the WareHouse of Venice Inc
PO BOX 844
VENICE FL 34284-0844

The WareHouse empowers teens, in the Gulf Coast community of Venice FL, to become civic change makers, as they share their time and talents, as participants, volunteers, and leaders.

CEO/Executive Director Linda Banister
Board Chair Debbie Eaton
Board Chair Affiliation the WareHouse of Venice, Inc.
General Info
Organization DBA
the WareHouse
Venice WareHouse
Venice D-Fy
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 2005
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Aug 2017
State Registration Yes Feb 2020
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $65,500.00
Projected Expenses $60,375.00
IRS Letter of Determination
Impact Statement

Past Year Accomplishments


  1. Partnered with five new business funding sources, for program sponsorships
  2. Identified key youth leaders, for specialized leadership and life skills training
  3. Increased community awareness, by partnering with the Venice Area Chamber of Commerce (VACC) who approved three WareHouse youth leaders as the youngest Chamber members in VACC history
  4. Expanded board of directors


Current Year Goals

  1. Increase number of teen volunteers, participants, and leaders 
  2. Increase grants awarded and corporate partnerships
  3. Increase organizational effectiveness, through board development and governance improvements
  4. Fully fund the annual maintenance and branding of donated Ford full-size passenger van

Needs Statement
  1. $1,250 to replace the office/cell phone and the on-site cell phone
  2. $5,825 for WareHouse van insurance, fuel and maintenance
  3. $2,100 Flash Mob training, event expenses, promotion and choreographer
  4. $750 for marketing materials to reach teens, adult volunteers and the community with our service options
  5. $7,800 to hire a part-time D-Fy Business Partner Coordinator, $15 / hour, 10 hours / week average
Background Statement
One week after relocating, from the Midwest to Venice, FL, our co-Founder's son was stopped in a local parking lot and asked where to find some drugs. Her son went home, told the story, and said, "We've got to do something about this." Within a week, teens were gathering in their living room: playing board and video games, watching sports, and having fun in a safe, comfortable environment. It became obvious that Venice area middle and high school ages were under-served regarding positive things to do, safe places to hang out, and healthy ways to utilize their creative energy.
The WareHouse incorporated on November 19, 2004, and was granted 501(c)3 status on January 21, 2005.
There are no teen-specific or exclusive venues in the Venice area. The local organizations that work with young people tend to serve a younger age range, or do not offer things to do during prime time (i.e. evenings and weekends). The locations where teens would frequent have "no loitering" policies that prevent them from congregating and socializing for any length of time.
In 2006, the WareHouse began using a facility in the "warehouse district" of Venice, which is where the name originated. With attendance growing, the facility was rapidly outgrown according to the City of Venice Building Codes. Since the facility was shared, no building modifications were allowed. The WareHouse then became a "virtual" provider of local teen activities, travelling to whatever facility was available for each event or activity. For example, sports nights in the YMCA gymnasium, game nights at the Friendship Center, concerts at the Venice Community Center or Centennial Park gazebo. 

Since 2006 we have provided thousands of volunteers for hundreds of workdays, festivals, and celebrations for over two hundred organizations and agencies.

We've provided the Easter Bunny at the Annual Eggstravaganza since 2007, and led County youth initiatives for Students Working Against Tobacco and now Drug-Free Youth. We partnered with Disney and HandsOn Network to assign a Volunteer Opportunity for over 850 volunteers in Disney's "Give a Day; Get a Day." We've provided volunteer services for the Shark's Tooth Festival, Sun Fiesta, Rotary Art Festival, Make a Difference Day and many others.

Youth empowerment and volunteering. That is the perfect description for the WareHouse. 
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments Venice area including Venice, North Port, Englewood, Nokomis, Laurel, and Osprey. This area is frequently referred to as South County.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Youth Development
Secondary Org Type Philanthropy,Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
Tertiary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President

As Board Chair and President, it has been a privilege to work with the WareHouse of Venice from the beginning. The positive outcomes we help bring about every day, in the lives of Venice area teenagers, is impressive.

