Childrens Dream Fund Inc
P.O. Box 1881
St. Petersburg FL 33731-1881
To make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses living throughout West Central Florida.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs Cynthia Lake Farrell
Board Chair Mrs. Danielle Kucera
Board Chair Affiliation 360 Advanced
General Info
Former Names
Suncoast Children's Dream Fund
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1981
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Aug 2018
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
Throughout 2017, the Children's Dream Fund fulfilled the dreams of every child referred to us from area hospitals. Dreams are chosen by the child, and are meant to give the child something wonderful and positive on which to focus during treatment, and to provide memories that will last a lifetime.  Evaluations that are sent from the families following a dream showed nothing but positive comments, and indicated the overwhelming joy that the child felt when the dream came true.   
Our goals for 2018 are to increase the number of children/dreams, but hold expenses for those dreams. We would like to exceed our budgeted revenues, add new donors, and build our investment account through the acquisition of planned gifts. We will also continue developing a succession plan for our Executive Director position, and would like to expand our Board of Directors.  
Needs Statement
The greatest need of the Children's Dream Fund is contributions to our Dream Program. We find that sponsoring a child's dream is the most meaningful way to contribute to our organization. 
The cost of a dream varies with each child and could range from $10,000 to $1,000 with the average cost at $3,500. 
A donor can sponsor a dream for a child for $3,500.
Our Share the Dream donors give $1,000 or more.
Those gifts are combined with others and together, will be designated to fully fund a particular child's dream.  
We also offer a monthly giving program where a donor can set up a recurring gift to make a large impact without the immediate up-front cost. Donors who participate in the monthly giving program are our "Dream Believers" and receive additional benefits, news, and opportunities to make a difference in the life of a child. 
The Children's Dream Fund and the community hold numerous events throughout the year. Sponsors are always needed and are a wonderful opportunity to market a company while making an impact on the lives of sick children.  
Background Statement
The Children's Dream Fund has been making dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses since 1981. We are one of the oldest, and busiest, wish-granting organizations in the country. The Dream Fund was started by the Sunshine City Jaycees in St. Petersburg, Florida.   The Jaycees were made aware of a child from South Africa who had the aging disease progeria, and wanted to meet his hero, Pinocchio.  The Jaycees contacted the family and offered to bring them to the US to visit Disney World, the "home" of Pinocchio. Their fundraising efforts exceeded the expenses of the trip, and the child's father recommended they be used to help other sick children. A group of the Jaycees formed a Board of Directors and a non-profit, the Suncoast Children's Dream Fund.  At the time, the Dream Fund served patients at All Children's Hospital, but now has made dreams come true for over 2,000 children living throughout West Central Florida who are patients at one of 5 regional hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Areas Served
Areas Served
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
FL- Hillsborough
FL- Lee
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments The Children's Dream Fund serves children throughout West Central Florida, a 23 county region.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Human Services
Secondary Org Type
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
The Children's Dream Fund is one of the oldest, and busiest, wish-granting organizations in the country. Founded in St. Petersburg in 1981, the Dream Fund has made dreams come true for over 2,500 children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and live in West Central Florida.   
The Children's Dream Fund is an independent wish-granting organization, i.e. it is not affiliated with a national organization.   Although we are sometimes challenged with name-recognition, or confusion, where our name is well-known is in the hospitals we serve.  Only members of the  Children's Dream Fund staff, (Dream Coordinators), work directly with children and families, ensuring timeliness of the interview and the implementation of the dream, a deeply personal connection with the family, and achieving our goal to make the entire dream process as stress-free and memorable as possible. Families of children whose dreams we fulfilled many years ago still are in contact with us, and look on the dream experience as the brightest light in the dark time when their child was ill.
Although our mission statement indicates that we serve children ages 3 - 18, because we are an independent wish-granting organization, we can go outside of those age groups when, for instance, a 20-year-old has cancer and is being treated in a pediatric facility, or a 2-year-old is not expected to live beyond the age of 3 and a dream is recommended by the physician.  In addition, our funds are raised in our local area and help children in the same region. Over 80% of all revenues go directly to program expenses, and that percentage has been consistent for over 9 years.
The Children's Dream Fund adheres to the Assn. of Fundraising Professionals' Donor Bill of Rights, and is a careful steward of the funds entrusted to us by our donors.   After being "randomly selected" by the IRS to  undergo an audit, we were told that we could serve as an example as to how a charity should be operated.  The Children's Dream Fund has a 990 tax return and audited financial statements available at
The Children's Dream Fund makes dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses. Doctors, nurses, Child Life Specialists, and Social Workers in area hospitals are aware that the Children's Dream Fund has been at work for over 35 years to bring some much-needed joy to these children and their families. They refer the child to us by way of an application, and one of our staff members, a Dream Coordinator, contacts the family to interview the child.  The child is commended for their bravery at facing their illness, asked if there is something they've always dreamed of doing, and told that the Children's Dream Fund would like to make their dream come true. Dreams can involve travel, a meeting with a favorite celebrity, an item such as a playground or a puppy - or anything that would make a special time and special memories for the child and the family - at no cost to the family.   
