Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee
1707 Division Street
Nashville TN 37203-2701
Midtown Nashville Clubhouse
Mission Statement
The mission of Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer in Middle Tennessee are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. Always free of charge, we offer support groups, lectures, workshops, healthy lifestyles classes, creative arts activities and social activities in a non-residential and homelike setting. We exist for all people impacted by cancer; any age or gender, whether they are diagnosed or are a friend or family member.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sandy Obodzinski
Board Chair Mr. Jim Brown
Board Chair Company Affiliation
History & Background
Year of Incorporation 1995
Former Names
Gilda's Club Nashville
Organization's type of tax exempt status 501-C3
Financial Summary
Graph: Expense Breakdown Graph - All Years
Projected Expenses $1,229,878.00
Projected Annual Revenue 1116000 (2018)
Mission The mission of Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee is to ensure that all people impacted by cancer in Middle Tennessee are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. Always free of charge, we offer support groups, lectures, workshops, healthy lifestyles classes, creative arts activities and social activities in a non-residential and homelike setting. We exist for all people impacted by cancer; any age or gender, whether they are diagnosed or are a friend or family member.
Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee, formerly Gilda’s Club Nashville, is an affiliate of the Cancer Support Community and opened its doors on August 3, 1998 at 1033 18th Avenue South. In January 2007 we moved into our newly purchased and renovated clubhouse at 1707 Division Street. We were the 4th Gilda's Club affiliate to open our doors; and today there are 50 affiliates open with others in various stages of development. By the end of our first year, we had 240 members (men, women and children with cancer, their families and friends) and trained over 200 volunteers. Today we have more than 3,200 members, over 920 trained volunteers, and two locations (Midtown Nashville and Franklin). On our monthly activity calendar you will find over 100 support and networking groups taking place; sixty workshops and classes that include everything from Laughter Group to Cooking/Nutrition Classes, Quilting, Journaling, Art, Yoga and Tai Chi, as well as educational lectures facilitated by experts from the community.
As of July 1, 2017, the organization is rebranding as Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee to better serve the growing community's cancer support needs. 
Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee provides hope to anyone impacted by cancer. 
1. Added Individual Counseling to our Program, offering six free individual counseling sessions with a mental health professional at locations throughout Middle Tennessee.
2. Expanded our Board of Directors with expertise in marketing, human resources, governance, development, and finance. 
3. Introduced the Red Door Society, a major gift society, in support of Gilda's Club's in 2017. In our first year, we recruited 113 Red Door Society members. Im 2018, we have sustained and continue to grow the Red Door Society.
4. Successfully opened a second Gilda's Club location in Middle Tennessee. Located in Williamson County off of Carothers Parkway.
1. To continue to raise awareness that will translate into Gilda's Club serving more people in our community with the essential emotional support that complements medical care.
2. To increase our fundraising in order to support our growing, one-of-a-kind cancer support Program.
3. To celebrate our 20th anniversary year (August 2018 - August 2019) while building the vision for the next 20 years of cancer support in Middle Tennessee! 
1. To grow our newly launched Red Door Society, a major donor society. 
2. To development a legacy giving society.
3.  Continued recruitment for the Board of Directors with expertise in legal, talent development, marketing, and representing counties surrounding Davidson. Continued growth and diversity of our Board of Directors.
4. Expand volunteer network and staff management of outreach initiatives, Gilda's On The Go, and ambassadors for our mission in the community.
5. In-kind donations from our wish list. 
6. To spread awareness of our mission and Program. 
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer
Donations of cash, check, credit card and stock gifts are all accepted. Online gifts made be made at: All other gifts may be sent to the clubhouse at 1707 Division Street, Nashville, TN 37203 or call 615.329.1124. In-kind donations (wish list) and volunteer opportunities are described on our website.
Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Health Care / Health Support
Secondary Organization Category Diseases Disorders & Medical Disciplines / Cancer
Tertiary Organization Category Mental Health & Crisis Intervention / Counseling
Areas of Service
Areas Served
TN - Bedford
TN - Cheatham
TN - Davidson
TN - Dickson
TN - Hickman
TN - Marshall
TN - Maury
TN - Montgomery
TN - Robertson
TN - Rutherford
TN - Sumner
TN - Trousdale
TN - Williamson
TN - Wilson
Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee serves 15 Middle Tennessee counties through our Midtown and Franklin Clubhouses as well as outreach initiatives.
CEO Statement
First, thank you to our entire community and Gilda's Club family. I am honored to serve our community as President & CEO  of Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee. Gilda's Club has served the community for 20 years with dedicated clinicians, loyal volunteers, strong relationships with medical institutions, and dedicated donors. We are a fiscally conservative organization, very careful to put every donor dollar to its very best use in service of the mission. And our mission is to ensure no one faces cancer alone. We want to face cancer together.
Our members - people with cancer, and friends and family - who can take part in any aspect of our Program free of charge, are the very best ambassadors of the Gilda's Club mission. No one can better share how the Gilda's Club Program makes a difference than the people who have participated and received support.
The staff, volunteers, members, donors and our Board of Directors are passionate and dedicated to the Gilda's Club community. Friendships are fostered among support group participants. Camaraderie and laughter fill the kitchen as much as delicious scents from the oven during cooking classes. Healing and sharing happen everyday during creative arts activities. As we grow our Program with workplaces, schools, places of worship and community centers, we'll bring important resources into existing communities who may need help dealing with cancer's impact.
We hope that all of these efforts will raise awareness for Gilda's Club so that when someone hears those words - "you have cancer" - they, and their family and friends, will also remember that there is a community to help them all face cancer, together.
Sandy Obodzinski
President & CEO 

