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, the Arts & Business Council of Chicago has successfully placed 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, programs, and board meetings to determine which organization best aligns with their artistic interests and professional skills.

Become an On BOARD Candidate

On BOARD 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. To qualify, you must have 8-10 years of professional experience. Many candidates are Manager-, Director-, or VP-level business professionals, independent consultants, small business owners, and nonprofit and higher education professionals. 

On BOARD runs four times a year:

  • Spring (March-June) - application deadline is February 27, 2015 March 9 (extended!)
  • Summer (June-August) - application deadline is June 5, 2015
  • Fall (September-December) - application deadline is September 9, 2015
  • Winter (January-February) - application deadline is January 22, 2016

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.

On BOARD Program Fees

The tuition fee for the program is $1,600. Participants who submitted a completed application and are accepted to the program by August 28 will be eligible for the early bird discount rate of $1,375. A modest partial scholarship may be available for individuals working in the nonprofit, higher education, and civic sectors. Many companies sponsor employee tuition as a Professional or Leadership Development opportunity. Please reach out to your company’s HR or Community Engagement department to determine if this is a possibility.  We would be happy to assist you in the process to get your company’s support.    

Summer 2015 On BOARD course dates: 

Early Bird Application Deadline: May 22
Application Deadline: June 5


Training Session 1: Monday June 15, 5:30-7:45pm

Meet & Greet 1: Monday June 22, 5:00-8:00pm

Training Session 2: Monday July 13, 5:30-7:45pm

Meet & Greet 2: Monday, July 20, 5:00-8:00pm

Training Session 3: Monday August 35:30-7:45pm

Training Session 4: Monday August 10, 5:30-7:45pm

Fall 2015 On BOARD course dates: 

Early Bird Application Deadline: August 29
Application Deadline: Sept 9


Training Session 1: Saturday Sept 26, 9:00am-2:00pm

Meet & Greet 1: Wednesday Sept 30, 5:00-8:00pm

Meet & Greet 2: Wednesday Oct 14, 5:00-8:00pm

Training Session 2: Saturday, Oct 24, 9:00am-2:00pm

Training Session 3: Saturday, Nov 14, 9:00am-2:00pm

Training Session 4: Saturday, Dec 5, 9:00am-2:00pm

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. 

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

Generous support for On BOARD has been provided by:



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