Tag Archives: Sarasota Philanthropy

SNEAK PEEK: SRQ’s December Holiday Feature

SRQ Photographer Wyatt Kostygan takes careful photos of our December Holiday Gift Guide feature, on newsstands December 1st! Photo credit: Mary Darby Guidroz

SRQ Photographer Wyatt Kostygan takes careful photos of our December Holiday Gift Guide feature, on newsstands December 1st! Photo credit: Mary Darby Guidroz

If you abide by the unwritten rule that Christmas decorations and music should not be seen or heard until after Thanksgiving, come back to this post on Friday, November 27th. But if you think that the holidays deserve preferential treatment through the whole year, we won’t judge! In the fast-forward world of publishing, Christmas has come and gone and the New Year is well on it’s way before the calendar ever catches up. This week, the calendar tells us that though we are in February, it is time to take a break and give thanks with our families and officially welcome the holiday season.

As part of our Thanksgiving celebration, we’re sharing a sneak peek of the pages to come from the December edition of SRQWe happen to think that you’ll not only like the December edition of SRQ | The Magazine, you’ll LOVE it. As our annual Giving Back edition, December is a tribute to the inspiring holiday decree that it is always better to give than to receive (so if you love our local philanthropies and philanthropists, don’t miss it!). But we don’t limit it to just giving to worthy causes, philanthropic organizations and charities…we’re also hot on the heels of the best gifts to give this holiday season and where to find them at our local retail shops!

The December edition will still be chock full of ways to live local in our beautiful region, including local restaurants, arts and culture and conversations with notable Gulf Coast influencers.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving week and be sure to save room for SRQ December, hitting newsstands on the first of the month!

 

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

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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 Helping People

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SB2: Helping People panelists, from L to R: Erin McLeod, Sonia Santiago, SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts, Event Sponsor Jaime DiDomenico, Bob Rosinsky and Tom Waters. Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Last week, SRQ took SB2 guests on a journey into the minds, missions and hearts of some of Sarasota’s most notable charitable organizations at SB2: Helping People. Hosted at The Francis in downtown Sarasota, the discussion took a look at the big and small ways we can work together to grow a stronger community.

As the series sponsor of SB2, Bob Stanell of CS&L CPAs welcomed the crowd that gathered early on Thursday morning. As an organization, CS&L CPAs not only supports local philanthropic organizations through their accounting services, but also through partnerships with CS&L CARES, their community giving platform. “We work with some of the social service giants in our community on their finances and business decisions,” said Bob. “But when you put the people who serve in front of you, your heart will change.” Bob went on to communicate his pride in working with young people that make a difference by their desire to give back to the community.

Bob Stanell of SB2 Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs addresses attendees. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Bob Stanell of SB2 Series Sponsor CS&L CPAs addresses attendees. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Also sponsoring the event was CoolToday. The company’s fearless leader, President & CEO  Jaime DiDomenico shared the importance of taking care of people – the CoolToday 2015 initiative. Leading with a powerful video of how they do just that, Jaime moved more than a few of us to tears. “Community is a circle of life. Sometimes people use the phrase ‘pay it forward’ but really, we pay it in a circle because you never know when you’ll be the one who needs help,” said Jaime. “The way we do business is that we want our impact to be around to give back tot he community and continue the circle. The next time you’re out there and you can do a little something, you should do a little something.” He closed with a powerful image of a well-work pair of shoes belonging to a homeless member of our community and challenged everyone in the room to think differently about how we can live and give.

CoolToday President & CEO Jaime DiDomenico stressed the importance of "taking care of people." Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

CoolToday President & CEO Jaime DiDomenico stressed the importance of “taking care of people.” Photo Credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Between bites of the delicious bacon, guests heard first hand about the organizations, programs and need in our own backyard. Panelists hailed from every sector: Erin McLeod of Friendship Centers, Bob Rosinsky of Goodwill Manasota, Sonia Santiago of Sarasota YMCA and Tom Waters of Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. Our panelists were equally as passionate about helping each other as they were about the populations they served.

Here’s what we learned:

1. The need in our community are innumerable – but the organizations giving back are up for the challenge. Ask anyone: where are our biggest needs as a community and you will get an equal number of different answers. While a large spotlight is often shined on the issue of homelessness, it isn’t the only group that needs assistance. Of our panelists, each serves a different demographic and form of need.

Panelists answer questions during the moderated portion of SB2. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Panelists answer questions during the moderated portion of SB2. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Sonia Santiago of the Sarasota YMCA let us in on statistic of her organization that blew us away. Most people are familiar with the YMCA as a gym or the organization behind a multitude of youth sport programs, but they do so much more. The Sarasota YMCA one of the top performing Community Based Care organizations meeting state and federal outcomes for child welfare in the State of Florida. In our area alone, there are over 1,000 homeless children that have the same basic needs as all children–including a school to attend. Due to the transient nature of their situation, they’re often uprooted and sent to new schools with new teachers and classmates when their living arrangements change. The Sarasota YMCA has programs that ensure homeless children can stay at their current school and cultivate a sense of stability and normalcy in their lives.

Tom Waters of Easter Seals of Southwest Florida reminded us about the needs of children and adults that are differently abled. “This isn’t a group that you notice when you walk the streets of downtown,” he said, “but the need is just as great.” As children with special needs grow older and even and outlive their parents, having life skills and a safe haven are important. “Currently, we serve little ones from 6 weeks old to 87.”

Tom Waters speaks on behalf of Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

Tom Waters speaks on behalf of Easter Seals of Southwest Florida. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan.

2. Deciding who to help isn’t always easy.

For some organizations like Goodwill Manasota that serve numerous at-risk populations, prioritizing who to help first is not easy. When you serve multiple causes with limited resources, it takes skill and a steady sense of purpose to make the right decision.  According to Bob Rosinsky it takes a “strategic planning process that involves our team, our stakeholders and we have to prioritize.”

Tom Waters taught us a new expression in addressing this issue: Mission over Margin. Similar to understanding the best return on investment of a business decision, Easter Seals of Southwest Florida takes the idea of early intervention very seriously when allocating their funds. “For every $1.00 spent with children with special needs, it saves over $8.00 in future services for that child. That is why we invest heavily in The Lily School,” said Tom of Easter Seals’ early childhood intervention program for children who are differently abled. He went on to explain that often decisions on funding are made where the impact is great and the longterm success is evident.

Erin McLeod asks for a show of hands when addressing a major area of need in our community. Photo credit:  Wyatt Kostygan

Erin McLeod asks for a show of hands when addressing a major area of need in our community. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

3. All of us can give back. Whether we are a big business or a person looking to get involved, there’s room for more people dedicated to doing good.

When discussing the ways that we can get involved, Erin McLeod shared her experience with serving as a corporate partner years ago, “Sponsorships get old after a while. We know that. At Friendship Centers recognize the need for exposure to social responsibility–exposure to the audience we serve.” Encouraging volunteerism and undertaking projects acts as an emotional and physical connector to the people being served. Erin encouraged the audience to explore the organizations supported by their companies and get involved on a personal level.

Sonia Santiago of the Sarasota YMCA reminded us that we can be in the business of creating opportunities, “Give area teens internships and give them information out about vocations and jobs. When college is emphasized, some kids get defeated,” she said. “We focus so much on academics that sometimes we fail to point out the vocational opportunities that are out there.” At the Sarasota YMCA, various programs are in place that recognize children’s talents and interest and connect them to teachers or organizations to hone their talents.

SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts directs a question to Bob Rosinsky of Goodwill Manasota. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

SRQ Publisher Wes Roberts directs a question to Bob Rosinsky of Goodwill Manasota. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Young professionals are often the most enthused group when it comes to serving the community, but a lot of organizations don’t have events that support their busy and growing schedules. “We recently hosted an event and had a lot of young professionals in attendance. They found out about it through Facebook,” said Tom Waters.  We need to provide more episodic events that work with their schedules if we want to attract advocates that are dynamic, intelligent and look at things differently.”

