Equality Florida Institute, Inc.
P.O. Box 13184
St. Petersburg FL 33733
Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Nadine Smith
Board Chair Mr. Jon Harris Maurer
Board Chair Affiliation Hopping Green & Sams, P.A.
General Info
Former Names
Equality Florida Human Rights Education Project, Inc
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1997
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Nov 2018
State Registration Yes May 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
Letter of DeterminationView
Impact Statement
1. Channeled $9.5 million in direct support to victims' families and survivors of the tragic Pulse nightclub attack and turning our attention to ridding our culture of the toxic dehumanization of LGBT people
2. Passed dozens of city and county non-discrimination ordinances that protect roughly 57% of the population, more than 10 million Floridians.
3. Launched new Safe Schools Initiative. 
4. Gained protections from anti-LGBT bullying for over 2 million (66%) of Florida students.

Current Year Goals:
1. Expand our new Safe Schools Initiative that will: create a comprehensive list of professional best practices/policies for supporting LGBTQ students; create an assessment tool and score all FL school districts on current programs; work intensively with school districts to implement comprehensive policies; respond to the increasing number of crisis requests from school districts statewide, particularly regarding transgender student issues.
2. Provide LGBT sensitivity training to major corporations, school districts, law enforcement agencies, and medical providers.
3. Add 15 new corporations to our EMB Coalition.
4. Sign up 30,000 new members.
Needs Statement

1. Volunteer Kits—include T-shirt, sign-up sheets, talking points, and training video ($45)

2. Transportation Scholarships for Students to Attend GSA Leadership Summit—($20 per student)

3. Equality Means Business luncheon—covers event cost and advertising to engage businesses, elected and community leaders ($4,500)

4. Regional Field Organizer—covers staffing costs for this position ($35,000)

5. Safe Schools Initiative - covers Program Director salary, support staff, travel, training materials, Safe Schools Assessment Guides, workshops, and three GSA Summits ($222,000)

Background Statement
With a database over 300,000 supporters, Equality Florida Institute is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Our organization provides programs throughout Florida to benefit the state’s LGBT men, women, and youth. Through grassroots organizing, public education, and coalition building, we work every day to change the hearts and minds of all Floridians and to win full equality so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. We partner with local organizations and have helped to pass more than 150 local pro-LGBT policies.
Our priority to end anti-LGBT bullying has resulted in 2/3 of students attending schools with LGBT protections clearly enumerated. That means Florida protects more students than any other state except California and New York. Our work to pass hate crimes laws helped make Florida fourth in the nation in the number of people protected by hate crime laws. Through our years focusing on LGBT family recognition, Florida ranks third in the nation for domestic partner benefits, with over 9.8 million people living where they have domestic partner recognition either through registries or public employer benefits. Our Get Engaged campaign and historic victory in Miami-Dade Circuit Court were pivotal to winning marriage equality in Florida. And our work to outlaw discrimination has resulted in local policy protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity for 56% of Floridians.
Areas Served
Areas Served
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Civil Rights, Social Action, Advocacy
Secondary Org Type Public & Societal Benefit
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
Equality Florida Institute (EQFLI) is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. EQFLI is one of the three largest state-level LGBT advocacy organizations in the country, and we have gained national recognition as one of the most effective.
In 2017, EQFLI celebrated its 20th anniversary, an achievement that speaks to our long history, effective governance, strong financial management, and stable, diverse funding base. Through lobbying, grassroots organizing, education, and coalition building, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We are guided by our commitment to social justice, integrity, human dignity, and respect for diversity. We strive to manifest this commitment in our work on behalf of the LGBT community, and in our solidarity with other oppressed groups.
We have a long and valuable history of partnering with school districts, healthcare facilities, and government agencies to improve our communities and change discriminatory political climates. We maintain relationships with hundreds of elected officials, media outlets, and community leaders. We have the experience to intervene and address problems when they arise, as evidenced by our work with organizations or businesses that needed our assistance in the past.
Description We are entering the seventh year of an ambitious LGBT equality-focused campaign to improve Florida's national and international reputation as a welcoming and inclusive place to live, work and visit. The program has grown exponentially in the past two years in particular and now includes over 50 of Florida's largest employers who have embraced LGBT-inclusive policies and make the case for LGBT protections statewide. We have now launched a program aimed at smaller companies that have also taken a public stand in support of LGBT nondiscrimination protections. Another Business for Equality (AB4E.org) program includes over 1000 local, small businesses helping us deliver the message that discrimination harms employees, customers and the bottom line for businesses.
Budget $225,211
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered
Short Term Success

Short term success will be measured through achievement of the projected program activities by the end of 2016:

*Continue funding positions essential to the program’s success, including the Equality Means Business Project Coordinator, Transgender Inclusion Director, and support staff.

