On BOARD is A&BC’s unique board training and matching program for business leaders who are interested in serving on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit arts organization. Since 1999, A&BC has matched over 250 business professionals on nonprofit boards.

Participants attend sessions on the fundamentals of board service including finances, legal responsibilities, tax issues, and fundraising. During the same period, they meet with organizations that are currently seeking board members, attend performances/programming, and board meetings to determine which organization best aligns with their artistic interests and professional skills.

Become an On BOARD Candidate

Candidates are experienced professionals, typically with expertise in operations, finance, marketing/communications, public relations, strategy, organizational development, human resources, management consulting, IT, or nonprofit management. Many candidates are independent consultants, small business owners, Manager-, Director-, or VP-level business professionals, and nonprofit and higher education professionals. 

If you’d like to apply to become an On BOARD candidate, please fill out an ONLINE APPLICATION. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. After your application is reviewed, you’ll be contacted for an interview.


The tuition is $995, which includes all training sessions as well as tickets to a variety of programs and performances so that participants can become familiar with the organizations that are recruiting for their Board of Directors. 

There is a $50 early-bird discount available (see Orientation Schedule for deadlines). Participants have the option of paying the tuition in full upon enrollment or in 5 scheduled payments after a $250 deposit.  


  • Winter 2017: Feb 4 - Application deadline is Jan 27 (Early bird Jan 13)
  • Spring 2017: May 6 - Application deadline is Apr 28 (Early bird Apr 14)
  • Fall 2017: Sept 23 - Application deadline is Sept 15 (Early bird Sept 5)

Upcoming Training sessions

Trainings are from 9am-1pm on Saturdays. 

  • Nov 5 - Fundraising & Development
  • Dec 3 - Nonprofit Finances, Budget, & Tax Issues


Meet the Boards events are from 5:30-8pm on Wednesdays.

  • Winter 2017: Feb 15
  • Spring 2017: May 17
  • Fall 2017: Sept 27

Attention Employers

Many companies sponsor one or more candidates per year because they recognize board service as a professional development opportunity,  a great way to gain visibility in the community, and  a unique way to give back to Chicago’s nonprofit community.

On BOARD candidates participate in training sessions with other business leaders from companies such as Northern Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Segal Company, Baxter Healthcare, Boeing, Bank of America, and Quarles & Brady, and also get to know board members of organizations throughout the Chicago area. The On BOARD process creates both valuable networking opportunities and skills-building experiences. 

Are you currently serving on a board?

If you are currently serving on a Board of Directors and looking for additional education, our On BOARD training sessions are open to the public. The fee to attend all four sessions is $500. 

For more information about the On BOARD program or to apply, please contact Kristen Teasdale, Director of Programs - Board Services & Training, at (312) 372-1876 ext 105.