Strengthen Board Leadership Across Your Network

We partner with headquarter organizations to support and strengthen board leadership and governance across their network, helping to build strong and consistent board practices and performance.

What BoardSource can do to help:


Educate board leaders across your network about roles and responsibilities.

Resources & Tools

Provide resources and tools to support affiliate/chapter board development.


Benchmark the practices of boards in your network against national trends.

Support & Development

Support in-depth board development for a cohort or group of affiliates.

Popular approaches to strengthening board leadership within and across networks.

  • Network-Wide Access to Board Leadership Resources: BoardSource’s network-wide membership program extends open access to BoardSource’s member education resources and Ask-an-Expert email service to an unlimited number of board and staff members across your network. Its on-demand resources and guidance ensure that each and every leader in your network has free and open access to consistent and reputable information and assistance.
  • Benchmarking Board Leadership Strengths and Challenges: BoardSource partners with networked organizations to survey and benchmark their network’s board leadership practices, which can be done through broad deployment of BoardSource’s Board Self-Assessment (BSA) or through a census-like survey similar to the instrument used in BoardSource’s biennial Leading with Intent study. Often, these studies become the starting point for network-wide training programs or board development initiatives, as they signal key strengths and challenges, as well as benchmark organizational practices against the broader nonprofit sector.
  • Board Education Programs and Initiatives: We work with federated networks to design and implement focused education programs that build greater understanding and awareness in key areas of board development, both for entire networks and focused groups of chapters or affiliates. Whether the goal is to cultivate greater board engagement in fundraising, stronger executive oversight, or building stronger and more clearly defined partnerships between boards and executives, BoardSource works with headquarter organizations to develop a slate of educational offerings that meet the specific needs of the network. These programs and initiatives draw on BoardSource’s range of educational offerings, including training programs that can be delivered both in-person and in web-based formats.

Assessing Leadership Strengths & Challenges

How can we measure and understand our performance using data to help set priorities and create a strategy to help with next steps?

Self-Guided Board Development

Self-Guided Board Development enables boards and executives to comprehensively and confidentially assess the board’s performance in seven key areas.

Education, Guidance, and Training

How can we address important questions about leadership practices, fundraising culture, practices of high-performing boards, and more?

Peer Group-Based Training Programs

We have designed and implemented approaches to supporting a group of grantees through blended models of training, assessment, and coaching.

Quarterly Governance Clinics

Quarterly Governance Clinics can be broad in nature and lay a foundation for strong and consistent governance or dive deeper into topics that address a network’s specific needs.

Leadership Certificate Trainings

We offer four unique professional development certificate programs that ensure that nonprofit leaders have the knowledge and skills to make sustained contributions to their organizations.

The following organizations are among those who have partnered with BoardSource to strengthen board leadership within their networks.

  • American Lung Association
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Communities in Schools
  • Girls, Inc.
  • The Innocence Network
  • League of American Orchestras
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation of America
  • NeighborWorks America
  • Teach for America
  • USA Swimming
  • United Services Organization (USO)
  • Volunteers of America