Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA)

Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) is an A&BC program that recruits business professionals, trains them in nonprofit practice, and matches them to serve on pro-bono consulting projects for small-to-medium-sized arts nonprofits throughout the Chicago area.

Consultants utilize their professional skills on a project basis to help strengthen the management and organizational capacity of arts nonprofits with limited resources. At the same time, the program gives consultants opportunities to build their networks, strengthen their business skills, and contribute meaningfully to the arts.

Become a BVA Consultant

To qualify to become a BVA consultant, you must have a minimum of five years of professional managerial experience. A&BC 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 BVA consultant, please fill out a Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) Candidate Application. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so if you’re interested, apply now. After your application is reviewed, you’ll be contacted for an interview. There’s a one-time administrative fee of $100 to participate in the BVA program.

Preparing You for Success

New BVA consultants attend a BVA Orientation before starting on a project. The BVA Orientation, which is required for new consultants, is offered four times a year - winter, spring, summer and fall - on Friday afternoons from 2 - 5 pm in downtown Chicago.

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

Participants who complete the BVA Orientation are added to the ranks of active consultants and receive twice-monthly bulletins listing available projects. Interested BVA consultants are matched on specific projects as part of a two-to-four member team.

The pro-bono projects usually 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 specific project, but all parties agree on an expected outcome and completion date at an initial project meeting.

For more information, please contact Sarah Frye at sfrye@artsbiz-chicago.org or (312) 372-1876 ext. 102.

BVA Portal

Participants who complete the BVA Orientation also receive access to the BVA Portal, an online hub for finding resources, articles, and sample projects to help you as a BVA consultant. This will be your main resource when working on a BVA project. This information is confidential and should not be shared with others outside of the BVA program. Click here to access the Portal.