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.

  • Circle with one quarter filled
    performance goals
  • Circle with two quarters filled
  • Circle with three quarters filled
  • Circle with four quarters filled
    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.

On-Demand Certificate Series

Our four-part, on-demand Certificate of Nonprofit Board Education covers fundamental governance concepts nonprofit leaders should understand, including board structure and financial and legal oversight.

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.

Problem Solvers
The BoardSource Problem Solvers are a new member benefit that aims to help you diagnose your board’s biggest problems and lead you to the right solutions. Explore the self-guided pathway now.

Downloadable & Written Resources

Members have access to all content in Resources + Solutions (R+S) emails including instantly downloadable tools and infographics. Members can also explore our full collection of 101-, 201-, and 301-level ‘topic papers.’

Additional Benefits

Membership also includes discounts on 40+ publications; a collection of diagnostic assessment tools; training programs; community webinars; 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


Join the Foundation Board Assessment Program


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Helpful Resources about Foundation Board Leadership