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SRQ DAILY Jul 15, 2017

"A decision that will increase taxes on small businesses will do the opposite of assisting. In fact, there is no approved plan for assisting small businesses."

- Christine Robinson, The Argus Foundation

[Gulf Coast]  More Than Mere Funders: Foundations as Partners
Mark Pritchett, mpritchett@gulfcoastcf.org

“A toolbox with intelligence and heart.” That’s how we described Gulf Coast Community Foundation in an annual report 13 years ago. The imagery might seem quaint now. But it still applies, quite well, to how community organizations should view—and utilize—a community foundation like ours.

Many people think of Gulf Coast and other foundations first and foremost as “funders.” In fact, we just entered our new fiscal year, and the most-asked question in recent weeks seems to be, When and how can I apply for a grant this year?

And that’s important. Gulf Coast’s Board of Directors has discretion over funds from which millions of dollars in grants are invested into the work of our region’s nonprofits each year.

But like we said 13 years ago, money is a tool; it can open doors and buy supplies. A community foundation is much more than money. It’s that toolbox, with intelligence and heart, which come from the community members it serves.

As a community foundation, Gulf Coast is a safe harbor for new ideas. It’s a catalyst for partnerships and collaboration. It’s a training ground for future leaders. (Speaking of which, congratulations to the 26 new graduates who just completed our Gulf Coast Leadership Institute yesterday!) And it’s a sentinel for emerging issues on the horizon.

Next week, Gulf Coast kicks off a series of information sessions for nonprofits. We call them Partner Leaders Breakfasts, because that’s what nonprofits are to us: partner leaders. A session like this back in 2004 might have focused mostly on funding rules and guidelines and deadlines for applications. But community foundations have evolved, as have our nonprofit partners. Next week, we’re excited to share details on resources like:

  • Research on future risks to our quality of life and priority areas we should address together to ensure our region keeps moving forward. 
  • Consulting, workshops, and a dedicated web portal to help nonprofits build their staff and governance capacity.
  • Expert guidance on donor development, including fundraising strategies, help with donor discussions, and assistance structuring and accepting a wide range of charitable gifts to benefit your organization.
  • And, yes, grant guidelines and application deadlines for the next 12 months.

The Gulf Coast region is fortunate to have a number of respected foundations, both community and private, that invest in the incredible work of our nonprofit community. But there isn’t enough philanthropic capital to solve every challenge we face. And it really doesn’t help to just throw food or door keys at systemic problems like hunger or homelessness.

With competition for increasingly scarce public resources and growing demands on our civic and nonprofit systems, it’s imperative that we work together toward shared solutions to our biggest challenges. Our region’s nonprofits are leaders and partners in that vital work. Gulf Coast is eager to work side-by-side with them in the months ahead.

To register for one of Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s “Partner Leaders Breakfasts,” go to GulfCoastCF.org and click “Our Events.”

Mark Pritchett is president of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. 

[Argus]  Small Businesses Need Tax Policy Consideration
Christine Robinson, Christine@argusfoundation.org

Without a doubt, Sarasota County is one of the most prominent counties in the U.S. because of our quality of life. We live on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, have a number of diverse communities that are rapidly growing, thriving businesses, tourism, the list can go on, and it’s we who have impacted this amazing community. Though we’ve seen so much improvement thanks to the initiatives taken to make these opportunities happen, we’re always going to face a budget—one that involves our taxpayer dollars.

Understandably, we need money to accomplish the goals our commission has sought this year, and raising taxes is one way to make this happen quicker. Though an increased tax seems simple, our small business owners, who are our county’s bread and butter, can speak otherwise. Business owners are asking, does the board need to increase taxes or are they simply funding wants? What fiscally sound and conservative parameters were set in putting this budget together? Are they applying business principles and raising taxes as an absolute last resort?

This brings up another question on what should be prioritized and what should be delayed. Amenities were a conversation when deciding what could be done with our taxpayer dollars. Yes, everyone would like to see these improvements come into effect, but some of these ideas counteract with other high priorities that are on their list; one being small business assistance.

What will be the impact on small businesses if a public service tax were to come into effect? This cost was not identified by county staff and no one asked for it. A decision that will increase taxes on small businesses will do the opposite of assisting. In fact, there is no approved plan for assisting small businesses.

Though the commission still has time to figure things out, what we need to understand is how we’re handling the monies we have. Though there are a number of different goals the commission would like to accomplish, which I applaud them for, we also need to be realistic. We need to think about the long-term effects our county will face if we settle on things like tax increases because it is the easiest thing to do. Cutting expenses and telling folks no is hard, but we have to acknowledge the fact that we can’t have everything all at once all of the time. This is how small businesses operate every day.

Christine Robinson is executive director of The Argus Foundation. 