The WareHouse mission is to empower teens, in the Gulf Coast community of Venice FL, to become civic change makers, as they share their time and talents, as participants, volunteers, and leaders. This is done by promoting volunteerism in the community and by providing positive opportunities in safe locations.

On a more personal level, the WareHouse opens doors for area young adults to see new things, and to see old things in a new way, and sometimes to see what they can't see: hope, possibilities, and a positive future. The satisfaction of watching a teen's face light up when we listen to their ideas and respond with, "Yes! Let's do that!" is incredible. That light. That hope. That, motivates us.

Our Board stands firmly behind the organization’s mission, vision, and values. Each member plays a significant role through their unique blend of strategic guidance, financial support, and community outreach. The success of the last few years, and the addition of my own full-time status, is allowing us to focus much more strongly on our financials, funding and board governance.

On behalf of the Board, we are most grateful for the support of our benefactors and community partners. Without them our work would not succeed. I invite you to learn more about the WareHouse and our impact on area youth and the community, by reaching out to our Executive Director or members of the Board.

With Warm Regards,

Debbie Eaton

Board Chair and President


There are an abundance of opportunities available, in the South County area, to "Engage in Service." The WareHouse promotes, recruits, and trains teen volunteers to take advantage of these volunteer service opportunities throughout the area and throughout the year.

Examples of Promotion and Recruitment:

- At open gym nights, area teens have one on one conversations, show interest on sign-in sheets, and go home with printed information on upcoming volunteer opportunities.

- During Flash Mob (and unexpected group performance at a festival or event) practices volunteer service choices are discussed, including how the Flash Mob group will perform and volunteer (minimum of an hour at each performance).
- Bowling nights include one on one conversations with leaders about available service options.
- During the Young Adult Croquet Program, the teen leaders discuss available upcoming events and activities.


Budget $50,166
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Leadership
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Families
Short Term Success

The WareHouse will partner in a minimum of 15 youth empowerment events in 2016-2017, including 2nd Saturday volunteer initiatives, special events, and national days of service (i.e. Make a Difference Day, National Family Volunteer Day, 911 Day of Service, Martin Luther King Day of Service).

A minimum of 150 teens will contribute at least 10 hours of leadership training and 25 hours of volunteer service, in South Sarasota County. This provides a sense of belonging and a sense of community. It also increases their self-esteem as they are trained in how to successfully complete projects.

While participating in Engage in Service!, teens will be recognized as leaders and civic change makers among their peers, their schools, their families, their neighborhoods, and the Sarasota County community at large.

Long Term Success

Young people who volunteer and participate in their communities also: perform better in school, are more likely to graduate, obtain employment, vote, and become active citizens.

Of the teens who participate in Engage in Service!, 85% will fulfill all High School requirements.

Many of the teens continue with the WareHouse as adult leaders, donors, and volunteers.


Program Success Monitoring

Volunteer attendance and total hours are recorded using sign-in sheets at 100% of volunteer activities.

Individual reports are available as needed for those pursuing Bright Futures Scholarships, other grants and scholarships with an emphasis on community involvement, and future employment.

Program Success Examples

At the 2016 Sun Fiesta, the WareHouse engaged with the Women's SERTOMA in two areas:

  1. Venue setup involved marking off Venice Centennial Park with tape measure, chalk, buckets, signs, and detailed map. The Engage in Service team of 12, reduced this task assignment from 4 hours (previous year, non WareHouse) to 45 minutes.
  2. Visitor surveys had never been conducted at the Sun Fiesta. The WareHouse helped create the survey questions and then conducted 500 surveys during this three day event. The purpose was to provide statistical information for future grant applications, for Women's SERTOMA, as they serve the Venice Community.

Feedback from the SERTOMA President was, "This information was invaluable to our ability to become more effective and succeed going forward."

One family member put it this way. "Since being introduced to the WareHouse and Engage in Service!, my grandchildren are thriving. Keep up the good work."


