I’m excited to share the news that Philanthropedia recently ranked Special Olympics the top non-profit organization serving people with disabilities! Philanthropedia is a subsidiary of GuideStar, which encourages charitable giving by promoting financial responsibility and transparency among non-profit organizations.
This is a tremendous honor for Special Olympics, which was considered along with 11 U.S. organizations serving people with disabilities by 79 disability experts including non-profit senior staff, researchers and faculty, and foundation professionals, all of whom average 20 years of experience in his or her respective fields. These experts recommended organizations based on their impact on the field of disability and included organizations that support people with developmental, hearing, visual, physical and intellectual disabilities.
In the review, one expert commented, “Special Olympics International (SOI) was out front in breaking stereotypes about people with disabilities, especially developmental disabilities. SOI showed parents as well as the general public that the people with disabilities could be involved in sports and recreation, function as members of teams and live full lives.” Special Olympics was also recognized for its strengths in leadership marketing, as well as for our dedicated network of volunteers and our organizational reach.
As the Special Olympics Movement continues to mobilize around a central strategy of expanding the quality of sports training and competition for our athletes, building supportive communities of inclusion and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities, and growing our global fan base, these rankings reinforce the importance of athletes as leaders, advocates, and the central spokespeople of our movement. As they shatter stereotypes, upend the status quo and reverse traditional expectations of people with disabilities, others just can’t help but take note!