Tag Archives: Jay Clarkson

Why You Should Be at SB2: The Art of Corporate Philanthropy


The 2015-2016 season is well on its way and we can’t wait for the next installment of our popular symposia series, The Art of Corporate Philanthropy, coming up on November 19, 2015 at The Francis in downtown Sarasota. This early morning conversation in large scale giving is a big way to start your day and is perfectly timed to set your sights on holiday giving and starting off the coming year with a purposeful giving strategy for your business.

There’s always a host of reasons why we think you should join us for each SB2, but the reasons we thought of today are especially important.

1. The Art of Corporate Philanthropy is going to SELL OUT! While we aren’t fortunetellers or future-seers, we’re pretty sure based on the amount of interest and early ticket sales that this event is going to meet capacity. If you are planning to go, to learn, to enjoy breakfast and network, don’t wait! Make your purchase now. Also, we’re taking this opportunity to let our fans know that tickets will not be available for purchase at the door. If you want to come to The Art of Corporate Philanthropy, buy your tickets now and we’ll see you on November 19th!

2. Our Keynote Speaker is a powerhouse. Joining us from Wells Fargo & Company of Florida is Connie E.W. Smith, Senior Vice President, Florida Community Affairs Manager. We think everyone has something to learn from Connie, who manages the state’s philanthropy efforts and activities which include community investments and team member volunteerism. We’re specifically looking forward to hearing about Connie’s experience in making corporate giving a foundational principle at Wells Fargo & Company, which proudly sits on the list of the most charitable organizations in Florida and the country. Aside from Connie’s obvious credentials in corporate giving and establishing a culture of purposeful giving, she is an active force in her community and applies strong principles of giving back in her personal life by serving on various boards in her community. The keynote presentation will lead the event, which will be followed by a panel of local representatives that are dedicated to giving back.

3. The stage will be filled with local giving experts. Our panelists are true leaders and innovators when it comes to giving. We’ll hear from Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs, Lisa Krouse of FCCI Insurance Group, Rod Hershberger of PGT Industries and Kelly Caldwell of Caldwell Trust Company. After your breakfast, you’ll learn first hand from these individuals and their experience with giving climate in the region and how they recommend setting a standard for corporate philanthropy.

4. We love to see you! If you’ve ever attended SB2 before, you know that these events start early (7:30 AM kickoff), but that the hot coffee, friendly faces of fellow movers and shakers in the community and unbeatable conversation are well worth the wake-up call. SRQ Magazine is dedicated to bringing relevant events to the community through the SB2 program.

Don’t forget to purchase your tickets in advance for The Art of Corporate Philanthropy on November 19, 2015 to ensure that you have a seat. Visit SRQSB2.COM for more information on our keynote speaker, panelists and to purchase your ticket.

See you soon!



SB2: What We Learned About Attracting Tomorrow’s Donors

December SB2 Panelists. From left to right: Jeff Troiano, Julie Lyman, Jay Clarkson, Veronica Brady, Bob Blalock and SRQ Executive Publisher Wes Roberts.

December SB2 Panelists. From left to right: Jeff Troiano, Julie Lyman, Jay Clarkson, Veronica Brady, Bob Blalock and SRQ Executive Publisher Wes Roberts. Photo credit: Jessica McKnight

Philanthropy is a topic that is often discussed at our monthly SB2 Symposiums – and based upon participation, there’s a reason why! Monday’s sold out audience was treated to a panel discussion of the highest caliber.  SB2: Business of Philanthropy shared the challenges of critical planning that face non-profits in our region with insights from two community foundations and experts representing donors through financial and estate planning.

Mike McMullan of event sponsor Seaside Bank opened the discussion with a defining statement about charitable giving, “Philanthropy is about kindness, consideration and keeping an eye out for what will make a difference in the community.” Our previous SB2 events have focused on charitable giving and the organizations in our area that support worthy causes. Monday’s SB2 explored giving from the philanthropist’s perspective and what non-profits will need to do to continue to retain and develop their donor base.

The December SB2 audience listens to the panel discussion on philanthropy.

The December SB2 audience listens to the panel discussion on philanthropy. Photo Credit: Jessica McKnight

1. Recent challenges for non-profits and foundations:

  • Veronica Brady from The Gulf Coast Community Foundation says. “After the Great Recession, we had to stimulate people to feel comfortable giving again. We wanted to make philanthropy available to everyone. Not everybody can give money, but involving them with a cause is just as critical.”
  • The geographic location of the Sarasota and Bradenton area lends itself to part-time residents and individuals relocating to our community. With a potential donor base that resides and gives in another region, there is an untapped potential of donors that need to be reached with our organization’s messaging and missions. “People like to give their dollars where they spend their time,” says Jeff Troiano of Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen.
Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs answers a question as Julie Lyman of The Community Foundation of Sarasota listens in.

Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs answers a question as Julie Lyman of The Community Foundation of Sarasota listens in. Photo Credit: Jessica McKnight

2. What are donors looking for?

  • All of our panelists agreed on one element: transparency is king. “Donors used to write a check to give. Now donors are more of investors than donors. They want a sense of transparency and want to know where the funds are going once they donate,” says Julie Lyman of Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
  • Jay Clarkson of CS&L CPAs was asked about the financial statements of non-profits. “Generally, donors are looking for organizations where 85% of the budget goes to programming, leaving 15% to overhead and support services. But every organization is different and the financial breakdown depends on the year and many other factors.” Clarkson also added “measuring the outcome of programs and investments is also key. Sharing that information with donors is important.”
  • About donor trust, Julie Lyman of The Community Foundation of Sarasota says, “The role of the Community Foundation is to perform necessary due diligence to be sure that the donated funds go to the right place. We provide protection to our donors so that they don’t have to worry.”
Moderator and SRQ Magazine Executive Publisher Wes Roberts leads the panel discussion.

Moderator and SRQ Magazine Executive Publisher Wes Roberts leads the panel discussion. Photo Credit: Jessica McKnight

3. Knowledge is power.

  • When family foundations make plans to give to worthy organizations, it is easy for the more established organizations to take the lions share. According to Bob Blalock’s of Blalock Walters P.A., “with some large estates, their giving choice goes to what they know. Some smaller non-profit organizations end up getting overlooked for that reason. It is important to find out from the foundation what the end goal of donating the money is.”
  • Veronica Brady also talked about the donor’s motive. “Non-profits are all about listening—listening to the donor and not being afraid to ask questions. Sometimes donors that we expect to understand the most effective ways of giving really don’t. It is our job to ask questions, make suggestions and to think a little differently.”

If Monday’s SB2 could be summed up in one quote, it would be from Veronica Brady,  “When it comes to giving, follow what makes your heart sing.”  We couldn’t agree with that statement more. The business of giving is not always clear or easy—but it is always important.

Special thanks to our sponsors for their support in bringing this and other important topics to the forefront of our community: Event Sponsor Seaside Bank, Bradenton Series Sponsor IMG Academy and Sarasota Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs.

Representatives from Seaside Bank, the December SB2 event sponsor.

Representatives from and guests of Seaside Bank, the December SB2 event sponsor. Photo Credit: Jessica McKnight

To view photos from the December SB2, click here. Don’t miss out on next month’s Sarasota symposium on January 22nd SB2: Boomers and Caregivers-The New Retirement, visit www.srqsb2.com to purchase your tickets today!