BoardSource Board Self-Assessment FAQs

About the BoardSource Board Self-Assessment (BSA)


The BSA is designed to educate and provide insights on your board’s governance performance, which will enable your board to operate at the highest and best use of its collective capacity. This easy-to-use survey tool gives every member of the board a confidential and convenient way to provide feedback to the board on the performance of the governing body or its chief executive. BoardSource began offering the BSA tool shortly after the organization’s founding in 1988. The product has evolved from a manually tabulated print survey to a user-friendly online assessment that is widely respected and utilized across the nonprofit sector. The current BSA is based on the BoardSource publication, Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards.

The BSA for nonprofit boards of public and private charities has been customized specifically for associations, community foundations, private foundations, credit unions, independent schools, and a variety of other sub-sectors within the nonprofit sector. Additionally, individual organizations have the option to further customize any of the master surveys to fit their unique needs.

How often should we conduct a board self-assessment?

BoardSource recommends that organizations engage in a self-assessment process every two to three years.

Who is responsible for distributing the survey?

Your board representative, known as the facilitator, provided e-mail addresses for all individuals who were invited to take the survey. On behalf of your organization, BoardSource sent you an e-mail containing a link to the online assessment. The name of someone from your organization appears in the FROM line to help you recognize this as a legitimate e-mail. If you have questions about the purpose of the assessment, your facilitator is your best point of contact. If you need assistance completing the survey or have any technical issues, please contact BoardSource at 202.349.2583 or assessments@boardsource.org. Your e-mail has a user-specific link to your personal survey. Please do not forward this e-mail to other board members.

What is BoardSource?

BoardSource supports, trains, and educates more than 60,000 nonprofit board leaders from across the country each year. With more than 25 years of experience, BoardSource provides leaders with an extensive range of tools and resources, including webinars, live training sessions, customized diagnostics, and original publications to increase their effectiveness and magnify the impact of their mission. BoardSource is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, visit our website, e-mail us at assessments@boardsource.org, or call us at 202.349.2583.

Will my name and e-mail address be used for any purpose other than conducting this assessment?

No. It is the policy of BoardSource that all individual identifying information provided by survey participants remains confidential. Names and e-mail addresses provided to BoardSource are not, under any circumstances, shared with any other companies or organizations. Please review the Privacy Policy which is posted to this page for more details.

Will anybody in my organization see my answers?

No. Your answers are kept confidential. They are submitted directly to BoardSource and individual answers cannot be accessed by anyone on your board. Only the aggregate answers are shared with your board via a data report. Answers to open-ended questions will be grouped together in random order in the data report. The text will appear exactly as it was entered, but it will not be attached to specific participants.

Will the facilitator see my answers?

No. The facilitator cannot link responses to individuals. The facilitator, however, is given information about who on the board has completed the assessment.

How long do I have to complete this survey?

Your deadline for completing this assessment is included in the e-mail sent to you.

Can I start and resume the assessment at a later time?

If you wish, you can begin the assessment and then return to complete it at a later time. Your answers are saved every time you move to the next page. To have your answers included in the data report, you must complete the entire assessment before the deadline date. You will find the deadline date for the survey in the e-mail you received.

Can I change my answers once my survey has been completed?

Yes. If the survey deadline has not already passed, you can change or edit your answers. Please contact a BoardSource Assessment Services Representative at 202.349.2583 or assessments@boardsource.org and request that we reopen your survey. If you wish to change a response after the deadline has passed, you must contact your organization’s facilitator to inquire about the possibility of doing so.

If you have further questions, please contact a BoardSource Assessment Services Representative at 202.349.2583 or assessments@boardsource.org.