On BOARD: Strategic Planning for Nonprofits @ Online
Aug 24 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

On BOARD® Lab: Strategic Planning for Nonprofits 

On BOARD® is the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s unique board governance and leadership training program that prepares individuals who are ready to engage as active board members of arts, cultural, and creative nonprofit organizations. Individuals who successfully complete the full program demonstrate an understanding and commitment to upholding high standards of nonprofit board governance.

Who is encouraged to attend: Senior Staff and Board Members

Strategic Planning for Nonprofits is part 2 of 4 in the full On BOARD® curriculum.

Topics include:

  • General governance and the role of Board of Directors in strategic planning
  • Advantages of creating and using a strategic plan
  • How to approach the strategic planning process
  • Methodologies used for pre-planning and organizational assessments

Content Expert: Brandi Head, CEO Head-On Strategies, LLC

Price: $ 50

We are currently unable to provide financial assistance for our On BOARD sessions, but we are offering a 2×1 opportunity. Register for this session, and we will contact you via email to ask for the second attendee’s contact information.  

Get your tickets here!

About the context expert

Brandi Head (she/her) possesses more than 20 years of business experience and finance acumen, which she employs while coaching small business and nonprofit clients. She has a passion for helping promising entrepreneurs and nonprofit leaders achieve their strategic goals and build solid, thriving organizations. That passion prompted her to start Head-On Strategies, LLC which provides consulting, advisory, and implementation services to small businesses and nonprofit organizations, meeting them wherever they are in their business life cycles. Whether her clients are start-ups or at key inflection points, Brandi is positioned to help businesses develop data-driven strategies and solutions that work.

Additionally, she believes that her technical expertise is only one piece of the advisory puzzle; experience, perspective, and meaningful connection withpeople, organizations, and community complete that puzzle. While working in Commercial Banking (inclusive of Commercial Real Estate), Credit Risk, and Operations Management at blue-chip financial services firms, she has helped business clients and local governments secure financing for their various needs.

As a member of several corporate leadership and project teams, she has spearheaded several key initiatives and has been asked to lead outside of her primary roles, including in Financial Policy, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), and Employee Engagement. Her contributions have benefited her previous clients and employers in terms of growth, cost reduction, and branding.

Brandi has also been a member of various project teams that helped nonprofits with finance strategy, marketing plans, and feasibility studies/strategic alignment. Brandi has an MBA from Purdue University, as well as company-sponsored executive education from Kellogg School of Management. She has served on several boards and committees and currently sits on the board of directors for Red Clay Dance Company where she has been responsible for operationalizing its Finance Committee, including charter creation and policy development, and helping to set long-range financial strategy.

Learning Lab: Grant Writing, Building a Successful Case for your Project @ Online
Sep 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

At the Arts & Business Council of Chicago, we are creating a world where creativity is universally valued as a resource with limitless potential for social and economic impact. We are an arts service organization focused on serving Chicago’s cultural workers and enterprises through consulting, programming, and mentorship to ensure community vitality and an equitable creative economy. 

One of the ways in which we fulfill our mission is through our Learning Labs Program. Learning Labs provide opportunities to start new conversations about non-profit management with a particular focus on arts + culture. The goal of this program is to continue discussing solutions for challenges faced across the sector. 

About Learning Lab: Grant Writing, Building a Successful Case for your Project

Support for nonprofit arts organizations and art makers in Chicagoland drastically increased in 2022 and is expected to continue growing throughout 2023. Grant amounts from the City of Chicago are larger, their terms are more flexible, and the application process is less rigid. When it comes to private foundations, a similar case is happening. 

However, even if there are more funding opportunities, chances of getting funds will largely depend on the applicant’s ability to effectively build their case and present a successful grant application. 

In view of this exciting scenario, the Arts & Business Council offers a Learning Lab on Grant Writing where participants will gain insights into communicating effectively with prospective funders.  

During this workshop, attendees will get tools to build a case for their project and prepare effectively for grant writing. This session focuses on philanthropic foundation and government grants for arts organizations, although some underlying principles around proposal writing apply to individuals.  

Topics covered during the session 

  • Brief History of Nonprofit Funding 
  • Anatomy of a Grant Application, with a focus on narrative, timeline, budget, and impact/evaluation 
  • Case Studies: Critically Examining Writing Samples 
  • Creating Your Case: Share your Elevator Pitch  

Topics not covered 

  • Identifying relevant government and private foundation funders 
  • Types of foundations and other funders 
  • Types of proposals and submissions
  • Application for research grants 

We encourage participants to prepare a one-paragraph pitch for a project they want to get funded.  


Content Expert: TBD

Price: $30