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, A&BC has matched over 250 business professionals on nonprofit boards.

Participants learn the fundamentals of board service including finances, legal responsibilities, tax issues, and fundraising. During the same period, they meet with arts organizations that are actively seeking board members at the Meet the Boards event, attend performances/programming and board meetings to determine which organization best aligns with their artistic interests and professional skills.

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 must attend the Meet the Boards networking event, where they will meet the participating arts organizations for the first time. This event is an essential part of the program. Candidates are strongly encouraged to complete the four trainings within one program session. However, they have a year to complete the curriculum. 

If you would 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 will be contacted for a short interview so we can learn more about your experience and interests.


    • Winter 2018 - Jan 19 (Early bird Dec 15)
    • Spring 2018 - Apr 13 (Early bird Mar 16)
    • Fall 2018 - Aug 24 (Early bird Jul 27)

    Program DATES

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

    Fall 2017 Session:

    • Sept 23 - Fall Orientation: Arts Organization Structure & Board Responsibilities
    • Sept 27 - Meet the Boards networking event (5:30-8pm)
    • Oct 21 - Nonprofit Finances, Budget, & Tax Issues
    • Nov 4 - Legal & Fiduciary Responsibilities
    • Dec 2 - Fundraising & Development

    Winter 2018 Session:

    • Feb 3 - Arts Organization Structure & Board Responsibilities
    • Feb 7 - Meet the Boards networking event
    • Mar 3 - On BOARD Training 2
    • Mar 24 - On BOARD Training 3
    • Apr 14 - On BOARDTraining 4

    Program Fee

    The program tuition is $995 and includes 16 hours of training, materials, ongoing individual support from A&BC staff to facilitate a match with an organization, and tickets to a variety of programs and performances so that participants can become familiar with the organizations. 

    There is a $50 early bird discount available. Participants have the option of paying the tuition in full upon enrollment or in 5 scheduled payments after a $250 deposit. 

    We offer partial scholarships to individuals who work in higher education or the nonprofit industry. Please contact Noemi Garcia for more info. 

    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. 

    Are you currently serving on a board?

    If you are currently serving on a Board of Directors and looking for additional education, our On BOARD training sessions are open to the public. The fee to attend all four sessions is $500. 

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