Our evidence-based psychosocial Program provides emotional support for anyone affected by cancer. People living with cancer and their friends and family all have a place at Gilda’s Club and resources to meet them where they are in the cancer experience. Our Program is offered to all ages, for all people with cancer and those who love them, and to all genders – all at no charge.

About 53% of our member participants have a cancer diagnosis, and 47% are friends and family. Our Midtown Clubhouse-based Program consists of support groups facilitated by licensed clinicians, stress reduction and movement classes taught by certified professionals, cooking and nutrition workshops with culinary experts, educational classes, expressive arts classes, and children and family activities. We exist to join those impacted by cancer together to build social and emotional support as an essential complement to quality medical care.
Budget 1039000
Category Health Care, General/Other Patient & Family Support
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer, Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Success Monitored By A distress screening tool is used to assess beginning issues causing distress or anxiety for members. Member satisfaction surveys are used to assess improvement in common stressors such as anxiety, depression, ability to cope, quality of life etc. All Program visits and participation are tracked so we have quantitative measures of Program engagement month to month, and annually. And the clinical staff regularly solicit and utilize feedback from members when creating the monthly program calendar so that our offerings are informed by member needs.
Examples of Program Success
In our 2017 member satisfaction survey, the following results were reported:
- 100% reported feeling connected to others experiencing similar situations
- 97% said they feel less alone
- 88.5% said they feel understood and better able to manage stress
- 87% gained information to better manage treatment
- 92% said their overall quality of life has improved 

As a trusted resource for reliable support, Gilda’s Club is uniquely positioned to bring educational workshops and lectures, social and emotional support into the community. Gilda’s @ Work is a workshop series to help employers and their teams support co-workers with cancer, teach healthy self-care techniques, and provide tools to support caregivers. Gilda’s @ School educates and trains faculty and counselors to help support students and families. And Gilda’s @ Places of Worship can support established ministries with workshops, training and education. Gilda’s On The Go takes our Program of facilitated support groups into established centers, such as senior living centers. Through this effort, licensed mental health facilitators and volunteers provide consistent weekly or monthly support groups and/or healthy lifestyle workshops in a setting where many other services are provided, but expertise in cancer support may be unavailable.