Budget $1,120,000
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Short Term Success The planning of a dream-come-true gives a child something positive and joyful on which to focus in the middle of dealing with a life-threatening illness and its treatments.
Long Term Success A dream-come-true has a positive effect for a child living with a life-threatening illness and creates lasting memories for the child and family.
Program Success Monitoring
We rely on Evaluation Forms; in addition, the fact that hospital personnel continue to refer patients to us on a weekly basis indicates that we are doing a wonderful job of creating dreams that special - and memorable.
Program Success Examples Following the completion of a dream, each family is asked to complete a comprehensive evaluation form.  Questions include if the staff was friendly and helpful, if the dream was completed in a timely manner, if expense money was sufficient, travel plans were easy, and what was memorable for the child. It is extremely rare, (fewer than 1% of questions), for an answer to be anything negative.   We also hear of the positive effect on the children by their physicians, Child Life and Social workers.     
Program Comments by Organization The Children's Dream Fund is one of the oldest, and busiest, wish-granting organizations in the United States.  We serve children living all along the West Coast of Florida and desire to fulfill the dream of every child referred to us.  We are careful stewards of our donor's gifts, and adhere strictly to the Donors Bill of Rights, created by the Association of Fund Raising Professionals.  We have earned a 4-Star Rating by Charity Navigator.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Mrs Cynthia Lake Farrell
CEO Term Start Aug 1985
CEO/Executive Director Email
Experience Mrs. Farrell has been with the Children's Dream Fund for over 30 years.   Under her leadership, the organization has grown from one that served 5 children in a year, to one that averages 100 children per year. The Dream Fund started with a bank account of $20k, and now has an annual budget of $1,400,00.00. The Children's Dream Fund initially served one hospital, and now serves 5, and children who live throughout West Central Florida. Mrs. Farrell manages 7 full-time and 1 part-time staff members, hundreds of volunteers, and serves with a Board of Directors who represent communities and businesses throughout West Central Florida. In addition to her title and responsibilities as an Executive Director, Mrs. Farrell holds the title of CFRE, Certified Fund Raising Executive.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Amanda Griffin Director of Marketing and Events
Molly Longmire Director of Development
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 7
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 82
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 140
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
The Children's Dream Fund collaborates with staff of area hospitals for referrals and recommendations on how to best serve their patients/our clients. In addition, we collaborate with many groups, clubs and businesses in the community to raise funds through special events.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Outstanding Nonprofit of the YearTampa Bay Business Journal
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 In 2016, a key employee was promoted to Director of Marketing and Events.
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization The current Board of Directors is working on a Strategic Plan to be implemented in 2017.  A Communication Plan is in development along with the recent launch of a new brand and website.   
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Danielle Kucera
Company Affiliation 360 Advanced
Board Term Feb 2016 to Feb 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
David Allen Raymond James
Gregory Caraynoff MetLife
Monica Christopher BMO Harris Bank
William Cummings Concierge Financial Organization
Ben Dachepalli Hill, Ward, Henderson
John Ferrari Esq.Ferrari and Gonzalez, PA
Rob Haddad Wallace, Welch & Willingham
John Hobach JMC Communities
Rohom Khonsari Esq.Khonsari Law Group
Danielle Kucera The Accell Group
Nancy Lamson Community Volunteer
Kevin Marshall Marshall Advertising
Mark Mogul MDSt. Joseph's Children's Hospital
Saloni Patel The Bod Fitness
Frank Rygiel Batson-Cook
Laura Sherman Baldwin, Krysten, Sherman Partners
Julia Steinbrenner New York Yankees
Tracy Veillette Tech Data Corporation
Randy Ware West Coast Medical Resources
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 16
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 2 Indian; 1 Iranian
Board Gender
Male 12
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 68
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 10
Standing Committees
Board Development / Board Orientation
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization The Children's Dream Fund Board of Directors is a governing board and not an advisory committee.
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $1,500,000.00
Projected Expenses $1,475,000.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
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 9902012
Form 9902011
Form 9902010
Form 9902009
Form 9902008
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$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$1,064,251$1,082,533$1,062,156
Investment Income, Net of Losses$56,577$89,163$83,371
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$256,749$350,539$230,945
Revenue In-Kind$432,501$538,107$571,511
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$1,008,316$1,057,829$1,058,622
Administration Expense$100,196$119,675$96,450
Fundraising Expense$141,090$121,439$105,181
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.131.181.10
Program Expense/Total Expenses81%81%84%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue11%8%8%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,740,143$1,518,387$1,332,602
Current Assets$1,716,026$1,466,163$304,858
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$92,391$62,126$34,560
Total Net Assets$1,647,752$1,456,261$1,298,042
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $1,064,251Contributions, gifts, grants $1,082,533Contributions, gifts, grants $1,062,156
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $256,749Fundraising $350,539Fundraising $230,945
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNet Proceeds - BP Settlement $30,637Investment Income $89,163Investment Income $83,371
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $100,001 - $125,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities18.5723.608.82
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from Federal 990.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support as they are not separately identified on the 990. The value of in-kind contributions is included in income on the financial statements.
Nonprofit Childrens Dream Fund Inc
Address P.O. Box 1881
St. Petersburg, FL 33701 1881
Phone 727 896-6390