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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Equality Florida, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Bullying, Civil Rights, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ

Mission: Celebrating its 20th year, Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.

Programs: Through lobbying, grassroots organizing, education, and coalition building, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Equality Florida formed in 1997, following the lopsided passage of a state law that banned the recognition of marriages for same sex couples. Our first commitment was to defeat all future anti-LGBT legislation filed in Tallahassee, and for 20 years in a row we’ve kept that promise, despite repeated efforts by the legislature to roll back our progress. Under our watch, marriage equality was won in Florida, the ban on gay and lesbian adoption has been repealed, and more than 170 local policies have been passed.

Community Stories

82 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Equality Florida has assisted in awareness, education and protections for the LGBT community. Their work on legislative issues has stopped discrimination and created awareness within the legislature. They have done amazing work for the LGBT community throughout all of Florida.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I just attended the marvelous annual Gala at The Gardens Hotel. The setting was cool and relaxed under the lush vegetation. The food as always was elegant from oysters and a caviar pie to satay on a stick and stir fry in a little Chinese take out container. And there was plenty of it! The desssert table was lovely to look at and the pastries were gobbled up right away. A warm and caring community feeling permeated the entire garden. One factor that played a big part was that the whole event was free and open to the public. No one was turned away and the festivities were open to everyone in the gay and straight community. We had a wonderful time.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a donor, I'm impressed with Equality Florida's track record -- 20 years of success in battling attempts to chip away at equality, pushing justice forward in areas not usually friendly to such efforts, responding speedily (and with great success) to current events and taking the initiative on issues like school bullying. My dollars are being used well.

As an occasional volunteer, I'm gratified at the professionalism throughout the organization, from senior staff to local organizers.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is highly-professional, responsive and collegial with other advocacy organizations. Sero Project has had an excellent relationship working with Equality Florida on HIV criminalization reform in Florida.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is such an amazing organization. I love that they stand up for the Equal rights that every person deserves!! Well done Equality Florida

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been happy to volunteer with Equality Florida for the past few years. I got involved as a host committee member because of Evie Evers Kling. Her passion for this organization is astounding. I fully appreciate the good work that is done on behalf of the LGBT community and will continue to support them both as a volunteer and with a donation.
Thanks,
Joan Shea

csfisher

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an LCSW who specializes in addressing the mental health needs of transgender youth, I am so grateful for the work Equality Florida does in attacking issues on the macro level. Policy can play a critical role, for better or worse, in the mental health and overall well-being of LGBTQ people. Equality Florida works tirelessly to not only neutralize the pervasive atmosphere of hostility experienced by many LGBTQ people as a result of discriminatory public policy but also to create an atmosphere of affirmation and support by advocating for overtly LGBTQ-positive public policy. When I volunteer for Equality Florida as a citizen lobbyist, I know it is perhaps one of the most important long term ways I can help my clients. I cannot overstate the importance of their work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is an organization that is very active in protecting LGBTQ individuals in the State of Fl. Most recently, I had the opportunity to witness the leadership at Equality Florida and Mark Puskarich go up in front of Tampa City Council to support a City wide ban on conversion therapy. The organization was prepared with facts and testimony of health professionals supporting the bas and warning about the risks that such treatment has on young ones.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An extremely inclusive and impactful nonprofit. I'm glad a friend got me involved.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As an intern with Equality Florida, I've had the distinct opportunity to directly impact change within my community and across the state. Equality Florida works hard everyday to fight for equality for all, no matter gender identity, age, race, sexual orientation, etc. Equality Florida lobby's, helps communities, and does so much for the LGBTQ population in Florida. When the Massacre at Pulse happened, Equality Florida was there to rally, protest, and raise money for the city of Orlando as well as the families who lost their loved ones.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am honored and privileged to serve as a member of the Board of Directors of Equality Florida and can very honestly say I am not aware of a nonprofit organization that can accomplish more with fewer resources than Equality Florida (I can only imagine what they can accomplish with more resources!).

Within the focus area of its work Equality Florida is so highly regarded nationally that much of what it does and how it goes about doing it becomes a template for what and how other nonprofit organizations with a similar focus go about their business.

From the top of the organization - beginning with CEO Nadine Smith and Deputy Director Stratton Pollitzer - and throughout the rest of the organization, Equality Florida is absolutely top notch: intellectual capital, thought leadership, business strategy, passion, tireless dedication, will power, staying power, heart, organization, attention to detail.