Venice D-Fy (Drug-Free youth) is an organization of middle and high school age peers who share the commitment to make positive choices and live a healthy, drug-free life.

There is no membership fee to join. Applicants commit to be drug, alcohol, and tobacco free.

They validate their commitment through a confidential, voluntary, drug screening and random screening throughout membership. Their photo ID member badge provides member-only benefits at Venice area businesses and retailers.
Voluntary renewal is available annually. 

Budget $15,334
Category Youth Development, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) Families
Short Term Success

D-Fy members choose to commit, to be drug, alcohol, and tobacco free. Short-term improvements include:

  • They're not using drugs or drinking
  • They're less likely to get arrested or kicked out of school for use or possession 
  • Their chances of a DUI are much lower
  • Their chances of staying alive to the end of high school are increased
  • D-Fy members receive a D-Fy ID and then are eligible to receive local discounts and attend special D-Fy events

Members can also participate in community service events. They can step up as leaders and set the agenda for special D-Fy events and activities. 

This helps create opportunities for D-Fy youth to develop leadership and life skills that will benefit them throughout their life.

Long Term Success

The long-term benefits of renewing and maintaining a Venice D-Fy membership, during middle and high school include:

  • D-Fy members are less likely to use illegal drugs or misuse prescription drugs
  • They are less likely to drink irresponsibly
  • Members are more likely to graduate with no police record
  • Membership gives a sense of belonging to a group who is taking a positive and meaningful stand
  • D-Fy membership is an excellent referral for scholarship and college applications, as well as employment.
  • Members are more likely to develop healthy, lifelong habits.

 Community D-Fy Business Partner benefits: 

  • These businesses help create a community culture that supports and rewards youth who are making positive choices
  • They receive free advertising on the Venice D-Fy website (, on facebook (, and can display support with a “We Support Drug Free Youth” window cling
Program Success Monitoring

Confidential, numbered applications are completed prior to testing. They are kept on file in a secure database.

Measures of success for Venice D-Fy are:

  1. 50% increase in the number of sign-up and testing events year after year.
  2. 100% increase in the number of currently approved Venice D-Fy members. These are young people who voluntarily commit to being drug, alcohol, and tobacco-free for a minimum of twelve months.
  3. Testing is available every month in the Venice area, twice per month when public school is in session.
Program Success Examples

The most recent testing year, prior to this school year (2016-2017), resulted in 38 Venice area D-Fy members either testing for the first time or renewing their membership.

As of April, 2017, Venice D-Fy has processed 163 student applications. Many of these students are recognized leaders in their school: student government, football team, cheerleaders, etc. In October, these leaders provided testimonies during the Freshman Assembly, which was solely held for the purpose of Venice D-Fy recruitment.

Two member-only reward and recognition events occurred during the 2016-2017 school year, compared to zero events the previous school year. 

Another benefit is that these young people are able to leverage their D-Fy membership and ID Badges when being pressured by peers. One young person, when asked to join their friends for some drug use pulled out their D-Fy badge, showed it to their "friends" and told them "No! I am not jeopardizing my membership for that!"

It's beneficial to the community to reward and reinforce the value of positive, healthy choices with our teens.

Program Comments by Organization
WareHouse Programs have evolved over the years, through the leadership and ideas of those young people committed to exploring the possibilities of "what if."
The types of events have evolved, as the existing youth leaders head to college, new leaders are trained and developed, and needs of the youth and the community change.
Our original group loved video games. We had tournaments, all night play for new game releases, and open play times for anyone interested.
One team of leaders was exceptionally gifted in performing arts, especially playing in bands and singing. Through extensive project management training and empowerment, this leadership team created and produced the "Lost and Found" Concert Series. They were taught all aspects of successful concert production: talent acquisition, venue, sound, vendors, ticket sales, decorations, promotion, funding, and emceeing the event. The same leader group was trained to host national bands using promoters and fulfilling contract requirements.
Other leader teams focused on:
  • Sports
  • Environment (beach cleanups and recycling)
  • Civics (appeared before the County Commissioners, made presentations for "Students Working Against Tobacco," and manned an "aging booth" at Thunder by the Bay showing the effects of tobacco on the users appearance)

