Leading with Intent:
A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices

Learn what is happening within nonprofit boardrooms today in this comprehensive review and analysis of the Leading with Intent survey data; includes insights into trends, strengths, and challenges across the sector.

Executive Summary

A short look at Leading with Intent’s key findings.

Download Now

BoardSource Recommended Governance Practices

A summary of BoardSource recommended board leadership practices.

Download Now

Briefs and Topic Papers

Learn more about the board practices discussed in Leading with Intent in the topic papers and briefs provided here.

Learn More

Charts and Tables

Download the charts and tables included in the Leading with Intent report.

Learn More

Data File

Dig into the complete data from both the CEO and board chair surveys.

Purchase Now

Data File with Cross-Tabulations

Want even more data? This cross-tabulations file builds on the data file by providing comparisons by organizational type, budget size, geographic service area, affiliation, and more. The data is presented in Excel for flexibility in use.

Purchase Now


Charts and Tables

The following charts and tables are included in Leading with Intent.


  • Figure 1: Board Report Card: Grades
  • Figure 2: Summary of “Determinants of Board Performance in Nonprofit Organizations”
  • Figure 3: The Who, What, and How of Board Performance

People: Board Composition and Structure

  • Figure 4: Board and Officer Terms
  • Figure 5: Nonprofit Leadership Demographics
  • Figure 6: Importance of and Satisfaction with Diversity
  • Figure 7: Functional Inclusion Practices
  • Figure 8: Social Inclusion Practices
  • Figure 9: The Right Board Members for Oversight and Governance
  • Figure 10: Importance of Criteria for Recruiting Board Members
  • Figure 11: Most Common Board Committees
  • Figure 12: Board Meeting Frequency and Length
  • Figure 13: Board Meeting Practices
  • Figure 14: Indicators of Board Meeting Quality

Work: Board Responsibilities

  • Figure 15: Board Report Card: Distribution of Grades
  • Figure 16: Top 10 Areas for Board Improvement
  • Figure 17: Board Impact on Organizational Performance
  • Figure 18: Board Report Card: Strategic Planning and Program Oversight
  • Figure 19: Board Practices Related to Strategy
  • Figure 20: Statements and Board Activities Related to Public Policy and Advocacy
  • Figure 21: Boards and Fundraising: Requirements and Participation
  • Figure 22: Boards and Fundraising: Perceived Board Member Comfort
  • Figure 23: Financial Performance
  • Figure 24: Sources of Revenue: Charities (excluding associations and foundations)
  • Figure 25: Financial Oversight Practices
  • Figure 26: Compliance Policies

Culture: Leadership and Board Dynamics

  • Figure 27: Board Development: Role Clarity, Education, and Assessment
  • Figure 28: Improved Board Report Cards: Board Self-Assessment
  • Figure 29: Board Dynamics: Indicators of Shared Leadership and Board Engagement
  • Figure 30: Board Chair Report Card from CEOs
  • Figure 31: Constructive Partnership
  • Figure 32: CEO Performance Evaluation and Compensation Practices

Leading with Intent Data-at-a-Glance

This table shows data broken out by several key characteristics including organizational type, budget size, geographic service area, and affiliation. The complete data files are available for purchase.

Additional Resources

Written resources, publications, templates, and tools on the topics below can be found on the BoardSource website.