Saturday, September 6, 2008

My NP Times Top 50: The Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders You Should Know

About a month ago the Nonprofit Times came out with its top 50 most powerful and influential people in the nonprofit sector. I was thankful that the CEO of the American Red Cross was not included in this year's list--after what happen with Mark Everson last year. I was also happy to see some familiar faces of CEO's like Marnie Webb of Tech Soup, Melanie Herman of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, Gavin Clabaugh of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and more!

However I do kind of cringe every year when I see the list because it is made up of CEOs and leaders of very large and very well known nonprofits. Don't get me wrong, these large nonprofits are great and help many people across the US, however the majority of nonprofits in the sector have budgets under $1mil.
Let me reiterate the 2008 Nonprofit Almanac states that 77% of all nonprofits have under $1mil in expenditures. So my question is -- Where's the list with the other 77% of nonprofit leaders?

I really like to connect people together in the nonprofit sector, so I decided to create my own Top 50+ list--the next tier of leaders in the sector. Here is list of people and organizations in my
network I think you should know in the nonprofit sector. They are all amazing individuals with a passion for what they do and a desire to create a sustainable nonprofit sector.

The Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders You Should Know
(There are a few people on this list that may not consider themselves the next generation, however I decided to include them because they haven't made it on the NP Times Top 50 List yet.

Alan Strand, Interim CEO, California Association of Nonprofits
Allen Gunn, Executive Director, Aspiration
Alexis Terry, Client Manager Business Development, BoardSource
Amanda Hickman, Director of Technology at Gotham Gazette and Citizens

Ariana Speigler, CEO, Nonprofit Suite
Bao Vang, Leadership Program Coordinator ,Minnesota Council on
Beth Kanter, Nonprofit Blogger and Social Media Expert
Brit Bravo, Blogger and Consultant
Caroline McAndrews, Director of Leadership and Communications, Building
Movement Project
Darian Rodriguez Heymen, Executive Director, Craigslist Foundation
Deborah Elizabeth Finn, Consultant and Blogger
Elissa Perry, Leadership Consultant
Eliza Ortiz, Coordinator of Outreach and Special Initiatives, NCNA
Emily Davis, President, EDA Consulting and Blogger
Emily Weinberg, Creator of Nonprofit Blog Exchange
Eric Leland, Consultant
Erica Greely, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Independent Sector
Erin Nemenoff, Doctoral Student and Nonprofit Researcher
Gene Takagi, Nonprofit Lawyer
Heather Carpenter, Doctoral Student and Blogger (added per request
of other members of this list)
Holly Ross, Executive Director, Nonprofit Technology Enterprise Network
James Segal, Vice President of Nonprofit Programs, Independent Sector
James Weinberg, CEO, CommonGood Careers
Jeanne Bell, CEO, CompassPoint
Jeff Brooks, Donor Power Blog
Jennifer Crystal Chien, Change Consultant
John Kenyon, Nonprofit Technology Strategist
Joseph Mouzon, Executive Director of Nonprofit Services, Network for
Josh Solomon, Managing Director of Alumni Engagement, Teach for

Kala Stroup, President, American Humanics
Kathleen Enright, Executive Director, Grantmakers for Effective
Katya Andresen, Vice President Marketing, Network for Good
Kivi Miller, President, EcoScribe Communications & Creator of the
Nonprofit Blog Carnival of Consultants

Lindsey McDougle, Doctoral Student and Blogger
Laura Gassner Otting, CEO, Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group
Laura Quinn, Founder and Director, Idealware
Leonor Alfonso, Program Associate, Independent Sector
Lisa Morton, CEO, Nonprofit HR
Lynne Norton, Director of Marketing, Opportunity Knocks
Maria Gajewski, Author, NP2020, Issues and Answers from the
Next Generation
Marion Conway, Consultant and Blogger
Marla Cornelius, Projects Director, CompassPoint
Meg Busse, Director, Nonprofit Career Transitions Program
and Author of Idealist's Guide to Nonprofit Sector Careers, Idealist
Michelle Martin, Consultant and Blogger
Nancy Schwartz, CEO, Nancy Schwartz and Company
Pamela Hawley, CEO, Universal Giving
Peter Brinkerhoff, Consultant and Author of Generations: The
Challenge of a Lifetime for Your Nonprofit
Richard Cohen, Membership and Technology Specialist, NCNA
Robert Weiner, Database Expert
Rosetta Thurman, Blogger and Development Director, DC
Russ Finkelstein, Associate Director, Idealist
Rusty Stahl, Executive Director, Emerging Practitioners in
Ryan Ozimek, CEO, PicNet
Sean Stannard Stockton, Blogger and Director of Tactical
Philanthropy, Ensemble Capital Management
Shelly Cryer, Consultant and Author of the Nonprofit Career Guide
Stephanie Roth, Editor, Grassroots Fundraising Journal (I am
really surprised that Kim Klein has not made the NP Times Top
50 list yet)
Steve Bauer, Director, Nonprofit Sector Workforce Coalition at
American Humanics
Steve Lew, Senior Projects Director, CompassPoint
Tera Wozinak, Blogger and Program Assistant, Johnson Center
for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley
State University
Trish Tschume, Director of Civic Engagement, Building Movement
Trista Harris, Executive Director, Headwaters Foundation for Justice
Vini Bhansali, Chief Operating Officer, Juma Ventures
Yarrow Sandahl, Operations Manager, Bridgespan Group

Several caveats to this list. I created this list from memory and I don't have my business cards binder in front of me so I know I have left off some amazing people from this list. Second, this is my opinion so you are free to agree or disagree about who is listed here. So, my apologizes to these folks I left out, please comment if there are people you think should be included on this list.

