On BOARD is A&BC’s unique service that provides participating arts organization and their boards with the opportunity to be matched with highly qualified and trained volunteers ready to serve as high-functioning board members. Since 1999, A&BC has successfully placed over 230 business professionals on nonprofit arts boards in the Chicago area.
The Arts & Business Council is pleased to be able to provide knowledgeable and dedicated candidates to the boards of the growing arts organizations we serve. Indeed, approximately 50% of all placed On BOARD graduates reach Executive Committee status during their first term as a member, and often remain with their chosen organization for many years.
Is Your Arts Organization Ready for On BOARD?
A&BC works with both the organizations and the candidates throughout the process. Interested arts groups complete a comprehensive application and may be interviewed by the Arts & Business Council staff to ensure that the arts organization is prepared for and committed to the program—i.e., does the organization have a board development/expansion strategy? Is the current board functioning effectively? Is current board leadership engaged in the process?
How it Works
During the 4-month program, which runs twice annually, candidates become acquainted with each of the participating Chicago area arts organizations—the process includes two formal networking sessions with the arts groups, individual site visits, attendance of performances, exhibits or other activities, and meetings with the board and staff of the organizations. Concurrently, the candidates are attending a series of five-hour training sessions that cover the major aspects of board service including The Structure and Lifecycle of Arts Organizations, Nonprofit Finances, Legal and Fiduciary Responsibilities, Funding and Fundraising, and the board’s Strategic Role.
At the end of the program, candidates and arts groups confirm a match, beginning with a board apprenticeship and resulting in election to the board of directors.
Apply to On BOARD
Applying for On BOARD requires that you register your organization as an Arts Clients of A&BC.
To become an Arts Client, please complete the NEW CLIENT APPLICATION.
Current clients of the Arts & Business Council including organizations who have participated in the past may complete the ON BOARD APPLICATION. The application deadline to apply for the Fall 2013 session is August 1, 2013.
If accepted into the On BOARD program, arts groups will be assigned to one of two networking sessions during which they will meet the candidates and discuss the mission, activities, and history of their organization, as well as how the candidates might participate as board members. Both the Board Chair and the Executive Director are asked to attend this event.
The dates for the Fall 2013 networking events are:
- Tues, Sept 17, 2013: 5-8:00pm
- Tues, Sept 24, 2013: 5-8:00pm
(Please note: any preference between the two dates should be communicated as soon as possible but may not be able to be guaranteed.)
The fee to participate as an arts group is $200, which is due at the beginning of the program. Organizations can participate frequently in On BOARD although, upon receiving a placement, groups may be asked to abstain from the subsequent session in order to focus on orienting that person to the board and to allow other groups to participate. Groups that don’t receive a placement are automatically eligible to return for the next session to meet a new group of candidates.
Organizations will also be asked to provide complimentary access to their programming for the On BOARD Candidates with the exception of Fundraising Events.
Generous Support for On BOARD is provided by:
On BOARD has been historically supported by: