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RespectAbility Earns Highest Rating of Platinum on GuideStar

Platinum Seal allows donors and stakeholders to focus on progress and results

Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency 2020. RespectAbility logoRockville, Maryland, June 14 – RespectAbility, a diverse, disability-led nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community, today earned the 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, a service of Candid. By sharing metrics that highlight progress RespectAbility is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation such as overhead ratios.

“In accordance with our long-held belief in being transparent about our work, we are excited to convey our organization’s results in a user-friendly and highly visual manner,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Founder of RespectAbility. “By updating our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile to remain at the Platinum level, we are continuing to share a wealth of up-to-date organizational metrics with our supporters as well as GuideStar’s immense online audience, which includes stakeholders, donors, grantmakers, our peers and the media.”

To remain at the Platinum level, RespectAbility updated extensive information on its Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar: basic contact, organizational and demographic information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, RespectAbility has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate nonprofit performance.

RespectAbility helps fight stigmas by promoting authentic portrayals of disabilities; advance opportunities by identifying and promoting best practices in education, employment, civic engagement and accessibility; and develop a diverse talent pipeline of young leaders with disabilities. The RespectAbility team has met one-on-one with 48 of America’s governors, provided testimony in every state, hosted thousands of people for in-person trainings and webinars, and written numerous toolkits to expand best practices.

During the pandemic, RespectAbility has been focusing on saving the lives and livelihoods of the country’s most marginalized. Indeed, during the coronavirus crisis, through actively listening and organizing with people with disabilities, including through online town hall meetings, large-scale national polling and almost daily video conference sessions with groups ranging from one to three dozen individuals with disabilities, RespectAbility has benefited from diverse experiences and ideas. This enabled us to understand what were the most urgent needs of the people we serve. Thus, we championed issues around food security so millions of people with disabilities from around the country could get food without becoming furthering their risk from COVID-19.

“I encourage you to visit our profile on GuideStar to see what we’re all about,” said Mizrahi. “We’re always trying to improve and are thrilled that our GuideStar Platinum Nonprofit Profile and its associated benefits help us better communicate our organization’s exciting initiatives at a global scale.”

About GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles

In February 2019, GuideStar joined forces with Foundation Center to form Candid, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Today, GuideStar is a service of Candid. The GuideStar database contains a profile for every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the IRS. The profiles are populated with information directly from nonprofits, the IRS, and other partners in the nonprofit sector. Candid encourages every nonprofit to claim and update its profile at no cost to the organization. Updating allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with the more than 13 million people who visit to learn more about nonprofit organizations each year. Updating also allows nonprofits to share information with the more than 200 philanthropic websites and applications that are powered by GuideStar data, such as AmazonSmile, Facebook, and Network for Good. To reach a given participation level, organizations must complete all required fields for that level. The GuideStar participation levels, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all updated participants’ profiles in the GuideStar database.

About Candid

Every year, millions of nonprofits spend trillions of dollars around the world. Candid finds out where that money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world. Find out more at and on Twitter @CandidDotOrg.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to RespectAbility, please visit:

Media Contact

Joy St. Juste, Marketing and Communications Director
[email protected]

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so all people with disabilities can fully participate in every aspect of community. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she works at the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. She regularly conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible for entertainment executives throughout the industry. Appelbaum partners with studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She represents RespectAbility on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory Council, Disney+ Content Advisory Council, MTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab. To reach her, email [email protected]

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Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.

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