On BOARD is A&BC’s unique service that provides participating arts organizations 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 matched over 250 business professionals with nonprofit arts boards in the Chicago area.

How It Works

We recruit business professionals who are looking to serve on an arts nonprofit Board of Directors. The board candidates attend a series of training sessions that cover the major aspects of board service. At the onset of the program, the board candidates and arts organizations must both attend a formal networking session. Then the board candidates begin attending performances, exhibits or other events, and meeting with the board and staff of organizations they are interested in. At the end of the program, candidates and arts organizations confirm a mutual match and the arts organizations elect the matched candidate to the Board of Directors. 

We offer the program three times a year: 

  • Winter session runs February - May
  • Spring session runs May - August
  • Fall session runs September - January 

Is Your Arts Organization Ready to participate in On BOARD?

Preferred (but not required):

  • Annual budget between $50K-1.5M
  • 3+ years of incorporation
  • 2 or more non-founding board members
  • Regular performances/programming scheduled during the first 2-3 months of the program session
  • Regular board meeting schedule

Eligibility Requirements:

  • 501c3 tax-exempt status is current
  • Current client of A&BC
  • Up-to-date Board Member Expectations Description
  • Must provide comp tickets to performances/programming during the session with the exception of fundraisers

Application Process

If you are a current A&BC client, you may complete the ON BOARD APPLICATION. If your organization has not come in for a formal consultation, you will need to first submit a NEW CLIENT APPLICATION and meet with the A&BC Programs Team before you are eligible for the On BOARD program.

Organizations are accepted based on the artistic and geographic interests of the board candidates as well as the candidates' financial giving capacity. Accepted organizations must attend the Meet the Boards networking session during which they will meet the candidates for the first time and discuss the mission, the history of the organization, current/upcoming initiatives, as well as how new board members can contribute to the organization.  

    Meet the BoardS Dates:

    • Spring: May 17, 2017, 5-8pm - Application deadline is Apr 14
    • Fall: September 27, 2017, 5-8pm - Application deadline is Sept 1
    • Winter: February 7, 2018, 5-8pm - Application deadline is Jan 12

    Program Fee

    There is a flat $200 nonrefundable administrative fee to participate, due at the start of the program and not contingent on a match being made with a board candidate. Organizations may participate up to two times per year. If an organization receives a match, the fee will apply for the following session. 

    For more information, please contact Noemi Garcia or call her at (312) 372-1876 ext. 103.