Budget 76000
Category Health Care, General/Other Patient & Family Support
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer, Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Long term Success This Program will expand awareness in the Middle Tennessee community for the essential need of emotional support as a complement to medical care for people impacted by cancer. We will track participation with every outreach opportunity, as well as track inquiries for the various aspects of our Program. Greater understanding of the need for support and awareness of Gilda's Club Program will be evidence by increased membership and Program participation. Member surveys will directly measure improvements to quality of life, reduced stressors and ability to cope.
Program Success Monitored By Program surveys, self-reports by members and qualitative feedback will all provide valuable monitoring for Gilda's On The Go.

Cancer impacts every aspect of one’s life and sometimes there are needs beyond what can be met in a group setting. Members may not have the insurance coverage or individual means to afford personalized emotional support. Our Program team recognized this unmet need, and in September 2016 we embarked on a pilot Program offering individual counseling thanks to the generosity of a clinician’s donated time. Due to the incredible need shown in the pilot, we have added Individual Counseling to our Program permanently, offering 6 free sessions to individuals, couples and families. Currently, members can choose from convenient spaces in Green Hills, Brentwood and Franklin to meet their counselor. We hope to expand the choice of locations to meet our members where they are and make receiving necessary support more convenient.

Budget 65700
Category Health Care, General/Other Patient & Family Support
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer, Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Open to Options™ is an evidence-based tool to help individuals plan for decision-making conversations with their healthcare team. This is applicable for people with a new diagnosis, a cancer recurrence or any time there is a change in treatment plans. This tool helps people articulate questions, concerns and considerations to include in vital healthcare conversations. Gilda’s Club will provide a summary document to take to the appointment, empowering the individual to play an active role in his/her care and treatment decisions while ensuring his/her concerns are addressed. Our four, full-time clinical staff have been trained in this model. As capacity allows, this offering is conducted in person, over the phone or via Skype to members and non-members alike, regardless of where the member may live within our 15-county service area. This initiative increases our ability to support individuals in their cancer journey.

