Update 11/26: Jeremy has cross-posted his essay at Sean's Tactical Philanthropy One Post Challenge.
Jeremy Gregg at the Raisor's Razor reviews the 10th annual NPT Power & Influence Top 5o in pdf list from The NonProfit Times. Finding the list a bit too predictable, (big names, big organizations, big potential advertisers), Jeremy goes on to irreverently suggest that bloggers come up with their own list of change agents for the public good. He mentions Tracy Gary and I, for which I am flattered and grateful. He also mentions Larry James of Central Dallas Ministries (admittedly Jeremy's boss, but also a truly remarkable force for social justice here in Dallas). But, really, who are the key change agents, the ones whose names or organizations you would not find on the usual list of philanthropic bigshots?
I nominate Van Jones, Catherine Austin Fitts, Martin Kearns, and Joy Anderson, Tim Freundlich, and Kevin Jones. Also, in a surprise move, how about including William Schambra? He has opened doors, provoked debate and consistently raised the level and intensity of conversation about philanthropy. Also from the libertarian or conservative grassroots camp, how about Lenore Ealy? Tom Munnecke as the high tech master mind? Heather Wood Ion is another remarkable figure; I only wish more of her work were online. H. Peter Karoff is quite well known, but what about his colleagues at The Philanthropic Initiative, Steve Johnson and Ellen Remmer? Lucy Bernholz is an acknowledged star. What about Katherine Fulton, as visionary? Susan Davis? Sean? Albert? So many people come to mind once you get started. I could name many more.
Who comes to your mind as you think about "unsung heroes" of grassroots social change philanthropy? We may not end up with a nice neat list, but can we share the link love.