The NonProfit Times’ 2013 Power and Influence Top 50

Author James Herriot would be proud of this year’s NPT Power & Influence Top 50 celebration of the executives moving and shaping the nonprofit world. The creator of All Creatures Great and Small would be delighted because this year the honorees run the gamut from the smallest organizations to a few of the largest.

This unveiling of the industry’s innovators showcases the power of great ideas and how those concepts often trump small bank accounts. The kids in a history class in New York City needed supplies. Their teacher got the idea to go online and donors responded. The concept has taken hold and now has a name – crowdsourcing. There are a few million unnecessary emergency room visits every year. For those who suffer though without medical assistance there is a network bringing free care to a town near you whose national infrastructure could meet in a phone booth. For those who don’t remember phone booths, it’s a great analogy. You could fit, maybe, three people in them.

There is the other end of the spectrum. Executives of some of the more well-heeled organizations are bankrolling ideas that, on paper, have little chance of being successful. They understand there is much to be learned by the journey. Others on the list are allocating millions to realign for the next generation of organizations and constituents.

There is quite a bit of turnover in this 16th annual catalog of the sector’s big brains. There are 18 new honorees and three executives who are returning to the club after taking some time off, apparently to come up with new ideas. Honorees and their guests will be feted in Washington, D.C., next month during the annual NPT Power & Influence Top 50 Gala. The evening’s keynote will be national commentator Juan Williams.

The evening always involves conversation between people who would not normally have the opportunity to interact. One commonality of this year’s honorees is a discussion regarding ending vitriolic language when there is a difference of opinion. Several of the Power & Influence honorees are leading the national discussion of one America. They have initiated conversations about putting the civility back in civil society. Some of the honorees have found unique methods of convening and facilitating such discussions.

Nearly everyone is weary of the lack of cooperation in Congress that has spilled into the nation in general. It seems as if we can’t talk to each other without being branded conservative or liberal with the branded feeling compelled to react in a certain form and manner. The honorees this year have been reaching out past their usual constituencies to foster conversation about what it means to be a civil society. Although the words and nomenclature are often different, the goal is the same.

Here they are – The 2013 NPT Power & Influence Top 50 honorees.  NPT