On BOARD is a unique A&BC board training and matching program for business leaders who are interested in serving on an arts nonprofit Board of Directors. Since 1999, A&BC has matched over 300 business professionals to nonprofit boards in the Chicago area.

Program candidates learn the fundamentals of board service including finances, legal responsibilities, tax issues, and fundraising. They also meet with arts organizations that are actively recruiting board members, and attend performances/programming and board meetings to determine which organization best aligns with their interests and skills.

Click here to see learning objectives.

Become an On BOARD Candidate

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. Many candidates are independent consultants, small business owners, Manager-, Director-, or VP-level business professionals, and nonprofit and higher education professionals.

Candidates are required to attend the Meet the Boards networking event, where they meet participating arts organizations, and to complete the full training curriculum (see dates below).

If you’re interested in becoming an On BOARD candidate, please fill out the On BOARD Candidate Application. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Applicants will be contacted for a short interview so A&BC can learn more about their experience and interests.

Program Sessions

  • Winter 2018  – Deadline Jan 19 (Early bird Dec 15)
  • Spring 2018 – Deadline Apr 13 (Early bird Mar 16) - Deadline extended to Apr 27!
  • Fall 2018 – Deadline Aug 17 (Early bird Jul 27)

Training Schedule

Trainings are held on Saturdays from 9am-1pm at 100 S. State St.

Spring 2018 Session:

  • May 5 – Arts Organization Structures & Board Responsibilities
  • May 16 – Meet the Boards networking event
  • Jun 9 – Legal & Fiduciary Responsibilities; Non-governing Boards
  • Jul 14 – Fundraising Landscape
  • Aug 4 – Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting, & Tax Issues

Fall 2018 Session:

  • Sept 15 – Arts Organization Structures & Board Responsibilities
  • Sept 26 – Meet the Boards networking event
  • Oct 13 – Legal & Fiduciary Responsibilities; Non-governing Boards
  • Nov 3 – Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting, & Tax Issues
  • Dec 1 – Fundraising Landscape

Program Fee

Tuition for the program is $995, and includes all training classes as well as tickets to a variety of programs and performances provided by participating organizations.

There’s an available $50 early bird discount (see Program Sessions for deadlines). Participants can pay the tuition in full upon enrollment or in 2 scheduled payments after a $250 payment due before the first training. 

We offer partial scholarships to individuals who work in higher education or the nonprofit industry. For more information, please contact Noemi Garcia at ngarcia@artsbiz-chicago.org or (312) 372-1876 ext. 103.

For 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.

The On BOARD process creates skill-building experiences and valuable networking opportunities. Candidates participate in trainings with other business leaders from companies like Northern Trust, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Segal Company, Baxter Healthcare, Boeing, Bank of America, Quarles & Brady, and more.

For Current Board Members

If you’re currently serving on a Board of Directors and are interested in the educational training we offer, you can attend our On BOARD trainings. The non-candidate fee to attend all four trainings is $500 or $150 per training session.

For more information about applying to the On BOARD program, please contact Noemi Garcia at ngarcia@artsbiz-chicago.org or (312) 372-1876 ext. 103.