Because of the diversity of our young people, our life skills training is hands on and designed to be different for each group of teens. They express their interests, we expand their imaginations, and we all thrive together. 
Recently one of our leaders gave their 30 second "speech" at a network luncheon. Her story made some gasp and some almost cry. She simply said, "...without the WareHouse...I literally wouldn't be here anymore. They've helped me so much. I'm alive today because of the WareHouse and what they've done for me." 
Leading the WareHouse can be very challenging and yet fulfilling. And most definitely humbling. 
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Linda Banister
CEO Term Start Nov 2004
CEO/Executive Director Email

For over thirty-five years, the Executive Director has been leading teams of volunteers and staff for nonprofit organizations. She has developed a broad network of collaborative relationships, throughout the Venice / Sarasota area, since moving to Venice in 2001.

As a teenager, she became involved in her community as a volunteer. From then until now, her ongoing community efforts encompass all aspects of a nonprofit organization: volunteer, client, and multiple staff positions.

She has enhanced her learning by serving on state and county-wide committees and participating in county-wide initiatives for youth. She has and continues to attend nonprofit leadership training. She partners the WareHouse with government, other organizations, local foundations, and corporations.
Her connections, background, and influence in the Venice area, gives her the breadth of experience to provide strategic leadership and guidance. Through her leadership, the WareHouse capacity to serve youth and the community continues to increase.
Her passion, strength, and flexibility allows her to work with teens and adults alike, regardless of their background, needs, or abilities.
As a tireless and creative fundraiser, she engages in all opportunities to support and promote the agency including grant writing, fundraising campaigns, and hands-on projects.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 11
Volunteers 189
Management Reports to Board No
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation No
Senior Management Formal Evaluation No
Non-Management Formal Evaluation No

Our community collaborations include:

  • Venice Lions Club - community outreach, leadership and public speaking training, working with visually impaired since 2007
  • Sarasota County Croquet Club - access to clubhouse supplies, training by nationally recognized croquet players, inter-generational play, health and well-being benefits, social skills training since 2007
  • First Step of Sarasota - program and resource management for the Venice D-Fy (Drug-Free youth) program
  • Charis Childbirth - program and resource management for the Venice D-Fy (Drug-Free youth) program
  • Women's SERTOMA - community outreach, event training, social skills training
  • Venice Area Chamber of Commerce - mentoring and one on one training for youth through networking and volunteer services options plus excellent community exposure for future employment possibilities
  • Serendipity Solutions - grant sources, effective grant writing, community partnering
Venice Area Chamber of Commerce2016
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Best Holiday MusicVenice Holiday Parade2015
Business of the Year Award FinalistVenice Chamber of Commerce2015
Spotlight AwardVenice Chamber of Commerce2016
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan Under Development
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 Under Development
Management Comments by Organization
The WareHouse's ability to work with area businesses, agencies, and organizations is a key factor in our success.
Since 2003, we have partnered with over 200 different businesses, agencies, and organizations, with an interest in teenagers. At first, there was some resistance to the use of teenagers, in volunteer positions. There had been past experiences that were still a little "raw" for some community leaders. Over time, with volunteer training, mentoring / training, and solid leadership by example, this has changed.  
Today, the WareHouse youth volunteers are welcomed, and even sought after, because of their ability to show up on time, follow directions, and get the job done. And, done well.
  • Our youth leaders are the ones we invest in the most, show and teach leadership, and provide development opportunities. It is challenging to train a steady flow of young people to replace the leaders who are moving away from the Venice area for college or other options. We constantly keep our eyes open for leadership potential, and the unexpected leader.
  • Finding enough adult leaders willing to walk the talk: show up on time, follow directions, and help get the job done, while empowering the youth to participate and learn. As new youth become involved, there are often adult family members who come alongside to help.
  • With the addition of a donated van comes the additional expenses. These expenses require new or expanded sources of funding. Fortunately, the addition of the full-time President is helping with these funding requests and sources.

