urban institute nonprofit social and economic policy research

Elizabeth T. Boris

Elizabeth T. Boris



Center Director


In September of 1996, Elizabeth T. Boris became the founding director of the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy at the Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. The Center conducts research on the role and impact of nonprofit organizations and the policy issues that affect them. The Center also hosts the National Center for Charitable Statistics, which builds and maintains the nation's largest research database on nonprofit organizations.

From 1991 to 1996, Dr. Boris was founding director of the Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, the first grant making program devoted to supporting research on the nonprofit sector and philanthropy. Prior to her tenure at the Aspen Institute, Dr. Boris was Vice President for Research at the Council on Foundations, where she developed the research program and directed it for twelve years.

The author of many research publications on nonprofits and philanthropy, she edited Nonprofits and Government: Collaboration and Conflict, with C. Eugene Steuerle, and is an author of Working in Foundations: Career Patterns of Women and Men, with Teresa Odendahl and Arlene Kaplan Daniels. Dr. Boris is actively involved as an advisor and board member for a variety of organizations in the nonprofit sector. In 2006 she received the Distinguished Achievement and Leadership Award from the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action. She was named a member of NPT Power & Influence Top 50 nonprofit leaders nine times.

Dr. Boris affiliations include: The Past-President of the Board of the Association for Research on Nonprofits and Voluntary Action and current membership on its distinguished achievement awards committee; the Advisory Board of the Center for the Study of Philanthropy at the City University of New York; the Honorary Council of the Washington Area Women's Foundation; the Board of Advisors of the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law at the New York University School of Law; the Chair of the Fetzer Institute's Non-governmental Organizations Advisory Council and others. She is also on the Advisory Board of Nonprofit Management and Leadership and the Editorial Board of Nonprofit Policy Forum.

Ph.D. and MA in political science from Rutgers University and a BA from Douglass College, Rutgers University, with honors and Phi Beta Kappa. She was elected to the Douglass College Honorary Society in 2004.

Areas of expertise

Civil society, philanthropy and foundations, nonprofit organizations, nonprofit databases, nonprofit sector tax and regulatory issues, nonprofit advocacy

Selected Publications from Elizabeth T. Boris

  • Human Service Nonprofits and Government Collaboration: Findings from the 2010 National Survey of Nonprofit Government Contracting and Grants
  • Contracts and Grants between Human Service Nonprofits and Governments
  • The State of Society: Measuring Economic Success and Human Well-Being
  • Publications by topic:
    Governance
    Nonprofit Sector
    Advocacy Organizations
    Civil Society
    Foundations and Philanthropy
    Nonprofit Statistics
    Tax Policy
    Taxes and Social Programs
    Other Data

    See all publications by Elizabeth T. Boris

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