Who would be on your top 50 np times list?

For those of you who ae wondering why there are only a few academics on this list -- I am planning to create a separate list -- the top 50 Nonprofit Academics I think you should know and read their research if you are planning a career a nonprofit academia.


Anonymous said...

Honored to be on the list!

Britt Bravo said...

Wow, Heather, thanks so much for including me on your list. I'm honored.

Anonymous said...

Heather, thanks so much for including me in this powerful list!

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more, Heather, about the great folks who always get left off of these list and the importance of connecting them with each other. This is an absolutely phenomenal list that I am honored to be a part of it!

Anonymous said...

Heather, thank you for including me on this list - and for drawing attention to some great people in the nonprofit world.

Rick Cohen said...

Thanks for including me Heather! I'm really honored.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather, what an honor to be included! Thank you for this.

Incidentally, this is a group that should all know each other. I know many on this list, and even consider some good friends. (It's great company to be in, that's for certain!)

How can this group be better linked and help each other truly keep rising? I'd be happy to facilitate any great ideas... said...

What a great thing to do to recognize leaders who are making a difference without making millions.

Anonymous said...

Heather -

Thanks so much for the inclusion! Can't wait until you are back in the sector full time! I hope school s going well!

Stephen Bauer said...

Heather...great list and greatly needed. I appreciate you including me.

Unknown said...

Thanks Heather! What a great idea. I really appreciate being included. Don't forget to add your own name...

Tera said...

I am honored to make the list with such great bloggers!

Talia Davis said...

I would love to see more arts non-profits represented. A lot of our orgs are changing the way the world sees art. Thanks for making this list!

Professor Carpenter said...

talia you have a great point, my list is based on the sub-sectors i have worked in Technology, Education, Nonprofit Workforce. It would be great to learn about a lot of the amazing leaders in the Arts too.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather,

I am truly honored to be on the list!

You would be at the top of mine (and I swear I'm not just logrolling here).


Meg said...

Great idea to create this list Heather! Thanks so much for including me with such impressive company!

Anonymous said...

Heather - what a great way to offer a much needed critique while simultaneously contributing something positive. One more reason that you need to add yourself on this list. Thank you for including me and for recognizing this fantastic group!

Anonymous said...

Wow, thanks for including me in this list, Heather! You should be included here as well! Cheers, Elissa

Anonymous said...

Heather - what an incredible honor! Thank you so very much for including me on this list. I'm in complete agreement with other comments posted on a way to extend this connection and also available to help. All my best, Lynne

CAN said...

What a great honor to come back from vacation from Heather. Thank you very much for including me with all these great folks and I too believe that you need to be on here as well.

Anonymous said...

I am flattered and honored, Heather! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Also feel honored to be included with such great people, thank you. I'm a big Heather Carpenter fan too, I would add her to the list!

Professor Carpenter said...

ok, ok I'll add myself to the list :) I also want to add a couple more people I unintentionally forgot to include earlier.

Marion Conway said...

Hi Heather,

It is most definitely an honor to be included on this list - and I'm certainly glad that you added your name. You blog is a source of intellectual inspiration and raises the level of how we apporah working in the nonprofit sector. I am just finding out about this post now since I received two congratulatory emails, but I guess now I know the reason there was a spike in visits to my blog yesterday.


ENels said...

Wow, thanks for including me on this list. I've certainly got some great company here!

Anonymous said...

Dear Heather,

Thanks so much for including me on the list, and maybe even without knowing that I also blog on nonprofit marketing at

You've done a great service to the community here. And thanks much for introducing me to a few of these folks I didn't know!

All best,

Anonymous said...

Great list and great idea, Heather! Thanks for including me among these really amazing people!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Heather, for including me in this list of remarkable people. Each of us is working diligently in our own way to advance the nonprofit sector, where too often sacrifices both big and small go unrecognized. As you can see from the comments your list has energized us all and is case-in-point for your own inclusion.

Emily Davis, MNM said...

Well, Heather, it seems you have certainly struck a cord here. Everyone really appreciated being recognized for their contributions (including me!!!). I know all of us do this work because we love it, but it doesn't hurt to get noticed for that work either.

Keep up the fantastic work, Heather! You truly have your finger on the pulse. I may piggy back on your idea and make an additional listing to yours.

You are on it, girl! Emily

Anonymous said...

Neither list shows much concern for international philanthropy. I think that is a shame.

Anonymous said...

Heather: i recognize a few names only, and more of the organizations. thank you for being a sort of portal of innovators, particularly of the smaller scale. there are some names that i would throw your way including:

1) Erica Hunt, Executive Director of the 21st Century Fund (New York)
2) John Arvizu, Development Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (Los Angeles)
3) Minsun Ji, Director of Centro Humanitario (Denver)
4) Amardeep Singh, Director of the Sikh Coalition (Brooklyn + Fremont CA)
5) Ben Jealous, President of NAACP (Washington DC)
6) Juan Leyton, Director of Massachusetts Neighbor to Neighbor (Boston + SPringfield, MA)
7) Victor Quintana, Senior Program Officer of the Veatch Foundation (Long Island)
8) Tirso Moreno, President of the Farmworkers Workers Association of Florida (Apopka, FL)
9) Karla Zombro, Director of Special Projects at SCOPE (Los Angeles)
10) Pramila Jayapal, OneAmerica (Seattle)


Emily Weinberg said...

Just came across your post today and was surprised to see my name on the list! Thanks!!