Leading with Intent: 2023 Nonprofit Board Survey

BoardSource recently launched its survey in connection with the updated Leading with Intent: BoardSource Index of Nonprofit Board Practices for 2023.

Who serves on today’s nonprofit boards? What matters most when it comes to the board’s roles and responsibilities? What impact are they having on organizational performance? How do boards conduct their work? How well are they fulfilling their many important roles and responsibilities? How are boards composed and organized?

Leading with Intent: BoardSource Index of Nonprofit Board Practices answers these questions.

The 2023-2024 research is now open until July 31, 2023. The survey will highlight leadership transitions, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the board, and the impact of COVID-19 on board culture. We invite all nonprofit chief executives and board chairs to participate in the 11th edition of Leading with Intent to help inform new educational resources and better understand nonprofit board leadership practices, trends, and norms within the field.

This research will inform BoardSource’s 11th Leading with Intent Report. For its last report (2021), BoardSource received a total of 820 individual responses, 689 from chief executives and 131 from board chairs. The information for the 2021 report was collected before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, so this latest survey will be the first post-pandemic.

These reports are invaluable to a better understanding of the nonprofit sector and governance within the sector. We are grateful to those who participate in the survey for the benefit of the broader community.

Past Posts on Leading with Intent 2021

Key Nonprofit Governance Report: Leading With Intent (2021)

Key Governance Report: Leading With Intent – DEI Provisions (2021)

7 Key Findings from Leading with Intent 2021

  1. Boards are disconnected from the communities and people they serve.
  2. Boards that prioritize fundraising above all else when it comes to the board’s role do so at the expense of organizational strategy, relevance and impact.
  3. Board and executives should reflect on what is prioritized in terms of board expectations and how time is spent.
  4. The board chair’s leadership in ensuring that there are clear expectations of board service seem to matter most when it comes to the board’s overall culture.
  5. Boards may be getting slightly more diverse, but they are far from representing the communities they serve.
  6. Board recruitment practices are not aligned with diversity goals.
  7. Boards that include people of color are more likely to have adopted diversity, equity, and inclusion practices than boards that do not include people of color.