Join The NonProfit Times: or Become a member

Subscribe: Print Publication or Newsletter

Stay connected.
Stay informed.

The NPT Power And Influence Top 50 2012

By Paul Clolery - August 1, 2012

The NPT Power & Influence Top 50 turns 15 this year so it is time to look back at and forward to some of the sector’s remarkable people. It seems the sector is always concerned about the next generation of leaders. Well, 15 years is a good milestone for assessment and it appears the sector is in great hands.

Unlike government, which is heaping more and more responsibility on the sector as it abandons its responsibilities, these executives have balanced budgets. At the same time, nonprofits continue to answer the call in times of crisis, such as when heavy storms knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of homes earlier this summer. It was Vicki Escarra’s Feeding America affiliate food banks that coordinated delivery of vital supplies to places like West Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey.

When Kansas tweaked language in its human services contracts that potentially could limit nonprofits’ speech rights, it was Tim Delaney’s National Council of Nonprofits that sounded the alarm. Nonprofits, such as the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations, led by Ann Silverberg Williamson, continue to be involved in the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast region, years after the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina. Before the Trayvon Martin shooting gained widespread attention, it was Ben Rattray’s that helped organize people at a grassroots level to finally get noticed. These leaders have nurtured their core truths, found a few more and are working to improve life across the globe.

Former NPT Power & Influence honorees like Florence Green, Judy O’Connor and Peter Goldberg are gone now but their ideas are foundational in leadership, board management and entrepreneurship.

The push a decade and one-half ago was for institutionalization, getting bigger and strong. Flexibility is the key today. Many of the leaders at the largest organizations were late to realize the transition from all work and no play for the staff was eroding to a more balanced lifestyle. That is true, too, for volunteers. And, of course, technology was going to save us all.

While technology has facilitated the ability to not be in the office, it has ushered in the 24-hour work cycle. There is little time for the big idea to germinate and grow to scale, which would frustrate the leaders 15 years ago. Some of this year’s honorees were just getting their feet wet in the sector some 15 years ago, while others were knee deep, proving that it’s an eclectic mix of young and old — not unlike what the sector must continue to do to nurture talent as the Baby Boomers approach retirement.

Today’s leaders have found the way to innovate and manage through these evolving structures. Many of the challenges of 15 years ago have re-emerged – homelessness, unemployment, healthcare — and nonprofits will prove to be right in the thick of these areas as is typical. The executives on the following pages are addressing these issues head-on and are making a difference. They will be feted next month at an event at The National Press Club. Here’s the Power & Influence Top 50, class of 2012. NPT


Sponsored Podcasts

Welcome to the Raise & Engage podcast, a filters-off series for nonprofit professionals hosted by Blackbaud's straight-shooting expert Danielle Johnson Vermenton. During this open-mic session, you’ll hear honest advice to help YOU do more for your cause.

Episode 6: The Power of ‘No’ at Work|| daniellejohnson-76

You have a job description, but on any given day, you're probably doing dozens of things outside the scope of that description. Combine that with the challenge of a fast-paced environment and the shifting priorities of funders, colleagues, and board members and it’s easy to fall short of doing your best. By being mindful of your limitations and capacity—and saying “no” when your plate is full—you can actually do more for your cause. In the sixth installment of the Raise and Engage podcast Danielle Johnson and Robin Anderson discuss the power of saying “no” at work.

Episode 5: Professional Development: Getting Un-Stuck|| daniellejohnson-76

In the most recent episode of Raise + Engage, Danielle is back with Brian Reich from little m media to discuss how nonprofit professionals can stay motivated and energized in their day-to-day roles. Brian shares his experience working with nonprofits and the lessons and tips he's learn from and shared with them over the years, including tips for avoiding a professional rut, creating forward momentum in your career and pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you're considering making a career move or want to ensure you're on the right path, you won't want to miss this inspo-packed episode!

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 4: Apps and Hacks to Stay (Mostly) Sane, is all about tips, tricks and tools for sanity. Blackbaud’s own interactive product marketer, Julia Lenz, joins host Danielle Johnson to share some high tech. (and no tech.) productivity tips to help nonprofit professionals stay sane in the crazy world of philanthropy.

Tune in to hear:

  • Tips for how to spend the first 30 minutes of your day
  • The benefits of 15 minute meetings
  • Why notebooks are still relevant to a successful organization
  • Ideas for better managing your inbox
  • Why you should take lunch outside the box
  • ...and much more!
Don’t forget to visit the #NoFilterNonprofit Hub afterwards to download our newest tip sheet10 Productivity Hacks for Nonprofits.

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff || daniellejohnson-76

Episode 3: Tech. Connection: Solutions, Strategy, and Staff In episode 3 of the Raise + Engage podcast, Danielle Johnson is joined by Chris Geady and William DaSilva, two IT experts in the nonprofit space, to talk technology integration for NPOs: when you need it, when you don’t, and how to do it successfully.

Tune in to hear:

  • When to say NO to integration
  • How to set your strategic plan before even looking at technologies
  • Ways to get your entire team on board
  • The importance of identifying a project lead
  • The RFP process - how it should and should not go
And William shares a story about a nonprofit that may or may not have still been using a typewriter. You don't want to miss this one!

Episode 2: From Socially Awkward to Socially Awesome! || daniellejohnson-76

According to Danielle Johnson, straight-shooting host of the Raise + Engage podcast series, if your staff members aren’t the number one advocates for your cause on social media, you’re failing. In the most recent episode, Danielle is joined by Blackbaud’s own social media guru Madeline Turner to discuss overcoming social struggles and creating a social ambassador program at your organization. This entertaining and insightful duo dishes on the importance of making your social media presence human, making the case for a formal social program to leadership, how University of Michigan turned a one time social media campaign into a long term social program, and how Madeline's mom unknowingly became a social ambassador on #GivingTuesday.

Episode 1: Corporate Culture & Development: Shake It Up! || daniellejohnson-76

In the premiere episode of Raise & Engage, Danielle is joined by three straight-shooting nonprofit rock-stars: Jodi Smith of Sanford Health Systems, Veronica Brown of Chicago Public Library Foundation and Ali Burke of Southlake Regional Health Centre Foundation. The group talks organizational culture, problem employees, why its important to celebrate and how to shake things up this year and build a better more authentic team that gets stuff done!


Stay informed, catch latest trends in the nonprofit space.

Subscribe to Our Free Newsletter

No obligation, unsubscribe at anytime.

Success! Check your email inbox.

Follow Us On Twitter

NPT 2016 Buyers' Guide

Newsletter Sign-up

click here to return to the previous page