Think Strategically. Achieve Excellence.

2016 America's Top 20 Women in Philanthropy

Malissa Shriver, The Business of Giving

Cape Coral, Florida - January 3, 2017

Whether writing a book, giving a speech at a philanthropy forum, sitting down for a national radio or television interview, connecting with people through social media outlets or sharing their philanthropic story with investors, employees, grantees or volunteers, these Top 20 Women Executives, Thinkers and Experts are some of the philanthropic sector's most influential leaders.

There were more than 450 nominees for Top 20 Women in the philanthropic community, which is a little more than we expected.

Although they are highly visible and have built national (even international) platforms, these women were selected for their philanthropic impact through the art of collaboration and their ability to facilitate, to the highest degree, the free flow of information and innovation across sector networks to advance social change.

In addition, these women are not only thought leaders, they are LOVE LEADERS with compassion for the people they serve. Philanthropy without love has ZERO social impact. Money and endowment assets has nothing to do with our list, it is ALL about social impact, advancing the overall philanthropic sector (not just your own organization) with strategy and thought-leadership.

Maya Angelou, Oprah Winfrey's friend & mentor, captures the essence behind our selection process best in this quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

1. Oprah Winfrey, Founder, Oprah Winfrey Network

2. Melinda Gates, Co-Founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

3. Diana Aviv, Chief Executive Officer, Feeding America

4. Melody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments, Businesswoman & Philanthropist

5. Susan Desmond-Hellman, Chief Executive Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

6. Jean Case, Chief Executive Officer, Case Foundation

7. Bette Midler, Singer, Actress and Humanitarian

8. Sheila C. Johnson, Businesswoman & Philanthropist

9. Pamela Norley, President, Fidelity Charitable

10. Kathleen McLaughlin, President, Walmart Foundation

11. Katherine Milligan, Head & Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship

12. Helen LaKelly Hunt, Co-Founder, Women Moving Millions

13. Mary Wong, President, Office Depot Foundation

14. Mari Ellen Reynolds Loijens, Chief Business, Development & Brand Officer, Silicon Valley Community Foundation

15. Eileen Heisman, President, National Philanthropic Trust

16. Malissa Shriver, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Turnaround Arts California

17. Pam Pugh, Co-Founder, Women Doing Well

18. Sharla Langston, Co-Founder, Women Doing Well

19. Ann McKusick, Co-Founder, Women Doing Well

20. Sharon Epps, Co-Founder, Women Doing Well