*Host four Equality Means Business networking events throughout Florida with Fortune 1,000 business leaders, trade associations, chambers of commerce, and educational institutions, with the goal of adding 10 major employers to the Equality Means Business coalition.

*Promote transgender awareness, education, and equality by providing 5 transgender workplace trainings, to be presented by Equality Florida Institute’s Transgender Inclusion Director.

Long Term Success
Long term success will be measured through achievement of the projected program outcomes by the end of 2016:

*Expand the Equality Means Business Advisory Board to include 60 major employers

*Increase the number of businesses participating in the Another Business for Equality online directory to a total of 1500.

Program Success Monitoring

Senior agency executives monitor the success of the Equality Means Business program by working closely with the Equality Means Business Director to ensure that all essential program activities are completed and all program outcomes are achieved.

Program Success Examples

Since EMB’s inception, 51 major employers in Florida have joined the Equality Means Business Advisory Board, and 1200 have joined Another Business for Equality.

The work of Equality Means Business has inspired participating employers to lead on LGBT issues. A group of businesses that began as part of EMB are now the core of a new and separate 501(c)(4) organization called Florida Businesses for a Competitive Workforce, which is chaired by Florida Blue CEO, Patrick Geraghty, and has the goal of of passing the Florida Competitive Workforce Act.

Description In 2014, Equality Florida Institute launched TransAction Florida, a statewide initiative, led by our full-time Transgender Inclusion Director and a dynamic, diverse, statewide Advisory Board. TransAction was created to increase awareness, educate, and promote complete equality for the transgender community. Through this program, Equality Florida is uniquely positioned to counter anti-trans scare tactics with supportive messages from business, community, and faith-based leaders.
Budget $107,500
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Lesbian & Gay Rights
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered Families Families
Short Term Success

Short term success will be measured through achievement of the projected program activities by the end of 2016:

*Continue funding second year of full-time Transgender Inclusion Director
*Promote transgender awareness, education, and equality through the Transgender Inclusion Director’s presentations at two educational events hosted by two major employers, two major economic development conferences, and one public education/awareness event.
*Train 8 key top executives to be effective advocates for equal treatment regardless of gender identity and to feel a sense of personal accountability to fight any effort to exclude those protections. Target leaders who can deliver that message in Op/Eds, public forums, and educational meetings with stakeholders.
*Host 3 earned media events exclusively highlighting existing anti-trans discrimination.
*Host 10 corporate training events led by Equality Florida Institute's Director of Transgender Inclusion. 
Long Term Success

Long term success will be measured through achievement in the following outcome areas by the end of 2016:

• Marriage and Relationship Recognition – legal and administrative steps to secure marital rights and protections in all areas of gender identity and protection.
• Adoption and Parenting – Securing rights and protections for transgender citizens to adopt and have full parental privileges.
• Non-Discrimination – Work to pass fully inclusive HRO’s in Florida and pass the Competitive Workforce Act. Partner with major employers to support these measures.
• Safe Schools – Develop and implement anti-bullying, bathroom protocols and transgender education in schools systems across Florida.
• Health and Safety – Address homelessness, suicide, violence and education of the medical community around trans inclusion.
• Ability for Transgender People to Correct the Gender Marker on Identity Documents – Develop a resource site that addresses all aspects of transition administration requirements.

Program Success Monitoring

Senior agency executives monitor the success of this program by working closely with the Transgender Inclusion Director to ensure that all essential program activities are completed and all program outcomes are achieved.

Program Success Examples

Our transgender inclusion education and outreach has expanded to include media, law enforcement, churches, universities, colleges, human resource organizations and school boards. Gina Duncan, Transgender Inclusion Director, has provided more than 50 speaking engagements and trainings for major Florida employers in the past 12 months. The demand for Ms. Duncan’s trainings continues to grow as employers recognize that this education is more timely and critical than ever. Previous participants include: Disney Companies, Darden International, Hilton International, Wells Fargo, Sodexo International, EA Sports, JetBlue Airways, and many others.

Our Transgender Resource Guide was published last year and is updated quarterly. The guide currently has over 375 entrees and 40 pages of transgender-friendly health care and mental health care providers, transition resources, support groups and organizations, and personal identification information.

