Mike Aaronson, who was chief executive of Save the Children from 1995 until last year, was awarded a knighthood, as was Dr Tim Hunt, who is principal scientist at Cancer Research UK. Hunt was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Medicine with Sir Paul Nurse in 2001.
Business tycoon Stanley Thomas also won a knighthood, for his charity work in Wales. As well as being chairman of the Noah's Ark Appeal for Cardiff's Children's Hospital, Thomas is also chairman of both the NSPCC Wales Full Stop appeal board and the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Wales.
Other voluntary sector figures to have their achievements recognised include Esther Rantzen, the founder of ChildLine, who received a CBE.
The former That's Life presenter, a trustee of the now-merged ChildLine and NSPCC, was awarded an OBE for services to broadcasting in 1991.
She said: "Above all, this underlines for me the wonderful work done by ChildLine - and other children's organisations - to protect vulnerable children."
The former chief executive of Addaction, Peter Martin, received a CBE, as did Christopher Spence, chief executive of Volunteering England and chair of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund. Richard Bennett, general secretary of overseas aid group Bond, and John Belcher, chief executive of the older people's charity the Anchor Trust, also received CBEs.
Among those receiving OBEs were Bernadette Cleary, founder of the Rainbow Trust Children's Charity for terminally ill children, Gillian Green, head of UK grants at Comic Relief, and Barbara Hearn, deputy chief executive of the National Children's Bureau.