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BoardSource, formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards, is an American nonprofit organization founded in 1988. Its mission is to build nonprofit boards and encourage board service.

BoardSource offers consulting services, publications and a membership program to increase the effectiveness of nonprofit organizations by strengthening their boards of directors.


In the early 1980s, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and Independent Sector conducted a survey and found that 30 percent of respondents believed they were doing a good job of board education and training, with the rest of the respondents reporting little, if any, activity in strengthening governance. As a result, the two organizations proposed the creation of a new organization whose mission was to increase the effectiveness of nonprofit boards.[1]

With a lead grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation[2] as well as funding from five other donors, the National Center for Nonprofit Boards opened its doors in 1988 with a staff of three and an operating budget of US$385,000.[3]

The National Center for Nonprofit Boards changed its name to BoardSource in 2002.

Current status[edit]

BoardSource is based in Washington, D.C. and has an annual budget in fiscal year 2008 of approximately $9 million. It maintains a staff of more than 40 employees. In addition, the organization has an affiliated pool of associates[4] who conduct consulting and training engagements around the country on behalf of the organization.

BoardSource collaborates with organizations such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the American Association of Museums, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity International, the National Council of La Raza and the United Way of America to provide guidance on what constitutes good governance and to offer educational opportunities in new approaches to governance.[5]

BoardSource serves more than 75,000 nonprofit leaders yearly through its website, publications, a bimonthly magazine, workshops, consulting and an annual conference.[6]

To date, "Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards", BoardSource's first publication, remains the organization's top-selling publication.


  1. ^ Campbell, Mary Beth, "NOT Governance as Usual," Foundation News & Commentary, Council on Foundations, January/February 2001[dead link]
  2. ^ Kellogg Grant Information
  3. ^ "BoardSource Financial Statements". Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Consulting". BoardSource. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  5. ^ "BoardSource - About Us". Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  6. ^ "BoardSource, Company Information". January 23, 2008. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 

External links[edit]