BoardSource tracks and analyzes trends in board composition, practices and performance.

The findings are available to researchers and reporters via our biennial study, Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board PracticesFormerly known as the BoardSource Nonprofit Governance Index, Leading with Intent aggregates and analyzes nonprofit executive and board chair perspectives on board practices and performance. More than 7,500 respondents have participated in the index since its inception in 1994, creating rich insights into how board composition and practices have changed over the past 20 years.

Leading with Intent is widely cited by researchers and reporters alike, and provides a reliable source for data on core board characteristics, such as

  • board size and demographics
  • board structure
  • application of recommended governance practices
  • satisfaction with board performance and self-reported challenges and strengths

BoardSource encourages researchers and reporters to utilize and share the insights gleaned from Leading with Intent, as well as the best practices and special initiatives highlighted below. If you are interested in speaking with a member of the BoardSource team about these findings, please contact us at

As a reporter interested in understanding the basics of nonprofit board service, we encourage you to review our most popular publication, Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, that puts board responsibilities into the context of the governance challenges facing nonprofits today.

Resources for Researchers/Reporters

BoardSource Recommended Governance Practices

These recommendations reflect BoardSource’s decades of experience working with tens of thousands of board leaders and conducting extensive research on board practices. They articulate a roadmap for boards toward becoming a strategic asset for their organizations.

Nonprofit Boards Still Not Diverse, Report Finds

Nonprofit boards are no more diverse than they were two years ago and do not seem to be prioritizing diversity in their recruitment practices, a report from BoardSource finds. Based on a survey of nearly eighteen hundred […]

Leading with Intent / Research

The support that BoardSource provides to individual nonprofit leaders and organizations is strengthened by our broader research work to identify and map trends within the nonprofit sector and to unleash the full potential of boards and board leaders to advance the public good through board service.

Research & Critical Issues

Research & Critical Issues The support that BoardSource provides to individual nonprofit leaders and organizations through our leadership initiatives is informed and strengthened by our broader work to identify and map trends within the nonprofit […]

BoardSource and Nonprofit Sector News

Latest News and Upcoming Events BoardSource is the only organization focused exclusively on nonprofit board practices and inspiring board service. We welcome the opportunity to share our expertise with the media and with those who […]