Budget 9450
Category Health Care, General/Other Patient & Family Support
Population Served People/Families of People with Cancer, Adults, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Success Monitored By Every person who participates in Open to Options™ will have a follow up meeting with one of our clinicians to discuss the outcome of their conversation with their medical provider. The goal will be to understand if and how the tool helped guide their conversation and if the patient achieved what they wanted with their visit.
CEO Comments
Our most significant challenge for Gilda's Club Program is our capacity to deliver more - more support groups, lectures, workshops, healthy lifestyles classes, and creative arts classes. Our evidence-based program has helped thousands of people cope with cancer's impact on their lives, and we know that more people need support. Our fundraising and marketing plans, along with continued infrastructure, technology and skills development, will empower Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee to better serve our community. As our financial capacity increases, we have the ability to add programs that are facilitated by expert clinicians and volunteers. This growth is in service to our community and we are dedicated to achieving our Program goals.
Sandy Obodzinski
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Jim Brown
Term Jan 2018 to Dec 2020
Board Members
Ms. Denise Alper Management ConsultantVoting
Mr. Anthony Barton Viacom/CMTVoting
Mr. Jim Brown National Federation of Independent Businesses/Tennessee State DirectorVoting
Mr. Jim Corum Vanderbilt University Medical CenterVoting
Ms. Kristen Daniels HCA Children's ServicesVoting
Mrs. Michelle Drinkard Balfour Voting
Mr. Jeffrey R. Fisher Covenant Surgical Partners, Inc.Voting
Mr. Randy Goldstein Voting
Mrs. Rachel Goodrich Voting
Ms. Caroline Hodgson NonVoting
Mrs. Harriet Karro Community VolunteerExofficio
Mr. Keith Kraft Regency CompanyVoting
Ms. Helen H. Lane c3/ConsultingVoting
Mrs. Jody Mattison Voting
Ms. Shelby McFadden NonVoting
Ms. Wendy Miller Ogletree DeakinsVoting
Mr. Michael Moschel Voting
Ms. Elizabeth Pace Alliance OncologyVoting
Ms. Micail Samiere Voting
Mrs. Carolyn Schneider Voting
Mrs. Lisa Taylor Voting
Ms. Flynn Tracy Asurion, LLCVoting
Mrs. Sharon Turner-Friley Voting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 20
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 16
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Does the organization have written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Does the organization have a written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage of Board Members making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of Board Members making In-Kind Contributions 80%
Does the Board include Client Representation? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Youth Board Members
Additional Boards: Youth Board Members
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Development / Fund Raising
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Insurance
Commercial General Liability
Computer Equipment & Software
Directors & Officers Policy
Employee Benefits Liability
General Property Coverage
General Property Coverage & Professional Liability
Life Insurance
Medical Health Insurance
Special Event Liability
Umbrella or Excess Insurance
Workers Compensation & Employers' Liability
Additional Board Members
Joe Barker
Walter Campbell
Fletcher Foster
Hope Hines
Michael Radner
Ronna Rubin
Sandy Towers Retired, Founder
Merwin Ullestad
Fleming Wilt
CEO Comments
During the past four years, including our current fiscal year, Board leadership has honed governance best practices in both written documentation and the regular activity of the Board to best serve the growing needs of the organization. This includes monthly Executive committee meetings, quarterly Finance committee meetings, monthly and/or as needed meetings of Governance, Marketing and Development to ensure the important work of the Board is being done between full meetings.
In-depth preparation done by staff and committees for the full Board meetings has fostered an environment where all members are fully prepared for robust discussion and decision-making at meetings. All reporting is done in advance of the meeting to ensure time is well spent. As a result, the Board feels both informed and empowered as ambassadors for the organization in the community.
Additionally, our Associate Board formed in March 2016. The Associate Board president sits on our larger Board as a non-voting member. Inspired by their personal connections to cancer, this group of young professionals aims to get the word out about Gilda's, especially among their peers, and fundraise for our mission.
As Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee grows in reach beyond Davidson county, we have a real need and opportunity to recruit Board leadership in surrounding counties such as Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and others. This will ensure the voices of those communities are engaged and heard in future strategic planning for the organization. And Board leadership from these communities will help Gilda's Club forge new relationships to advance our mission. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Sandy Obodzinski
Term Start May 2016

Sandy embarked on her nonprofit career in Nashville following the loss of a loved one to cancer. She sought to create meaning from her experience and inspire others to do the same. As a result, her professional journey has been passion-filled as a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Nashville Ballet and The Nature Conservancy in Tennessee. She comes to Gilda’s Club Nashville as a relationship-focused development professional with acumen in financial leadership, community relations, public speaking, board engagement and staff development.

Sandy earned her Master’s in Liberal Arts and Science from Vanderbilt University and her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from Drake University. She has served on the Board of the Nashville chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and volunteered locally with Book ‘Em and Hands on Nashville. She avidly explores the natural beauty of Tennessee, enjoying hiking, kayaking, photography and creative nonfiction writing capturing her adventures.

