From the beginning Melville House maintained a dual advisory structure. The board of directors is composed largely of businessmen and other community representatives. As Goldman describes it: "Basically, this organization was started by professional people who got board members because they were legally required. . . . It was part of the licensing process. . . . The board of directors were primarily people whom we knew . . . would be interested in supporting this kind of thing . . . [and] who played a secondary role initially. . . . Now they play more of a role because . . . fund raising and so forth is of paramount importance."