4. Two mission-minded heads are better than one. 

The needs are great in our community and one organization alone cannot provide all of the solutions. New and emerging programs spanning multiple organizations will hopefully deliver a maximum amount of assistance using fewer resources by each group involved. “We recently worked on a grant for fall prevention with The Pines and Sarasota Memorial,” said Erin McLeod. The idea of pooling efforts ensures that everyone wins. As Erin said, “When another organization represented on the panel wins, we all win.”

Goodwill Manasota recently held an event in conjunction with the Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida, mentioned Bob Rosinsky. The “Little Black Dress” luncheon was the perfect partnership – drawing on the strength of a Goodwill Manasota event, the Girl Scouts were able to promote their mission and organization to a fresh audience. “This type of partnership is perfect to spread our Youth Ambassador Program and bring in the next generation of Goodwill supporters,” said Bob.

Representatives of CS&L CPAs at SB2 on July 23, 2015. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Representatives of CS&L CPAs at SB2 on July 23, 2015. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

It is safe to say that we couldn’t have learned the incredible things about helping people without the sponsorship of CS&L CPAs and CoolToday. Thank you for your support of SB2, but most importantly, thank you for the ways you give back and help people in our community each and every day. Your example inspires us.

Jaime DiDomenico, center, with his guests from Easter Seals of Southwest Florida and Heritage House. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Jaime DiDomenico, center, with his guests from Easter Seals of Southwest Florida and Heritage House. Photo credit: Wyatt Kostygan

Special thanks to our panelists for graciously agreeing to participate in the discussion, and for taking an active role in leading the movement of service in Sarasota and beyond.

A gallery of images from SB2: Helping People is available online. The next SB2: Financial Forecast will be held on September 24, 2015 at The Francis. Special keynote speaker Jesse Panuccio will deliver a presentation on the current economic state of Florida. For tickets and more information, visit SRQSB2.com.

Why You Should Be at the July 23rd SB2: Helping People

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If you’ve ever been to an SB2 event about philanthropy, you already know how much we value giving back. In fact, we can’t think of a truer way to live local than to give local—to organizations with boots on the ground in our own backyard to make it a better place.

At past philanthropy SB2 symposiums, we’ve learned that the greater Sarasota area is known for being a population with a charitable heart, and that the act of giving doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or a world-conquering maneuver—or even done singlehandedly. Corporate giving structures and organizations that build up our community have a critical impact on the philanthropic climate in our own backyard. We can’t wait to learn about the organizations that inspire change through action and service at our July SB2 symposium, Helping People: Growing a Stronger Community Together.

Join us on July 23rd at 7:30AM at The Francis in downtown Sarasota for breakfast and a panel discussion featuring some of Southwest Florida’s most giving organizations.

Meet The Panelists
Our excellent lineup of panelists represents the some region’s most impactful organizations with a focus on assisting a range of needs:

  • Tom Waters: President & CEO
    Easter Seals of Southwest Florida
  • Bob Rosinsky: President and CEO
    Goodwill Manasota
  • Sonia Santiago: Vice President of Youth and Family Services
    YMCA
  • Kameron Hodgens: CEO
    Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center
  • Erin McLeod: Senior Vice President
    The Friendship Centers

What We’ll Cover
With the extensive experience in philanthropy represented on the panel, you can expect great insights on how our region assists at-risk groups and those in need. Once you’ve been inspired by people and organizations creating change, learn how you and your business can do get involved in changing lives. One organization doing just that is CoolToday, Helping People’s event sponsor. President Jaime DiDomenico will kick off the event by sharing his thoughts on the importance of giving back and how CoolToday is dedicated to helping people.

We’ll also hear from CS&L CPAs, the SB2 Sarasota Series sponsor. Giving back is at the heart of their mission and the driving force behind CS&L CAREs, a platform for employees to get involved in the community.

This SB2 is one you’re not going to want to miss! To purchase tickets and find out more information about our panelists, visit SRQSB2.com.

Bring your questions (and bring your friends). Let’s grow a stronger community together.

See you there,
The SRQ Team