Description EQFLI's Safe and Healthy Schools Program aims to create a culture of inclusion while countering the bullying, harassment, social isolation, and bigotry that dramatically increase risk factors for LGBTQ students. We seek to shift the culture so that school districts will adopt comprehensive, nationally recognized best practices for meeting the needs of LGBTQ students. The Safe and Healthy Schools program aims to transform entire school systems by ensuring that the school districts themselves invest in and take full responsibility for meeting the needs of LGBTQ students.
Budget $493,915
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered
Short Term Success

Short term success will be measured through achievement of the projected program activities by the end of school year 2017-2018:

Cultivate the outspoken, visible, and steadfast support of school district Superintendents and district leaders, and promote deep and effective partnerships between district leadership and LGBTQ youth serving agencies.
Provide professional development for school district staff including counselors, social workers, school psychologists, nurses, assistant principals, principals, and district leaders.
Use Safe Schools and Healthy Schools Assessment Manual as a comprehensive guide outlining the latest nationally recognized best practices, programs, and policies for meeting the needs of LGBTQ students, as well as a measurement tool that ranks schools districts on success in these areas.
Long Term Success

Provide technical support to school districts to strengthen recently initiated LGBTQ student support programs, and to develop and launch new programs by accessing national research and resources to ensure efficiency and impact.

Serve as the go-to conflict resolution resource for school districts, and assist in responding to the growing number of crisis calls from LGBTQ students and their parents.

Program Success Monitoring

Senior agency executives will monitor the success of this new program by working closely with the Safe and Healthy Schools Program Director to ensure that all essential program activities are completed and all program outcomes are achieved.

Program Success Examples

The Safe and Healthy Schools program was launched in the 2016-2017 school year. We far exceeded our original goal of providing intensive support to 3-5 school districts statewide. To date, we have provided program services to 59 Florida school districts and training to over 3,000 principals and school district leaders.

A strong collaboration between Equality Florida Institute, county school districts, and local LGBT youth agencies is critical to the success of the Safe and Healthy Schools program. We are successfully convening local coalitions that are working together to provide the proposed activities and to meet the projected outcomes so that we can meet our goal of creating an inclusive, respectful, and understanding climate for LGBTQ students

Description The HIV Advocacy Project is a statewide Public Education Campaign that seeks to transform public opinion. This project informs residents of the danger and injustice of Florida’s HIV criminal laws, emphasizing how laws disincentivize people from seeking testing and treatment, culminating in a skyrocketing number of new HIV transmissions, and a public health crisis. More new HIV transmissions occur in Florida than in any other state: rates of new transmission cases in FL have continued to increase since 2012, while the rest of the country’s HIV transmission rates decrease. In FL, failing to inform a sexual partner of positive HIV status is a 3rd degree felony offense, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine per count; multiple offenses may be ruled as 1st degree felonies. This law is applied irrespective of malicious intent or actual transmission. 
Budget $206,065
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served People/Families of People with HIV/AIDS Lesbian, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered
Short Term Success
In the short term, EQFLI expects this project to:
*Gain broad, bipartisan support from Florida residents on the issue of HIV Criminalization Reform
*Ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS inform all facets of Equality Florida Institute’s HIV Advocacy Project.

