PLATINUM2022

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

Extraordinary dogs, transforming lives

Palmetto, FL   |  www.guidedogs.org

Mission

Southeastern Guide Dogs transforms lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs.

Ruling year info

1983

CEO

Titus Herman

Main address

4210 77th Street East

Palmetto, FL 34221 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

59-2252352

NTEE code info

Blind/Visually Impaired Centers, Services (P86)

Animal Training, Behavior (D61)

Management & Technical Assistance (F02)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We believe people with visual impairments and veterans with disabilities deserve hope, confidence, and independence. Our mission is to transform lives by creating and nurturing extraordinary partnerships between people and dogs.

Because of our deep commitment to our students and alumni, our vision is to be the best service dog school in the world. And we believe it's possible.

We believe our cutting-edge genetics and reproduction work can weave together the delicacies of art with the data of science to create healthier, smarter dogs with hearts of gold.

We believe our innovative early education and puppy raising protocols can provide a wealth of positive, real-life experiences to create dogs that love people and love to learn.

We believe our pioneering training practices, certified by the two most prestigious international accreditation bodies, can create the finest service dogs and change the world, one dog at a time.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Guide Dog Student Training Program

Our oldest program, the Guide Dog Program, continues to offer life-changing independence to our clients. Students live and train on campus for 20 days, learning how to navigate their surroundings utilizing their new dog's roughly 40 commands. They travel off campus to practice crossing busy intersections, going to the store or to a restaurant with their guide dog. DeeDee Haddad, who lost her vision at the age of 16 says of her life experience, “I was the blind college student, the blind mother, and the blind divorcee.” She received her second guide dog from Southeastern Guide Dogs in August. She says, “Working with a guide dog gives you a lot more independence. It’s not fun walking with a cane—people look at you as handicapped. A dog is more welcoming. A dog puts smiles on other people’s faces, too.” Our dogs give their owners independence to experience the world on their own terms.

Population(s) Served
Adults
People with vision impairments

Our Veterans Program, introduced in 2009, continues to grow. Demand for our services has increased dramatically over the past three years. The applications from veterans with PTSD requesting service dogs has increased by approximately 50% a year in that time period. At the end of fiscal year 2019, we had 116 active service dog/veteran teams. In addition to our general operating budget for the Veterans Program, we set a goal to raise $1,250,000 to double the size of our certified service dog training team from 4 trainers to 8 trainers in order to increase the number of service dogs we are able to place each year for the next 5 years by 5 teams and to provide more individualized training for our veteran clients. This will bring our annual placements from 36 in 2018/19 to 61 in the 2023/24 fiscal year. At this rate of expansion, we will more than triple our number of active veteran/service dog teams from 118 as of June 2019 to 373 teams in June 2024.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Veterans

Programs for Children and Teens Youth Guide Dogs – Mature teens ages 15 and up may be ready for the rewards and responsibilities of guide dog ownership. For these adolescents, we offer a special, no-cost guide dog program created with their unique needs in mind.Guide Dog Camp – Guide Dog Camp provides a complimentary, no-cost, hands-on learning experience for teens ages 14 – 17 who are visually impaired—along with their parents—who are interested in learning more about becoming a guide dog user.
Kids Companion Dogs – selects gentle companion dogs for visually impaired children, building a bridge toward a future guide by acclimating the children to the responsibilities and joys of dog ownership.Gold Star Family Dogs – Our Gold Star Family dogs are well-trained, obedient, affectionate dogs that deliver smiles, relieve stress, and add tremendous value and companionship to military families who have lost a loved one in service to the nation.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with vision impairments

Where we work

Accreditations

Assistance Dogs International Inc.

The International Guide Dog Federation

Awards

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of active graduate teams served (guide dogs+handlers with vision loss) and (service dogs+veterans with disabilities)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

To ensure the success of the human/dog team, we provide quality dog food, annual vaccinations, veterinary preventatives & follow up visits - all free of charge - for the life of the working team.

Number of program dogs placed into careers, annually

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Guide dogs, service dogs, ESAs, facility therapy dogs, Gold Star Family dogs, and Kids Companion dogs. Note that 2020 placements were slowed by COVID limitations.

Student satisfaction rating

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

People with vision loss & veterans with disabilities live on our campus for three weeks to train with their new dogs. Upon departure, they complete a satisfaction survey evaluating their experience.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our strategic plan revolves around the theme of quality over quantity. Over the next several years, we will continue to place our extraordinary dogs into careers benefitting people with visual impairments and veterans with disabilities. We will continue to focus on exemplary service to our nearly 600 graduate teams and to our annual 90 – 100 new guide dog and service dog placements. These numbers are based on an annual budget of about $14M per year, our current breeding rate and average litter size, the number of puppies in our pipeline, the size constraints of our campus, and our current staffing patterns.

• Maximize canine development through world-class Genetics and Reproduction, Puppy Socialization, Puppy Raising, Dog Assessment and Dog Training programs

• Continue as an industry leader in canine care through exemplary Veterinary Care, Canine Enrichment, and Canine Conditioning programs

• Maximize service to students through small classes, low student to trainer ratios, highly individualized instruction and student enrichment programs

• Maximize service to applicants and graduates through personalized contact and outreach

• Implement rigorous screening programs to identify the optimum path and the most appropriate handler for each career-changed dog

• Expand marketing, public relations and development programs and activities

• Review and revise investment policies on an ongoing basis to minimize risk and maximize returns

• Maximize volunteer engagement through innovative recruitment, recognition and retention strategies

Southeastern Guide Dogs has served people with visual impairments and veterans for nearly 40 years. We employ some of the most talented and innovative scientists and trainers in the working-dog industry and operate the most advanced training facilities of any service dog organization in the world. We are pioneering best practices in creating world-class working dogs, including canine wellness and conditioning programs that create stronger, healthier dogs.

Our 750+ core volunteers, including puppy raisers, breeder hosts, ambassadors, campus volunteers, our Board of Directors, and event volunteers, save our organization more than $13 million annually. Southeastern Guide Dogs has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.

Since our inception in 1982, we have successfully created more than 3,200 guide dog teams and currently have over 1,200 dogs under our auspices. We actively support nearly 600 active guide and service dog teams (human + dog) each year. Charity Navigator has provided Southeastern Guide Dogs with the highest rating among all guide dog schools in the United States. We consistently receive high satisfaction marks from our students, graduates, volunteers, and staff.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/10/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Robert Meade

Doctor's Hospital of Sarasota

Term: 2021 - 2022


Board co-chair

Tim Griffy

Ernst & Young, Retired

Term: 2021 - 2022

Drew Asher

Wellcare Health Plans

Ray Bishop

Goodwill Ind. North Georgia

John Compton

Norton, Hammersley, Lopez & Skokos

Kenneth Folkman

Kenneth Michael & Associates

Tim Griffy

Ernst & Young, Retired

Gary Johnson

Unipress Corporation

Vice Admiral Joe Macguire, USN (Ret.)

Retired

Robert Meade

Doctor's Hospital of Sarasota

Chris McNamee

Bobby Newman

J.C. Newman Cigar Company

Katharine Saunders

Writer, Self-Employed

Dr. Harris Silverman

The Eye Associates

Andy Taylor

Ernst & Young

Dulce Weisenborn

Life Designs, Inc. & Miami Dade College

John Whitcomb

Whitcomb Real Estate

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes