If you ask nonprofit executives the one thing about which they feel certain during 2016 the answer surely would be uncertainty. Here’s the list: A presidential election that probably will resemble Ali v. Frazier I; Bond and stock exchanges moving inversely to their historic norms; and, rapid and some might offer rampant change in the C-Suite, with marquee names coming and going.
Managing a nonprofit, let alone innovating, is a tall order. Mastering that balance between sustainability and change is why these 50 executives have been selected for the 2016 NPT Power & Influence Top 50.
Benjamin Franklin is quoted as having said: “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” The charitable sector is changing and the evolution is speeding up. There is no doubt that the charitable sector will look very different within a decade. The “social entrepreneurship” being practiced surely will eclipse the current donor and service delivery model.
Many nonprofit executives are unfortunately ignoring the sector’s past battles and that will impact growth and evolution. The executives represented on these pages understand from where the sector has come and where it must go in an era when instant results are required of leaders.
The 2016 honorees were selected from a group of roughly 300 top executives. A committee of NPT staff, contributors and a few executives plugged into executive movement were involved in the selection process. This is not a lifetime achievement award. An executive must have had an impact during the previous 12 months.
There is quite a bit of turnover in this catalog of the sector’s big brains. There are 16 new honorees on the 2016 honor roll and nine executives who are returning to the list after a short hiatus when coming up with some new ideas that are moving the charitable needle.
The honorees and their guests will be feted in Washington, D.C., next month during the annual NPT Power & Influence Top 50 Gala at The National Press Club. One of the honorees will receive the NPT Innovator of the Year award. The evening always involves conversation between people who would not normally have the opportunity to interact.
These nonprofit executives understand the words of author Robert C. Gallagher: “Change is inevitable — except from a vending machine.”
Great executives know how and when to turn the page. It’s a good idea to do that now.