Top 25: most influential charity sector leaders

The 25 most influential charity leaders from across the sector have been revealed in a survey conducted by Charity Times magazine.

As part of the magazine's 25th anniversary, readers were invited to vote for the leaders that have had a profound impact on the way the current sector operates and/or is adapting to the future.

Among the 25 most influential were Julia Unwin, chair of Civil Society Futures; Peter Lewis, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising; Sir Stuart Etherington, former CEO of the NCVO; Vicky Browning, chief executive of ACEVO; and Zoe Amar, chair of the Digital Code of Practice.

Other leaders include Deborah Alsina, CEO of Independent Age; Girish Menon, CEO of ActionAid UK; James Thornton, founder of ClientEarth; Kate Lee, CEO of CLIC Sargent; Caron Bradshaw, CEO of Charity Finance Group (CFG); and Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO of Oxfam.

“The people listed are just a sample of some of the incredible leaders working within our sector, and, whilst they are all wonderful, we know that our list is by no means definitive. The list we have collated is merely a selection of the people who are inspiring you – and us, too,” Charity Times editor Lauren Weymouth said.

“Leadership has changed drastically since Charity Times first launched 25 years ago and the expectations placed on the modern leader are almost unattainable. But not entirely, and that’s exactly what the leaders on this list are proving.

“From the responses we received, it’s clear that some of the people listed here are responsible for things far larger than their own charities. They’re responsible for sector-wide development, innovative campaigns and new products and guidance, all of which are proving to be a constant source of inspiration to the people lucky enough to be under their leadership.”

The full list:

1. Lucy Caldicott, CEO, ChangeOut
2. Caron Bradshaw, CEO, Charity Finance Group (CFG)
3. Carol Akiwumi, CEO, Money4Youth
4. Catherine Howarth, CEO, ShareAction
5. Danny Sriskandarajah, CEO, Oxfam
6. Deborah Alsina, CEO, Independent Age
7. Fozia Irfan, CEO, Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation
8. Girish Menon, CEO ActionAid UK
9. Sir Harpal Kumar, former CEO, Cancer Research
10. James Thornton, CEO, ClientEarth
11. Kate Lee, CEO, CLIC Sargent
12. Peter Lewis, CEO, Institute of Fundraising (IoF)
13. Dame Mary Marsh, independent director and chair of the Charity Ethical Principles
14. Ruth Hunt, former CEO, Stonewall
15. Simon Gillespie, CEO, British Heart Foundation
16. Sophie Walker, CEO, Young Women’s Trust
17. Sir Stuart Etherington, former CEO, NCVO
18. Vicky Browning, CEO, ACEVO
19. Zoe Amar, chair, Digital Code of Practice
20. Matt Hyde, CEO, The Scouts
21. Julie Bentley, CEO, Action for Children
22. Julie Unwin, chair, Civil Society Futures
23. Paul Streets, CEO, Lloyds Bank Foundation
24. Peter O’Hara, founder and MD, The Payroll Giving Team
25. Ruth Ibegbuna, founder and CEO, The Roots Programme

The order of the list is not representative of the number of nominations received, and the list is in no strategic order.

Read the full list with details for the winners in the latest issue of Charity Times here.

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