
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % N/A
Professional Development No
Contractors 1
Volunteers 17
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
Under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Sarasota World Affairs Council and New College of Florida, office, meeting room, and auditorium space have been made available to this organization. Other collaborations have involved the local community to sponsor lectures and work with local school systems to support peer mediation training under a paid contract professional. 
World Affairs Councils of America - Member2013
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 N/A
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization
The Sarasota World Affairs Council, Inc. is in its first year of operation as a stand-alone non-profit corporation designated by the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 organization, incorporated in the State of Florida. We will take control of our finances in July 2015, previously they were handled as a separate fund by New College Foundation, Inc. under their IRS 501 (c ) 3 designation.  We have a Board of Directors and ByLaws, but will need to develop financial, governance, and management systems to conduct our affairs in the best possible way, compliant with financial, auditing, legal, and non-profit standards.  As an all-volunteer organization, we  need expert advice on many of these management matters.  We hope to find advice and guidance through the good works of The Community Foundation of Sarasota County.  Our mission is to educate and involve local citizens in contemporary world affairs, and our Board of Directors is dedicated to this end.  Advice and guidance as to how we become a well-managed and self-sustaining non-profit organization is what we are seeking through The Community Foundation. It is our greatest challenge and we will do all that we can to address the opportunity to strengthen the Sarasota World Affairs Council, Inc., one of nearly 100 local World Affairs Councils across 40 states that reach more than half a million people per year. 
Multi-Media Comments by Organization We hope to begin using social media and an interactive website in the future to spread the word about the Sarasota World Affairs Council and our programs, attracting more members, sponsors, and donors. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Dr. Nat J. Colletta Board Chair
Company Affiliation Adjunct Professor and International Consultant
Board Term Jan 2015 to Dec 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Dr. Nat J. Colletta Adjunct Professor, New College of Florida
Mr. Jorge Ignacio Fernandez Retired, International Business
Ms. Margaret Gale Community Volunteer
Dr. Barbara Hicks Professor, Intl. Relations, New College of FL
Ms. Virginia Hitchcock Community Volunteer, Retired from World Bank
Ms. Suzanne L. Janney President's Staff, New College of Florida
Mr. George Keane Retired, founder of The Common Fund
Mr. Kelly Kirschner Dean, Eckerd College
Mr. Jeffry Olesen Retired, Community Volunteer
Dr. Donal B. O'Shea President, New College of Florida
Ms. Lynne Partington Community Volunteer
Rabbi Howard Simon Jewish Family Services
Ms. Dorothy Watson Retired, Community Volunteer
Mr. Johannes Werner Cuba Standard
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 8
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 74
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 85
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 50
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Program / Program Planning
Governance Comments by Organization

As a new local chapter of the World Affairs Councils of America, the Sarasota World Affairs Council seeks members in the community of all ages who share our desire to be knowledgeable about current world affairs, to learn from experts, and to participate actively in the global dialogue on important contemporary issues. Our ByLaws and the emerging Board have provided us with the basic governance structure necessary to move forward. 

The Sarasota World Affairs Council partners with New College of Florida to house its office operations and provide space for meetings, talks, and receptions free of charge.  In the period prior to our receiving IRS 501(c) 3 status as a non-profit in January 2015, New College Foundation, Inc. embraced us as separate fund and handled our finances for us, so that our members’ contributions could be tax exempt to the extent allowed by law.  As of July 1, 2015, the Sarasota World Affairs Council will handle its own finances. We hope that the Community Foundation of Sarasota County will help us meet this challenge successfully.

The Sarasota World Affairs Council needs to develop sound and compliant policies and procedures for not only our finances, but for the successful continuation of our organization. Our Treasurer opened a bank account for us at SunTrust, but we need expert advice on establishing a financial system that will meet legal and auditing requirements.  We need to develop job descriptions and control policies that will guide and protect our board members in a variety of ways. Most immediately, we need to purchase software systems with appropriate controls so that we can track our income by source and analyze our expenses by program and category.  We need to generate financial reports that will enable us to manage the Council most effectively.    A related challenge is our need to find volunteers who will manage the financial systems for us, as well as new board members who have financial/accounting expertise and non-profit legal expertise to oversee these functions in a compliant manner, so that the Sarasota World Affairs Council becomes a strong and well-governed non-profit member of the local community.  


Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month July
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2014
Tax Year End Month June
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2015
Projected Revenue $19,400.00
Projected Expenses $17,700.00
Organization has Endowment No
Endowment Value $0.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Policy % 0
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal $0.00
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Audit/Financial Documents
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201420132012
Program Expense$14,942----
Administration Expense$0----
Fundraising Expense$0----
Payments to Affiliates$0----
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.10----
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201420132012
Total Assets$0----
Current Assets$0----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$0----
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201420132012
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountMembership Dues $8,955----
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $7,500----
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount0 $0----
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201420132012
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization Sarasota World Affairs Council, Inc. was advised that filing a  990-N form was not required until 2016.  
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information was taken from the unaudited financial compilations.  No balance sheet information for 2014 was available at time of review. Contributions include foundation and corporate support.
Nonprofit Sarasota World Affairs Council Inc
Address 5800 BAY SHORE RD
Phone 941 487-4603