2016 Survey Media Kit

Help us promote the 2016 Leading with Intent survey. Download the media kit here.

2016 Survey Media Kit


In the News

  • Museums So White: Survey Reveals Deep Lack of Diversity

    Ruth McCambridge, Nonprofit Quarterly

    A new report issued by the American Alliance of Museums at its annual meeting offers some pretty stark statistics as far as diversity and inclusion are concerned—worse than the sector overall if we compare these numbers to the nonprofits surveyed by BoardSource’s most recent Leading with Intent study. Read the full article.

  • How to Conduct Effective Board Assessment for Your Nonprofit

    Cynder Sinclair, Noozhawk

    Some nonprofit executives are unsure how to go about evaluating their board. In fact, many feel downright uncomfortable about the idea.

    Executives fear it might seem a little arrogant and assuming for them to initiate an assessment of the board. After all, executive directors and CEOs report to the board of directors. But it is essential to perform this critical measurement every year. Read the full article.

  • Generational shifts likely to impact Michigan's nonprofits

    Mark S. Lee, Crain's Detroit Business

    There are more than 75,000 nonprofits in Michigan with more than two-thirds of them located in metro Detroit. Collectively, they generate more than $240 million annually and champion thousands of causes that affect people's lives.

    Yes, nonprofit organizations are a major force and provide valuable services to many people across this region and state. Read the full article.

  • Do Nonprofit Directors Face Cyber Security Risks?

    Eugene Fram, Nonprofit Management

    The cyber security (CS) debacles faced by Target, Sony Pictures and others may seem far afield from the concerns of nonprofit directors, except for the giants in the area, like AARP. However, think about this hypothetical scenario.

    A group of high school students hacked into the computer system of a local nonprofit offering mental health services and gain access to records of clients, perhaps even placing some of the records of other teenagers on the internet. Read the full article.

  • Voices of Board Chairs: A National Study on the Perspectives of Nonprofit Board Chairs

    The Nonprofit Quarterly

    There is relatively little research that investigates the topic of nonprofit board chair leadership, but this role is pivotal in many organizations. It helps to structure, uphold, and revise the container for dialogue and disciplines for managing conversation, and to establish the atmosphere for deliberation. This takes a measure of sophistication as well as self-awareness regarding the match between one’s own personal leadership characteristics and the needs of the board, the organization, and the community served. But do nonprofits honor this leverage point with the attention it deserves? Maybe not. Read the full article.

  • The best board member orientation: How to set your new directors immediately up for success

    Charity Village

    In recent years, boards of directors and their roles have changed in a variety of ways, but one thing hasn’t: members vote and help direct the future of the organization from the time of their very first board meeting. This makes it essential for new board members to be oriented to their role as quickly and as well as possible. As Jane Garthson, president of the Garthson Leadership Centre says, “The point of orientation is make directors immediately effective.” Read the full article

  • Should Board Members of Large Nonprofits Be Paid?

    Nonprofit Quarterly

    Recently, UK civil society leaders Sir Stephen Bubb and Sir Stuart Etherington offered the radical suggestion that board members of £100 million-plus “charities” be remunerated and that a new category might be established for such large charities.

    Bubb just resigned from the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO) to launch a new project named the Charities Future Programme to improve governance and leadership in the UK’s charity sector. This new initiative is just getting underway. Read the full article

  • Why and How to Build a Diverse Nonprofit Board

    Chronicle of Philanthropy

    The call for nonprofits to embrace diversity and reflect the communities they serve is growing louder. To accomplish those goals, charities and foundations need diverse board members, says Danielle Johnson-Vermenton, principal consultant at... Read the full article

  • Leading with Intent Comes of Age: A glimpse at what 21 years of change in nonprofit governance looks like

    BoardSource Blog

    In 1994, Amazon was launched, the infamous Lorena Bobbitt went on trial and was found temporarily insane, Michael Jackson married Elvis’s daughter, and Howard Stern ran for governor of New York. Given such momentous cultural milestones, it is hardly surprising that the first-ever BoardSource “Governance Index” —later renamed Leading with Intent —did not make the popular headlines. But now thatLeading with Intent has reached maturity some 21 years later, what does a comparison of the survey results between 1994 and the most recent survey (conducted in 2014 and published in early 2015) tell us about the evolution of nonprofit governance over time? What are the changes and trends they indicate? Which conditions have stubbornly persisted? And, most importantly, what’s left to do? Read the full article

  • What Are Nonprofit Boards Concerned About in 2016?