No one does it better. Period.

regards,
Tricia Russell
EQFL, Statewide Board of Directors
VP, Bank of America Global Risk Divison

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have served on many non profit boards, volunteered thousands of hours, worked for nonprofits as an employee and as a consultant - Equality Florida is the gold standard all the way around! I could not be more proud to support this organization with my time, my energy, my money, or my passion. The important work they do leads to actual accomplishments that improves the lives for so many. I've watched this organization grow from its infancy to what it is today and they have always stayed true to their mission, grown their organizational capacity, accomplished the goals they set for themselves and the community demands of them, and found a way to keep the community energized when tackling some of the most critical and emotionally draining work around to ensure equality and justice for all LGBTQ Floridians.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Each and every staff member that I encountered as we worked toward the expansion of the Human Rights Ordinance in Jacksonville to include the LGBT citizens of our community was professional, engaging, knowledgeable, and passionate. There are many individuals and organizations who are responsible for the passage of the HRO expansion, and it is evident that Equality Florida played a pivotal role toward that end.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is by far my favorite LGBQT nonprofit. As a member of the LGBQT community, I can count on Equality Florida for current information regarding legislative action across the state. As a volunteer, I am valued and appreciated. As a donor, I know my contributions are used wisely. The staff members of Equality Florida are passionate, dedicated, and professional. Not only do they care about the LGBTQ community as a group, they deeply care for the individual. Their work on behalf of the LGBTQ community has resulted in local ordinances for LGBTQ protections for sixty percent of the citizens of Florida. They are continuing to work for passage of a statewide Florida Competitive Workforce Act which will grant protections statewide. Their efforts raised millions of dollars for the victims of the Pulse shooting. Their dedication, diligence, and perseverance have raised awareness throughout the state of the needs of the LGBTQ community. Florida is a more humane state for all its citizens through the work of Equality Florida.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is a non profit that truly cares about people and always does it's best to learn and grow. As a young professional, they have helped to guide me in the field of professional advocacy. They also value their volunteers and always look to help them in any way possible. I was looking for a way to get into professional advocacy after volunteering with Equality Florida. Their field director, Amber, continuiously let me know of opportunities and helped me get to where I am today. I couldn't say enough about this non-profit. They are amazing!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband Jerry and I have supported Equality FLORIDA for a number of years. The organization has always been on the forefront of issues regarding EQUALITY and social justice for all humanity. As a Pastor, I find that this work is precisely what the work of the Christ within us should be. Their character and integrity goes beyond measure.

Regards,
Rev. Joe Parrarmore, BS, MBA, MDiv.

phototoddr

Donor

Rating: 5

I have volunteered, and donated to this organization because they have created measurable change over the last 20 years in Florida. Before I get involved with any non-profit, I do my research, and this organization passes my "forensics" with flying colors. Until all LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination and harassment, the work continues. Please donate and volunteer to this organization.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I believe in the mission of this non-profit. About 15 years ago, I had two gay friends who were foster parents to two young boys. These boys had been tossed from foster home to foster home. No one wanted them because they were biracial, had emotional and physical handicaps, and were hard to handle. At the time, the state of Florida would not let these men adopt the children together, only one of them were allowed to adopt the kids. After about a year of living with these two guys (one a teacher, the other a lawyer) these two children thrived! Their lives had completely turned around! Today these two children are grown men. One became a Marine, the other is in college doing great. Now that the adoption laws in Florida allow gay adoption, thanks to Equality Florida, it will save so many children from being lost in the system! Please contribute to this very worthy non-profit. Thank you!

Review from Guidestar

Kaitlin L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Equality Florida has worked tirelessly with its community partners in Florida to make positive impacts across the lifespans of LGBT people -- from youth to adults to families. Their staff work locally to support regional efforts for policy, advocacy, and cultural change. I truly appreciate their approach to this work, which has been increasingly more intersectional and multi-issues focused, taking into consideration the vast array of issues that LGBT face (reproductive rights, gun control, schools/education). As a LGBT professional working in advocacy and education myself, I am highly critical of LGBT organizations -- EQ FL passes my judgments with flying colors!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is a great organization with helpful employees who are thorough and knowledgeable about LGBT conflicts. The Tampa officer was kind enough to speak to my club, the Gay straight alliance, in the high school that I teach. Students were excited about his presentation, and he clearly answered their questions. I enthusiastically look forward to working with him in the near future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Equality Florida, even though its mission is to support issues related to the LGBT community, the services they offer and the commitment to equal rights for all is a benefit to all people.