Former CEOs
Sandy Towers Aug 1995 - June 2016
Full Time Staff 8
Part Time Staff 5
Volunteers 900
Contractors 15
Retention Rate 86%
Plans & Policies
Does the organization have a documented Fundraising Plan? Yes
Does the organization have an approved Strategic Plan? Yes
Number of years Strategic Plan Considers 3
When was Strategic Plan adopted? Jan 2017
In case of a change in leadership, is a Management Succession plan in place? Under Development
Does the organization have a Policies and Procedures Plan? Yes
Does the organization have a Nondiscrimination Policy? Yes
AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals)2007
America's Second Harvest1998
ANE (Association of Nonprofit Executives)1997
Center for Nonprofit Management Excellence Network1997
Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce2002
Community Resource Center - Nashville1998
United Way Member Agency1997
Senior Staff
Title Program Director
Experience/Biography U. of Massachusetts, BS in Human & Community Development U. of Texas(Austin), MSSW - Social Work Currently a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Worked at Monroe Children's Home, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital, Family & Children Services before position at GCN. Sits on several committees at VICC, VCH, St. Thomas
Title Business/Operations Manager
Experience/Biography Jack Massey School of Business - MBA
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2018
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2018
Projected Revenue $1,116,000.00
Projected Expenses $1,229,878.00
Endowment Spending Policy N/A
Endowment Spending Percentage (if selected) 0%
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Revenue$959,496$691,017$808,312
Total Expenses$982,892$959,244$877,554
Revenue Less Expenses($23,396)($268,227)($69,242)
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$786,402$420,842$418,051
Investment Income, Net of Losses$17,654$9,095$6,595
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$132,473$224,233$329,861
Revenue In-Kind$20,967$36,017$45,459
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$769,767$735,987$675,315
Administration Expense$101,866$104,796$110,810
Fundraising Expense$111,259$118,461$91,429
Payments to Affiliates----$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.980.720.92
Program Expense/Total Expenses78%77%77%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue12%18%12%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$4,056,251$3,805,883$4,124,690
Current Assets$319,257$271,187$842,053
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$50,931$11,783$88,155
Total Net Assets$4,005,320$3,794,100$4,036,535
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities6.2723.029.55
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, Gifts and Grants $786,402Contributions, Gifts, and Grants $420,842Contributions, Gifts and Grants $418,051
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising Revenue $132,473Fundraising Events $224,233Fundraising Events $329,861
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountNoncash Contributions $20,967Noncash Contributions $36,017Noncash Contributions $45,459
IRS Letter of Exemption
IRS Letter 2017
Capital Campaign
Is the organization currently conducting a Capital Campaign for an endowment or the purchase of a major asset? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
TN Charitable Solicitations Registration Yes - Expires June 2019
Registration No
Organization Comments
In 2016, Gilda's Club, at the suggestion of the Finance committee and approval of the Board of Directors, adopted an investment policy. This policy resulted in the transfer of $1.3 million in operating reserve funds to a managed investment account with a conservative profile and the potential to yield greater returns for the organization than a traditional money market or CD account. While the funds are accessible if needed, they may not be used for any purpose without Board consent.
The audited financial statements for 2016 reflect a loss for which several reasons are important to note. Gilda's Club's philanthropic revenue has been very event-driven for many years and some events are demonstrating a natural life-cycle and downturn in revenue. While events will always be an important part of our fundraising strategy, the volatility of event revenue underscored the strategy to develop a major gift fundraising program which launched in 2017.
The important organizational transition from Founder/CEO to successor President/CEO resulted in increased personnel expenses beyond a typical year. These expenses were an important investment in managing a smooth transition that ensured organizational stability and integrity.
Finally, there were some unanticipated building expenses that were necessary in 2016 to maintain the Clubhouse. 
Because Gilda's Club had managed such a healthy reserve account, we were able to draw on our own savings to manage a year with multiple expense challenges. The Finance committee, the Board and staff all made extraordinary efforts to minimize the expense shortfall with expanded year-end fundraising efforts that helped acquire new donors and created a compelling message for others to increase their gifts.
Moving forward, our greatest opportunity is to successfully manage our major gift fundraising program in conjunction with a rebranding campaign to our new name of Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee and program growth to better serve our 15-county region. Financial Comments
**This organization's endowment is housed at Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.
Financial figures taken from 990.
Financial documents completed by Blankenship CPA Group, PLLC.
Comments provided by Kathryn Bennett 10/4/18.
Nonprofit Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee
Address 1707 Division Street
Nashville, TN 37203 2701
Primary Phone (615) 329-1124
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sandy Obodzinski
Board Chair Mr. Jim Brown
Year of Incorporation 1995
Former Names
Gilda's Club Nashville

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