Foundation Board Assessment Program

BoardSource’s Foundation Board Assessment Program provides self-guided, ongoing board development for foundation leaders and boards.

The Foundation Board Assessment Program starts with a Board Self-Assessment for private or community foundations, enabling your board to reflect on what it’s doing well and where it’s more challenged. Throughout the year, your foundation’s leaders are supported with educational resources and tools to further your board development goals.

The Foundation Board Support Program also includes BoardSource’s Assessment of the Chief Executive tool that helps you foster the growth and development of your CEO and organization and enables your board to evaluate the chief executive’s performance in four key areas: annual performance goals, core competencies, leadership qualities, and accomplishments and challenges.

Board Self-Assessment (BSA)

The private or community foundation Board Self-Assessment (BSA) lays the groundwork for setting board development priorities and motivating board members — individually and collectively — to strengthen the full board’s governance performance and practices. By establishing a common understanding of board roles and responsibilities and measuring your board’s performance against these recognized roles and responsibilities, your foundation board can focus on what’s critical for success.

Our comprehensive assessments cover board practices and policies
in these areas of board responsibility.

  • BSA1

    Support of the organization’s mission and vision

  • BSA 2

    Effectiveness in planning & monitoring strategy

  • BSA 3

    Transparency, public trust, and fundraising for community foundations

  • BSA4

    Management, financial oversight, & support of CEO/ED

  • BSA 5

    Oversight of grants process

  • BSA6

    Board structure & composition

  • BSA 7

    Board meeting effectiveness

Assessment of the Chief Executive (ACE)

Assessing the chief executive is one of the board’s primary governance responsibilities and is critical to the success of the chief executive and to the organization as a whole. Assessment benefits both the chief executive and the board by providing you with the opportunity to clarify expectations, set organizational goals, and improve weaknesses or build on past success.

  • Annual
    performance goals

  • Core

  • Leadership

  • Accomplishments & challenges

Educational Resources to Support Your Foundation Board and Staff Leadership

Armed with the insights from the assessment, your board is provided access to on-demand educational resources and our Ask-an-Expert email assistance to support its board development goals. The program provides all current board members and staff with open access to BoardSource’s comprehensive member resources.

The BoardSource Exchange

The BoardSource Exchange is a collaborative tool that enables you to connect, engage, and share governance information with all BoardSource members like you who are committed to effective board leadership.

Downloadable Resources

Our Resources + Solutions (R+S) emails include tools you can instantly download, infographics that serve as thought pieces, and other easy-to-access resources. Only members have access to all content.

Ask-an-Expert Email Service

BoardSource provides guidance via an email service we refer to as Ask-an-Expert. Members can send their question or issue and receive governance guidance from a BoardSource expert.

Educational Webinars

BoardSource offers educational and timely webinars that are complimentary to all members. Both current and recorded webinars can be found in our store (members have free access, but still need to register).

Hundreds of Written Resources

BoardSource has a collection of 101-, 201-, and 301-leveltopic papers’ and articles on a wide range of topics. Members have access to all levels of resources while nonmembers only have access to only 101-level resources. 

Additional Benefits

Access to our quarterly e-newsletter, the Spark! and discounts on 40+ publications, additional diagnostic assessment tools, training programs, and the BoardSource Leadership Forum, our biennial conference.

Foundation Board Assessment Program Fees

  • Annual Grantmaking Range

    Less than $1,000,000
    $1,000,000 – $4,999,999
    $5,000,000 – $9,999,999
    $10,000,000 – $24,999,999
    $25,000,000 – $49,999,999
    More than $50,000,000

  • Annual Fee


Fill out this form to join the Foundation Board Assessment Program.

Helpful Resources about Foundation Board Leadership