Long Term Success
Long term, EQFLI expects this project to:
*Increase incentive, especially among marginalized groups, to undergo HIV testing, thereby increasing opportunities for accurate diagnosis/treatment.
*Reduce disincentive among these same groups; disincentive is a natural reaction to the real and perceived risk of prosecution and punitive consequences such as exorbitant fines, felony convictions, and years of jail time.
*Change public perception of HIV decriminalization through education, and teach residents about negative health consequences and injustice of HIV criminalization laws.
Program Success Monitoring Senior agency executives monitor the success of this program by working closely with the HIV Advocacy Project Director to ensure that all essential program activities are completed and all program outcomes are achieved.
Program Success Examples
In the first year of the HIV Advocacy Project, EQFLI:
  • hired a Latino HIV+ Project Director with a deep background in HIV work/education
  • trained 500 HIV-focused activists
  • educated nearly 6,000 of our core members and the general public
  • formed a coalition-driven education campaign that has resulted in an HIV criminalization reform bill passing its first committee with bipartisan support
With recent victory in California and the CDC’s acknowledgment that undetectable means non-transmittable, we
believe this project can shift the consensus among the public and decision-makers, and end Florida’s medically-unsound, stigmatizing, unjust HIV criminal laws, in a state where the HIV-related death rate is double the national average. FL is in the midst of a public health crisis; we must remove legal penalties not rooted in science that create fear and stigma and deter individuals from knowing their status and receiving proper treatment.
Program Comments by Organization The Equality Florida Institute serves primarily as an organization that educates the public and advocates for Florida's LGBT community, rather than as a direct-service organization. Our overarching programmatic goal is to secure full equality for Florida’s LGBT community. We believe that full equality will not come through legislation alone, but also through education and public opinion; therefore, we provide leadership trainings, volunteer opportunities, and sponsorship opportunities to engage and grow the LGBT and straight-ally community.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Nadine Smith
CEO Term Start Jan 1997
CEO/Executive Director Email nadine@eqfl.org
Experience Nadine Smith has been executive director of Equality Florida since its inception in 1997, and was executive director of its predecessor, the Human Rights Task Force of Florida prior to that. She joined the organization in 1993 after serving as one of four national co-chairs on the 1993 March on Washington and taking part in the historic, first-ever meeting between LGBT leaders and a sitting U.S. president (Clinton) in the White House. During her tenure as head of Equality Florida, she has also served four terms as co-chair of the Equality Federation and served as a member of the Democratic National Committee. She has led advocacy efforts in Florida at the state level at a time of unprecedented attacks on the LGBT community, serving as Equality Florida’s lead lobbyist in Tallahassee and heading efforts to stop discriminatory legislation and ballot measures and to overturn Florida’s ban on adoption by gay and lesbian parents. Nadine has been recognized for her national and state leadership by organizations around the nation, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National Black Lesbian and Gay leadership Forum, etc.
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Mr. David Costa Director of Operations
Michael Farmer Deputy Director of Development
Mr. Statton Pollitzer Deputy Director
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 20
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 67
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 5
Volunteers 1500
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
During our effort to ban bullying in Florida Schools we built a statewide Safe Schools coalition of nearly 100 organizations. During our struggle for Marriage Equality we built one of the largest progressive coalitions in Florida history with nearly 250 organizational members. Our business coalition includes more than 50 of Florida's top employers.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Awards & Recognition
Nadine Smith - HonoreeNational Women's History Month Honorees2016
Stratton Pollitzer - Harvey B. Milk Foundation Honors MedalHarvey Milk Foundation2011
Risk Management Provisions
Commercial General Liability and D and O and Umbrella or Excess and Automobile and Professional
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government No
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures Yes
Management Comments by Organization Equality Florida implements the Management Institute model for non-profit effectiveness. Our entire staff undergo multi-day on site management training every year.
Other Documents
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Jon Harris Maurer
Company Affiliation Hopping Green & Sams, P.A.
Board Term Apr 2015 to Apr 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Mark Anderson Retired - Credit Suisse First Boston
David Bloom Physical Advertising Works
Susan Bottcher Community Activist
Jeff Delmay Delmay Corporation
Victor Diaz-Herman Executive Director, Pridelines
Petra Doan Florida State University - Professor
Meryl Friedman National Gay Task Force, Gay Teachers' Association
Annie Hiotis Carlton Fields - Chief Operating Officer
Dr. Kathryn Norsworthy Rollins College - Professor
Pauline Parrish Planned Parenthood of SW and Central FL
Chris Rudisill Metro Wellness & Community Centers
Ken Shelin Retired - United States Food and Drug Administration
Marjorie Sherwin Community Activist
Donn Smith UF Health-Shands Hospital
Nadine Smith Equality Florida - CEO
Dan VanTice Community Activist
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 8
Female 8
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 88
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Governance Comments by Organization Equality Florida has a statewide board that currently includes 18 people with representatives from Sarasota, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Orange, Alachua, Leon, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. We recognize the importance of diverse opinions and skills and place a premium on diversity of race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and age. Our board members serve 3 year terms, renewable once. For more information on board service with Equality Florida contact Executive Director, Nadine Smith, at nadine@eqfl.org
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month Jan
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2018
Tax Year End Month Dec
Tax Year End Day 31
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $3,053,690.00
Projected Expenses $3,167,192.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations Yes
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign No
Campaign Purpose
Campaign Goal
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of 0
Financial Review
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 Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$12,638,799$2,452,534$2,011,554
Investment Income, Net of Losses$9,491$1,012$205
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$372,181$77,292$0
Revenue In-Kind$387,683$433,206$933,739
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$11,535,864$2,284,749$1,659,515
Administration Expense$303,954$150,601$181,553
Fundraising Expense$528,605$247,335$244,006
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.070.980.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%85%80%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue4%10%12%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,278,000$438,505$656,903
Current Assets$1,275,509$432,257$648,237
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$294,009$250,663$423,490
Total Net Assets$983,991$187,842$233,413
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $12,638,799Contributions, gifts, grants $2,452,534Contributions, gifts, grants $2,011,554
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $372,181Gala events $97,800Gala Events $52,200
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Fees $151,983Fundraising $77,292Investment Income $205
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities4.341.721.53
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization Because foundation and government funding for LGBT efforts continues to be far lower than for other "at risk" groups, composing less than 1% of all foundation support, we have built a statewide individual donor network of over 6,000 financial supporters. Increasing support from community foundations and government sources for a range of LGBT organizations and efforts is absolutely critical to addressing the numerous elevated risks our community faces from youth homelessness to senior poverty.
Financial Comments by Foundation Financial information taken from Federal tax returns.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support.   Value of in-kind contributions included in revenue in the financial statements.
Nonprofit Equality Florida Institute, Inc.
Address P.O. Box 13184
St. Petersburg, FL 33733
Phone 813 870-3735