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NPT Power & Influence 50, 2009 Edition

August 03, 2009

News_NPT50 As it does every year at this time, the NonProfit Times has published a new edition of its Power and Influence Top 50 -- its valiant/controversial/[fill in the blank] attempt to honor nonprofit executives who are creating impact and introducing innovations "to evolve the charitable sector."

This year's edition boasts the P&I debut of eighteen nonprofit leaders -- the largest turnover in the twelve-year history of the list. It also includes seven executives who were on last year's list, three executives who had fallen off the list for at least a year, and one exec -- William C. McGinly, president and CEO of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy -- who has made the list every year since its inception.

As NPT editors are quick to point out, selection to the list is not scientific. NPT solicits nominations -- more than 250 this year -- from its editorial staff, contributing editors, former nominees, and "a few elected, plugged-in people." The process, according to the publication, is also "intended to ensure that most disciplines within the sector have a representative....[T]his year the selections were weighted toward public service but the vital technology segment of the sector is also represented."

That may be, but a number of nonprofit practitioners and people who follow the sector on Twitter are questioning the list's claim to be "representative" of current trends and developments in the sector, citing, among other things, the conspicuous absence of influential bloggers and social media thought leaders and a less obvious but still noticeable lack of diversity on the list.

What do you think of this year's Power and Influence Top 50? Is it sufficiently representative of current trends and developments in the sector? Does it adequately reflect the diversity of the sector? And if not, who is missing? What say ye?

-- Mitch Nauffts

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Posted by Matt  |   August 06, 2009 at 10:55 AM

I'm not quite sure who might be missing, but I've noticed a slight shift over the years. In the early years of this 12-year-old list, many of the honorees seemed to be listed as much -- if not more -- for the organizations they represented as for the influence they wielded. That seems to be less the case now, but I would expect that discussion still goes on: is so-and-so influential because she runs the XYZ Society or is the XYZ Society powerful because she's running the show?

Chicken, meet the egg; egg meet the chicken.

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