    Nonprofit Quarterly

    On February 4th, 2016, NPQ asked our readers to participate in a small “pulse” survey to surface some areas where BoardSource should ask questions in Leading with Intent, its big biennial survey. That is, we wanted to help BoardSource, our frequent collaborator, to tailor its questions to the current concerns of board members.

    Both organizations undertook this small preliminary step, and at that time, we promised to share the highlights of the findings back with you. We received 173 responses, which is a small sample, but as BoardSource describes it, “A ‘pulse’ survey is not designed to be a representative sample survey yielding a comprehensive view. Rather, it is like taking a medical pulse; it gives a rapid measure of health and clues about what is going on.” Read the full article

  • What Nonprofits Can Learn From #OscarsSoWhite

    The Chronicle of Philanthropy

    As movie fans around the globe get ready to watch the Academy Awards this weekend, everyone in the nonprofit world should be paying attention to the #OscarsSoWhite campaign. The backlash against the all-white slate of nominees in the four acting categories exemplifies the lack of diversity and inclusion throughout the entertainment industry.

    This isn’t a problem just in Hollywood. When it comes to diversity, the entertainment industry has a lot in common with the nonprofit sector, including: Read the full article

  • Leading with Intent: a Call to Action for Nonprofits

    National Business Officers Association

    A dynamic group of volunteers, a hard-working staff and a well-defined mission to which both groups are committed: This is the unique ideal of nonprofit governance, but it is not easily achieved. In fact, nonprofit leaders themselves give nonprofit boards a B-minus in overall performance, according to Leading with Intent: a National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices (free to download), which synthesizes years of data involving nonprofit board practices, policies and performance.

    I learned about this report last month, when I attended the 2015 BoardSource Leadership Forum along with 900 other nonprofit board chairs, CEOs, volunteers and staff. Three takeaways in particular, from a session covering the Leading with Intent findings, struck me as especially important for independent schools. Read the full article

  • Beyond the Traditional Junior Board: Ways to Turn Millennials Into Leaders

    The Chronicle of Philanthropy

    Engaging millennials is a high priority for many nonprofits. These 20- and 30-somethings know how to use social media and care about doing good. And, of course, they will become the donors of the future. In order to capitalize on this potential, some… Read the Full Article

  • Board Performance Evaluated and Given B-

    MAP for Nonprofits

    More than 800 nonprofit organizations in the United State participated in a study which evaluated nonprofit board performance and as a result, awarded boards a B- average.

    BoardSource, the organization which does this study each year, suggests the results are underwhelming considering board members are often thought of as community leaders and high achievers. ...Read the Full Article

  • Does Your Board Foster Inclusivity?


    Whether it’s stated explicitly or not, every board has a culture. Your board culture might be fostering good governance and supporting positive engagement or it might be hindering it. At the board level, culture is expressed in myriad ways, including—but not limited to—how meetings ....Read the Full Article

  • Training in Progress

    Stanford Social Innovation Review

    Most successful companies recognize the value of motivating employees to contribute their time and talent to benefit their community. Often, however, company leaders grapple with the question of how to maximize the benefits of corporate involvement in volunteer efforts of that kind....Read the Full Article

  • How to Get Beyond B-Minus: The State of Nonprofit Boards Today


    If you were to assign a grade to the board on which you serve, what grade would you give it? Earlier this year BoardSource asked nonprofit CEOs to rate their boards. Their findings: boards earned a 2.65 or B- average — underwhelming results for the top leaders of their organizations and such high achieving individuals...Read the Full Article

  • Adaptive Strategic Planning For Today’s New Normal


    Do you remember that childhood game called “Freeze”? If only we could play it now with the world in which our nonprofits operate. “Freeze,” I’d yell, when it comes time to create a strategic plan — “Stop moving, we have to plan.” After all, setting direction for the organization is one of the board’s primary responsibilities...Read the Full Article.

