SCOPE, formed in 2001, began as a community-wide process that brought the people of Sarasota County together to build a shared understanding of the qualities that make it a good place to live, work, and raise a family.

The idea for SCOPE emerged following a series of discussions among a broad-based group of Sarasota County residents concerned about the county’s future. After several informal meetings, a diverse group of community leaders came together to discuss the idea of undertaking a visioning or community goal-setting process.

Seeking a better way to address emergent issues, a group of community leaders in Sarasota sought a means to bring greater civility to community discourse and public policy discussions.  Finding a non-profit model in the Jacksonville Community Council Inc., our founders created Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence (SCOPE) to harness both objective data and the wisdom of our residents to study the domains of well-being and inspire citizens to enhance the quality of life and development of the entire county.

Since its founding, SCOPE has convened study group representatives from all walks of life, has produced data rich Community Report Cards and has developed citizen leadership through programs such as the Grass Roots Leadership Initiative.  SCOPE has examined issues such as race and ethnicity, transportation, and aging with dignity and independence.  As a result of SCOPE’s work with aging, an area of great importance to our community, a new non-profit was formed to further the exploration of positive aging on an exponential level.   

Throughout its history, SCOPE has been a consultant to foundations, non-profits and local government. This work has allowed SCOPE to dig deeper into an understanding of our community while providing insight and direction for the work of our clients and residents. SCOPE continues to serve as a consultant, bringing together the wisdom of people, with objective community data, to serve the specific needs of clients.  Through this consultative work we help others achieve their specific goals – while embracing our mission “to connect and inspire citizens to create a better community.”

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