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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Equality Florida, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Bullying, Civil Rights, Democracy, 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 Under our watch, marriage equality was won in Florida, the ban on gay and lesbian adoption has been repealed, and more than 170 local policies have been passed.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

105 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great team to work with ...it shows how they genuinely try to help others.

Donor

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is a well-respected expert in the state of Florida and nationally for their programming and advocacy work on behalf of the LGBTQ community. As a funder, we have found a wonderful party in Equality Florida. Our community is lucky to have them.

Cameron H.1

Donor

Rating: 5

Have witnessed firsthand how truly compassionate the staff at EQFL are towards their fight for equality. I always know my donations are being put to an important use.

Nick M.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering with Equality Florida is always a great experience. Everyone on staff is incredibly invested in the progressive work they are doing. They constantly remain up-to-date on our community's issues and needs, and they have a proven track record of political wins for LGBTQ equality.

Brian C.5

Donor

Rating: 5

I am an LGBTQ ally and a friend of Equality Florida. I’ve seen the amazing work they do in the community and across the state.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a Tampa resident and the parent of an LGBTQ child I’ve seen the powerful impact Equality Florida has made in my community and across the state. I’m proud to be a member and a donor.

Enrique W.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Equality Florida's impact on our community here in Florida, shining throughout the US can not be understated. They carry the torch that enacts organized action, providing lasting and measurable impact.

Katie D.5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love what Equality Florida is doing for our community members. You can feel the passion in their events and each person involved with the organization gives 100%. I trust them to provide honest and accurate information and they serve as an amazing pillar in the fight for social justice.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is an excellent organization advancing social justice initiatives for the LGBTQ+ community, which is a marginalized population that needs as much support as it can get. I am grateful for all Equality Florida does and strongly believe in their mission. Thank you!

1 Kaitlin L.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Very engaged and connected with local issues -- love working with the lovely folks at EQFL! They're a trusted resource in our community as leaders in LGBTQ equality.

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2

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

I have some personal stake in the game..... My son came out at the age of 19. Up until that moment because he was a white privileged male, discrimination or inequality was not something I had ever had to consider in his world. Needless to say my eyes were opened wide... I am at times disappointed in our community that we even need an organization to fight for the simple right of equal treatment and at the same time often wonder where our world as it is today would be without it. Equality Florida is essential, important, and making REAL CHANGE. As a parent ally of the LGBTQ community, I am so appreciative that Equality Florida has my son's back..

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a strait white male. After my son played a college soccer game he let my wife and I know that he was gay. WOW... The first thought that came thru my mind was he lives in a grey world. He can not walk down a street holding his boyfriends hand. A way to create awareness and equality for the LBGTQ community is for the state of Florida to pass a Human Rights Ordinance (HRO) for the state. Currently 60% of the state covered by the local communities. It is time for the state to do the same!!! We will get there...

2 Debbie L.2

Donor

Rating: 5

The Equality Florida folks work hard to secure the rights of Florida's LGBTQ community. They have successfully defeated or neutralized every piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation filed in Tallahassee since its founding. The staff are dedicated organizers, educators, and lobbyists who get things done!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As the proud mother of a son who is a member of the LGBTQ community, I sincerely appreciate and support the efforts of Equality Florida to help ensure that housing and employment opportunities are not limited. Despite strides made for marriage equality, more must be done to eliminate inappropriate and hurtful discrimination, especially at the state level. Please consider supporting this worthy endeavor! Angela Morrison

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Equality Florida stands out in the United States as the largest, most independent and most effective statewide human rights organizations. They have built power as lobbyists, coalition builders and advocates during these decades under some of the most craven right wing state governments, protecting the community from attacks on LGBT people in the workplace, in the area of marriage and family law, as parents, transgender individuals, and as students. Their work in partnership with Planned Parenthood on reproductive freedom, on fair districts, on restoring the right of Florida's 1 million+ former felons to vote and defending democracy make them leaders nationally in the intersectional politics that define our world today.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Equality Florida is one of the only statewide voices on issues of equality and a critically important organization in our state. Their team organizes folks from around the state to bring our voices collectively to be heard by state and local leaders.

4 Dana F.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with this nonprofit for more than a decade. My role has been been as a volunteer (fundraising and public policy support). The staff are extremely responsive and responsible to many issues impacting LGBTQ people, as well as partnering around other progressive issues impacting Floridians.

3 revjoeparramore

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege of working with and know their ED for over 20 years. The issues that EQFL engages in is beyond comparison, their heart, their,compassion, their tenacity, and their will to serve is unmatched.

We have long supported their efforts to be a force of change for all humanity. When they raise their voice for change we sing in concert with them.

While they have accomplished many milestones, there is much work left to accomplish. We stand with them in the challenges that lie ahead.

Rev. Joe Parramore, BS, MBA, M.Div.

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3

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.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

EQFL is an amazing organization committed to helping LGBTQ citizens in Florida have civil rights. Their work in the Jacksonville area was instrumental in getting a human rights ordinance in place for the city. They also provide a great social network for LGBTQ citizens in the area. I support them yearly in sponsorship and volunteering because of the great work they do!

2 Peter P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Equality Florida is an amazing organization which is dedicated to promoting and protecting civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents in Florida. The work that they do it more important than ever. My experience with this organization has been outstanding. I have been involved with various nonprofits my entire life and Equality Florida is without a doubt at the top of the list for their execution of mission and vision. The organization far exceeded my expectations!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Equality Florida has made so many things possible for LGBT Floridians. The work they do with youth, the Pulse Fund and so much more has made the state a better place for LGBT people. I was amazed at the outpouring of support at the Tampa gala and was honored to be a volunteer and steering committee member.

Donor

Rating: 5

Equality Florida promotes equal human rights for the LGBTQ communities in Florida. Through lobbying the state legislature, working with cities and counties across the state, developing programs for LBGTQ students in public schools throughout the state, Equality Florida has improved the lives of all Florida citizens. Its lobbying efforts extend to issues important to all citizens of the state. It has worked diligently to restrain the legislature from denying women control over their own bodies. It has worked to promote reasonable, responsible gun control. Most important, it alerts its members to actions they as individuals can take to promote human rights for all people. As a nonprofit, Equality Florida can always be counted upon to use their donations efficiently and effectively to advance its mission. I know the money I give Equality Florida each month is money well spent.

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1

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

I am proud to say that I have been a volunteer with Equality Florida in Key West for the past 3 years. I believe in their mission to help the LGBTQ community throughout the state of Florida fight discrimination and to reduce hate crimes. Their Safe and Healthy School Program is a project that aims to end LGBTQ bias. I have also been a donor.

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1

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

1

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.

1

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.

1

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.

1

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.

1

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

1 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.

1

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

2

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.

1

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

1 sbruemmer

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.