Themes emerge when putting together the annual NPT Power & Influence Top 50. There is an initial attempt to ensure leaders from all elements of the sector are considered. That often goes out the window when the list is down to the final 60 or so executives because it is clear that during the previous 12 months that certain leaders have stepped into the breach in spectacular fashion to deal with immediate issues. The selection process for this year’s honorees was no different than in recent years. This time national and international spotlights illuminated human rights issues instead of fundraising, technology or management. The challenges were not in a faraway land the spelling for which you needed a search engine. Texas is pretty easy to spell. Washington, D.C., and California are likewise easy to connote.
It’s usual for nonprofit leaders to run to an airport. It is unusual for them to be headed in the same direction when it doesn’t involve a natural disaster. Those sector leaders have been attempting to mitigate disasters of the human variety, not Mother Nature -- the suffering on the border of separated families and heading to courts to successfully fend off abuses and to battle for basic human dignity for all. Several executives have been singled out for stunning performances in their sectors, unrelated to immigration, Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or for simply being able to buy some baked goods. Data and partnerships were key elements to those selections.
Impact investing, transparency and outcomes continue to be important elements moving the charitable sector. The 50 leaders highlighted in this 21th annual NPT Power & Influence Top 50 have distinguished themselves as initiators of concepts that will have legs and are already having impact.
The 2018 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. The executive must have had an impact during the previous 12 months. There is quite a bit of turnover in this year’s roll call. There are 14 new honorees on the 2018 honor roll and nine executives who are returning to the list after a hiatus.
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, which is announced at the event.
The evening always involves conversation between people who would not normally have the opportunity to interact. The honorees always stick around after the event has concluded to continue the idea swapping and to run up the bar tab. Another great phenomenon about the event is the next morning. Many of the honorees can be found continuing the conversations in the hotel restaurant where those from out of town stay. Turn the page for the 2018 NPT Power & Influence Top 50.
-Paul Clolery (Editor-in-Chief of The NonProfit Times)