[[SCOOP]]  Goodwill, Hire Heroes USA Partner to Help Veterans Find Jobs

Many veterans working to transition into civilian careers after military service find they lack the formal education or job-specific skills preferred by hiring managers. Goodwill Manasota and Hire Heroes USA, are joining together to help  transitioning military members and veterans to expand their professional network and enhance their job search skills. On August 3, Goodwill and Hire Heroes USA will present the Veteran Employment Workshop, a program that includes career coaching, strategic planning, an expert panel Q&A session, and the opportunity to practice interviewing skills in front of mock interviewers. Topics to be covered include resume writing, how to translate military experience into civilian terminology, the job search with guidance on strategic networking and interviewing techniques, and tips on connecting with companies who want to hire veterans. The workshop takes place at the Goodwill Veterans Services Program headquarters on Lockwood Ridge Road Thursday, August 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Attire is business casual. This event, which includes breakfast and lunch, is free but space is limited to just 30 participants. 

Goodwill Manasota

[[KUDOS]]  Director of Major Gifts Named for SMH Foundation

Patrick McQuillan has been named Director of Major Gifts for Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation (SMHF). Mr. McQuillan has an extensive background in not-for-profit fundraising. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. McQuillan was the director of development for NCH, Healthcare Foundation, responsible for lifting the philanthropic support of the local community hospital. He has also served as the director of development and special initiatives at The Boys & Girls Club in Naples, FL. Prior to entering the not-for-profit sector he worked on a number of different political fundraising campaigns on congressional and federal levels. As Director of Development for SMHF, Mr. McQuillan will be responsible for engaging the community to support the philanthropic mission of the Healthcare Foundation. Mr. McQuillan is an active member with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Association of Healthcare Professionals (AHP). He has volunteered with a number of different organizations, including Habitat for Humanity and the Humane Society of Naples. 

Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Foundation

[[SCOOP]]  Music Heals Us

Andrew Lakey is changing lives one ukulele at a time. As  a cancer survivor, Andrew knows first hand how difficult it is to stay positive and that receiving emotional support is just as important as the physical treatment. He has pledged to bring joy back into young cancer patient’s lives through the healing power of music and is on a mission to deliver 100 ukuleles.  At only 17 he has created the Music Heals Us charity where donations contribute to the purchasing of ukuleles and music lessons. Andrew is very passionate and believes “Music can cure all struggles. It can give you hope to get through the day, the surgery, and the chemo. Giving a cancer patient a free ukulele and free lessons can give them the ability to stay strong.” 

Music Heals Us

[[KUDOS]]  SMH Listed Among Americas Most Wired

Sarasota Memorial Hospital was listed among America’s “Most Wired” hospitals by the American Hospital Association (AHA). Results from the 19th Annual HealthCare’s Most Wired® survey spotlight Sarasota Memorial among 461 tech-savvy hospitals. They have pioneering emerging technologies that promote the secure exchange of patient information through the use of smart devices, telehealth and remote monitoring, and encourage patients to become more actively involved in their healthcare.  Hospitals earning high marks for their use of information technologies also were recognized for developing sophisticated IT systems that support quality and safety, such as bar code medication administration and real time decision support alerts, clinical integration to provide a patient-centered record across the continuum of care; and security systems to monitor for malicious activities and protect patients from privacy breaches. 

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

[[SCOOP]]  Sarasota Ballet Presents: International Intensive Summer Showcase

The Sarasota Ballet’s International Intensive Summer Showcase will feature students from across the world performing works by some of the big names in dance, including Sir Matthew Bourne, Marius Petipa and Antony Tudor. These pre-professional students have spent the 5 weeks leading up to the performances working with an incredible faculty featuring guest teachers from The Royal Ballet, Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures and Elmhurst Ballet School. Join Sarasota Ballet for spectacular performances July 28 and 29 at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available on their website or by calling the box office at 941-359-0099. 

Sarasota Ballet

[[KUDOS] ]  Bank of America Charitable Foundation Awards Grant to JFCS

Jewish Family & Children’s Service of the Suncoast (JFCS) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to provide support for homeless families. As one of JFCS’ 26 initiatives, the Building Strong Families Homelessness Prevention Program provides case management, counseling and cash assistance to families at risk of becoming homeless, with the goal of emotional and financial stability and self-sufficiency.The funding is part of Bank of America’s commitment to helping individuals and families of the Suncoast chart a path toward greater economic mobility through access to food, shelter, benefits and other fundamental needs. 

Jewish Family and Children's Service

[[KUDOS]]  Goodwill Manasota Receives Grant to Assist Individuals with Barriers to Employment

Goodwill Manasota recently received a grant of $75,000 from the Ralph S. French Charitable Foundation in support of the award-winning GoodPartner Coach program. This is the seventh year that Goodwill has received funding from the French Foundation for this purpose. The GoodPartner Coach program offers individuals with disabilities and other barriers to employment with job training and case management services. The goal is to enable those who may have been overlooked elsewhere to gain positive personal and workplace behaviors and skills, feel the pride of earning a paycheck and move toward self-sufficiency, build a strong work history, and develop the experience and skills to position them for higher paying jobs outside of Goodwill. Goodwill’s Supported JobsPlus program provides employment for team members with significant disabilities, who face much higher rates of unemployment than those without disabilities.  

Experience Goodwill

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SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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