  • Reestablished relationships with the Faculty and Administration, at Venice High School, are providing a supportive and proactive environment for student access. It is also aiding in the identification of potential youth leaders.
  • In 2016, we began offering non-profit workshops, to Sarasota County organizations. This has provided new partnerships for volunteerism and collaborations.
  • With the addition of a donated van, we now have the ability to transport youth, who otherwise have been unable to attend WareHouse hosted or promoted opportunities. This will expand our reach in the community and lighten the load for some of the families we serve.
  • Staff training through Gulf Coast Community Foundation on Board Governance and Funding is being discussed and implemented where appropriate.
Overall, the WareHouse is poised to increase it's capacity to serve the Venice area more effectively.
Additional funding will allow the WareHouse to serve more area youth. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Debbie Eaton
Company Affiliation the WareHouse of Venice, Inc.
Board Term Dec 2015 to Dec 2017
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Linda Banister the WareHouse of Venice, Inc.
Justin Banister Out & About Coffee
Dallas Council AAMCO Transmissions of Venice Inc
Debbie Eaton Retired
Christine Fischesser Fischesser Lawn Care
Tom Roberts A New Approach Financial Planning
Dan Weiss Counterpart CFO
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 4
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 96
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Governance Comments by Organization

The WareHouse is currently conducting a comprehensive review and update of the Bylaws.

We have updated our financial software to Quickbooks Premier NonProfit Edition 2016. This update provides improved financial controls, reporting and an integrated donor database. In 2017 we will implement the volunteer module of this software to replace the existing database.
The President attended Board Governance / Capacity Building training and Fundraising training in 2016 at the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. In first quarter 2017 she attended training to improve "telling the story" of the WareHouse to the community and other potential donors. She will be attending a Grant Writing Seminar in May, 2017 at the Community Foundation of Sarasota.
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2017
Fiscal Year Ends 2017
Projected Revenue $65,500.00
Projected Expenses $60,375.00
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
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$27,675$9,578$6,743
Administration Expense$3,022$8,048$9,450
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.210.851.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses90%54%42%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$13,595$12,909$12,968
Current Assets$5,810$3,191$6,995
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$13,595$12,919$12,968
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountIn-Kind Contributions $19,270Contributions, gifts, grants $12,099Contributions, gifts, grants $14,361
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFoundation & Corporate Support $9,717In-Kind Contributions $2,180Foundation and Corporate Support $4,290
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $4,384Fundraising $640Concessions Income $380
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 Organization
As opportunities to reach more youth have presented themselves, our Executive Director has been increasingly focused on managing the Programs and less focused on fundraising. 
The President is now full-time and focused on administration and infrastructure. This allows the Executive Director to properly devote time to Program expansion.
Our newest board member has been invaluable in coaching and encouraging better board governance and financial reporting. His credentials include a Chief Financial Officer background as well as being on the board of a well known foundation in the Columbus, OH area.
This additional focus on administration, governance, and finance is helping us understand where we need to improve. It is also helping set effective goals to achieve those improvements.
A consultant is helping, with grant writing and reviewing of grant applications. We are utilizing their team, as the content provider for our Non Profit Workshops, which increases their number of clients. This collaboration has provided an increase in the amount and number of grants awarded. 
Overall, these changes, when combined, provide a more robust financial outlook. 
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from the unaudited compilations for 2013.  Beginning in 2014, financial information was taken from the Federal 990-EZ and unaudited compilations.  In 2015 and 2016, the organization included the value of in-kind contributions in revenue on both its compilations and Federal 990-EZ. 
Nonprofit the WareHouse of Venice Inc
Address PO BOX 844
VENICE , FL 34284 0844
Phone 941 497-7117