Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA)

Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA), A&BC’s founding program, recruits and trains experienced business professionals, and then places them to serve on pro bono consulting projects for small-to-medium sized nonprofit arts organizations throughout the Chicago area.

On a project-by-project basis, volunteers contribute their professional skills and resources to enhance the management capacity of arts organizations with limited resources. In return, business volunteers enrich their professional and personal lives - by building their human networks, strengthening their business skills and becoming an integral part of the behind-the-scene world of the arts.

Become a Business Volunteer for the Arts

A&BC business volunteers are experienced professionals. To qualify, you must have a minimum of five years of professional managerial experience. A&BC specifically looks for candidates with expertise in marketing, public relations, strategic and business planning, accounting and financial management, information technology and human resources.

If you’d like to apply to become a Business Volunteer for the Arts, please fill out an ONLINE APPLICATION. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so interested candidates are encouraged to apply now. After your application is reviewed, you’ll be contacted for an interview. To participate in the BVA program, there’s a nominal, one-time administrative fee of $100.

Preparing You for Success

New business volunteers must attend a BVA Orientation before starting on a project. We offer the BVA Orientation four times a year— winter, spring, summer and fall on Friday afternoons from 2:00 - 5:00 pm in downtown Chicago.

2017 orientation Schedule

  • Fall: October 20 (application deadline is September 29)

2018 orientation Schedule

  • Winter: January 26 (application deadline is January 13)
  • Spring: April 27 (application deadline is April 14)
  • Summer: August 3 (application deadline is July 21)
  • Fall: October 19 (application deadline is September 29)

Team Consulting

Once participants complete the BVA Orientation, they receive twice-monthly bulletins listing available projects. If interested, BVAs with complementary skills are placed on a specific project as part of a two-to-four member team. Projects typically require 15-20 hours of work per month and range from two to six months long. The actual time commitment depends on the nature of the project, but all parties agree on an anticipated outcome and completion date at an initial project launch meeting.

For more information please contact Sarah Frye, Programs Manager.

BVA Portal

Once you have completed the BVA Orientation, you'll receive access to the BVA Portal. The Portal is an online tool intended to serve as a central hub for finding resources, articles, and sample projects to help you as a BVA consultant. This should be your initial resource when working on a BVA project before contacting Arts & Business Council Staff. This information is confidential and should not be shared with others outside of the BVA program. Click here to access the Portal.