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A Monster List of Social Changemakers on Twitter

By Nell Edgington

social change monster listToday is Halloween, which means it’s time for another monster list. In keeping with my Halloween tradition on the blog, today I’d like to add to past monster lists (of social change blogs, conferences, books, and resources) with a monster list of social changemakers to follow on Twitter.

I know, I know, Twitter is struggling.  Maybe it will never become the profit powerhouse that Facebook is, but Twitter has become a unique and powerful social change tool, through hashtag movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #ArabSpring and its ability to connect like-minded people.

In my mind, Twitter is infinitely more thought-provoking and gamechanging than other social networks. So I hope it finds its way and continues to play an important role in the social change space.

Below is my monster list (in no particular order) of interesting social change people to follow on Twitter. These are people who have fascinating things to say about the world of social change. They are nonprofit, philanthropic, government leaders; journalists; thought leaders and more who use Twitter as a way to spark conversation, spread ideas and make social change a reality.

I have let them describe themselves via their Twitter “Bio”:

  • @knightfdn The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.
  • @pndblog Opinion and commentary on the changing world of philanthropy. Brought to you by Philanthropy News Digest and the Foundation Center.
  • @vppartners Venture Philanthropy Partners brings people together to support children and youth.
  • @RockefellerFdn The Rockefeller Foundation’s mission—unchanged since 1913—is to improve the well-being of humanity throughout the world.
  • @carolinefiennes Director of Giving Evidence: encouraging /enabling charitable *giving* based on sound *evidence*. Wrote acclaimed book, It Ain’t What You Give. FT columnist.
  • @ClaraGMiller President, F. B. Heron Foundation
  • @MarketsForGood #Information to drive #socimp. Movement seeking ways to increase the social sector’s capacity to generate, share & use #data to improve decision making.
  • @Cingib Strategist/writer for foundations/NPs on civic engagement, capacity-building, democracy, philanthropy, nonprofit sector, and education
  • @kanter Let’s talk about networks, data, self-care, & social media for nonprofit learning & impact. #nptech Instructional designer, trainer, walker, & magic markers!
  • @ajscholz Chief Everything Officer @SphaeraInc / Learning to collaborate to survive the 21st century / We now have the technological, legal and financial tools for it!
  • @Philanthropy News, resources, advice, and commentary about the nonprofit world from The Chronicle of Philanthropy.
  • @KateSBarr Believes that working at & leading nonprofits calls upon the best in people. Executive director at @NAFund
  • @NTENorg Serving our members in the nonprofit community to better use technology to further their mission. We promote nonprofit tech (#nptech) & training (#NTENlearn).
  • @Daniel_Stid Skeptical optimist, Madisonian, partisan of representative democracy, fan of Sparty and the Flying Dutchmen.
  • @IUPhilanthropy Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy offers a comprehensive approach to philanthropy—Improving Philanthropy to Improve the World.
  •  President/CEO of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. Committed to helping our sector exceed expectations.
  •  Director for Effective Philanthropy at the Hewlett Foundation.
  •  Phil Buchanan is president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy.
  • @CEPData The Center for Effective Philanthropy focuses on the development of comparative data to enable higher-performing funders.
  •  BUILD Director at the Ford Foundation. Passionate about the social sector, addressing inequality in all its forms, & Jane Austen.
  •  We make millions of dollars in loans to nonprofits and push for fundamental improvement in how money is given and used in the sector.
  •  The National Council of Nonprofits is a trusted resource and advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits.
  • Crusader for at in and beyond. Especially fond of rhymes.
  • @PackardOE We’re the Packard Foundation Organizational Effectiveness Team. We’re here to share and learn about organizational effectiveness, philanthropy and supporting the social sector.
  •  Founder of /. Now leading to further reveal the power of food, community & social enterprise. No Waste!! Opinions are mine.
  •  Reporter at The Chronicle of Philanthropy ~ I cover nonprofit innovation, social enterprise, data, and technology. (I am so not the political pundit.)

I know I have missed many thought-provoking social changemakers. So, who would you add to the list?

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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About the Author: Nell Edgington is President of Social Velocity (, a management consulting firm leading nonprofits to greater social impact and financial sustainability. Social Velocity helps nonprofits grow their programs, bring more money in the door, and use resources more effectively. For more information, check out Social Velocity consulting services and clients.

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4 Comments to A Monster List of Social Changemakers on Twitter

Karl Androes
October 31, 2016

I see only one actual “doer” on your list. The rest are all funders or policy types. Really. How about Billy Shore at Share Our Strength/No Kid Hungry, or whatever his org is called? Or a thousand other really great folks who are actually DOING the work to make change happen? Your biases are showing!

Karl Androes
November 2, 2016

I love the service you are providing here, compiling some great social change makers. It looks to me like most are funders and communicators/policy folks. So, here’s a few I’d add, off the top of my head, to diversify more to folks (mostly) who are making change in the trenches where the resources are actually in contact with the folks who need them. Some are individuals, some are the organizations they run. Like your list, my additions are in no particular order:

@jimknight99 = I study Instructional Coaching at the Kansas Coaching Project and write the Radical Learners blog.
Jeff Nelson at OneGoal = @OneGoalGraduate OneGoal identifies, trains and supports our nation’s most effective teachers to lead underperforming high school students to graduate from college.
We partner with communities across Asia & Africa to promote literacy and girls’ education. World Change Starts with Educated Children.
NY Times columnist, co-author of Half the Sky & @APathAppears
Author (Teach Like a Champion, Reading Reconsidered, Practice Perfect), dad, student of great teachers. Most views borrowed from someone smarter.
Working to make a free, world-class education available for anyone, anywhere. And having fun while doing it
Geoffrey Canada at @hczorg
Doing whatever it takes to help our 13,000 kids get to and through college and end the cycle of generational poverty in Central Harlem
New book: Helping Children Succeed. Previous books: How Children Succeed, Whatever It Takes. Contributing writer, New York Times Magazine.
@psznewajs @IngenuityChgo leader, social sector strategist, arts as an engine, cycling, hockey, peak bagger.
founder of hunger org, Share Our Strength, author of The Cathedral Within, and THE IMAGINATIONS OF UNREASONABLE MEN
Harry Rhodes at @growinghome
Social Enterprise – Urban Farming – Organic Agriculture – Job Training – Community Development – Food Access
One more for good measure: @karlandroes
Executive Director of Reading In Motion, Chicago

Nell Edgington
November 2, 2016

Thanks for the great additions, Karl.

[…] I mentioned earlier, I’m a huge fan of Twitter, but it’s struggling. NPR tech writer Laura Sydell […]

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