  • Boards: A View From The Corner Office


    While we live in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) times, nonprofit boards have changed only modestly. The findings in Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices show some progress over the past 20 years. We have gotten smarter about boards, but only incrementally...Read the Full Article.

  • How to Get Beyond B-Minus: The State of Nonprofit Boards Today


    Today, BoardSource launched Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, which is a comprehensive scan of current nonprofit board practices, policies, and performance...Read the Full Article.

  • The Face of Nonprofit Boards: A Network Problem

    Nonprofit Quarterly

    Within BoardSource’s 2014 Governance IndexLeading with Intent,” there lies an interesting paradox when it comes to board diversity. Forty-five percent of the boards and 69 percent of the CEOs surveyed are dissatisfied with their board’s diversity. Not only that, but 71 percent of boards and 75 percent of CEOs think a more diverse board would make them better at fulfilling their mission...Read the Full Article.

  • 'Leading With Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices'

    Philanthropy News Digest

    Nonprofit CEOs and board chairs think boards do an okay job, assigning their own boards an average grade of “B-,”  a new report from BoardSource finds. Based on a survey of more than eight hundred nonprofit CEOs and board chairs, the report... Read the Full Article.

  • “Leading with Intent” – Top 10 Super-Interesting Points


    Last month, BoardSource published results from the 8th version of its national survey“Leading With Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices.”  850 chief executives and 246 board chairs completed the survey; and it includes a trove of valuable information.  The focus of this post is not to summarize the major takeaways from that survey; BoardSource is kind enough to do exactly that in the convenient Key Findings section of its site.  I strongly recommend giving one or both of those documents a read-through.  But, given seemingly omnipresent time-constraints, doing so can be a challenge.  So, my intent is to share just a few of the less publicized, but still important items from the 50+ pages of results.  With no further ado, these are my “Top 10 Not-Quite-Headlines, But-Still-Super-Interesting” points from the study... Read the Full Article.

  • Boards: A View From the Corner Office


    While we live in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) times, nonprofit boards have changed only modestly. The findings in Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practicesshow some progress over the past 20 years. We have gotten smarter about boards, but only incrementally. Read the full article.

  • Board members of non-profits earn B- grade: National report


    Board members of non-profit organizations earned a B- grade for their effectiveness leading social service, arts and other agencies, according to a national report. Read the Full Article.

  • How to Get Beyond B-Minus: The State of Nonprofit Boards Today

    Huffington Post

    Today, BoardSource launched Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, which is a comprehensive scan of current nonprofit board practices, policies, and performance.

    While there is lots of good news to share, the bottom line is that nonprofit leaders give nonprofit boards a "B minus" grade in overall performance. Leading with Intent explores why that is, and -- more importantly -- what we can do about it. Read the Full Article

  • BoardSource’s 2014 Governance Index: Is Your Board “Normal”?

    Nonprofit Quarterly

    According to the 2014 BoardSource Governance Index, is your board out of step with the norm? In some cases, these norms may reflect good standards of practice; in others, not so much. Read the Full Article

  • BoardSource Releases National Study on Nonprofit Board Practices

    Press Release

    Washington, D.C. – BoardSource — the only national organization dedicated to nonprofit board leadership — has released Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices. This comprehensive scan of nonprofit board practices, policies, and performance is a powerful window into current board leadership and trends. Read the Full Press Release.

Partner with Us

BoardSource has a long history of partnering with foundations, associations, federated organizations, and corporations interested in building the effectiveness of their grantee or affiliate boards through assessment and training. If you would like to explore the possibility of gathering data regarding your grantee or affiliate boards’ practices through a customized survey and report similar to Leading with Intent, please contact partnerships@boardsource.org.

Past and current clients include:

  • Girl Scouts – USA
  • NeighborWorks America
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters

BoardSource is also very interested in partnering with the research community on papers and/or articles incorporating Leading with Intent data.  If you’re interested in using the raw data or discussing your research ideas, please contact us at leadingwithintent@boardsource.org or 202-349-2543.

Contact Us


Want to reproduce significant portions of the Leading with Intent data? Please contact us for permission to do so at permissions@boardsource.org.

Media Contacts

Erin Berry
Vice President of Marketing & Communications

Anne Atwood Mead
Director of Communications