Lab: Building the Nonprofit Business Plan @ WeWork Grant Park
Feb 20 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Nonprofit organizations are born from creative ideas and passions for social good. To execute your mission and create real impact, you need to have a business plan. A business plan is your guide to defining your organization’s identity, developing solutions to your problems, and setting and measuring goals. You don’t need an MBA to run a successful organization, but you do need a plan to manage finances, be accountable to your vision, organize your team, and generate revenue and control expenditures to keep your ideas and passions alive. “Building the Nonprofit Business Plan” will help you do just that!

Instructor: Irv Michaels, Founder – Michaels Consulting, Ltd.
Click here to read Irv’s bio.

Learning objectives include:

  • Define your identity in the marketplace and your “problem worth solving”
  • Gain a clear understanding of your product / service and its relevance in the market
  • Explore financial aspects of the plan: developing generated revenues and necessary expenses
  • Learn the importance of setting goals, measuring results and responding to inevitable changes
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Presenter Bio:

Irv Michaels majored in accounting at college where his interest in the arts grew. His first job post-college was at Chess Records, where he worked as an administrator and nascent record producer. This led him to the intersection of traditional and creative businesses. He practiced at a local CPA firm, attaining senior partner status, serving entrepreneurial businesses. He 1986, Irv founded Michaels Consulting, Ltd., providing financial, business development, technology and human resources advice to graphic design firms, architecture firms and other creative organizations. The firm’s focus is to help creative businesses thrive.

Certifications: C.P.A.; Strategic LivePlan (business planning application) Expert Advisor; QuickBooks ProAdvisor; TSheets Pro Certified

Memberships: American Institute of Certified Public Accountants; Illinois CPA Society; Chicago Creative Coalition; Art Institute of Chicago; Business Solutions Network



Board Training: Legal & Fiduciary Responsibilities; Non-governing Boards @ The Arts & Business Council of Chicago
Mar 2 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm


Learning objectives include:

  • Non-governing boards and committees
  • Laws governing nonprofit boards of directors
  • Bylaws
  • The role of the director: responsibilities & restrictions
  • Role of the lawyer on the board
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Conflict of interest
  • Directors & Officers insurance
  • Contracts
  • Strategic Planning

Price: $150

For questions about this training, please contact Noemi Garcia at

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Breakfast Club: Board Coaching @ The Arts & Business Council of Chicago
Mar 5 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am

The Arts & Business Council of Chicago convenes a monthly morning gathering for arts administrators to discuss topics and share ideas relevant to the business of art. Breakfast Club is a dynamic opportunity for arts administrators to connect with one another and collaborate on solutions for navigating personal and industry challenges.

Tuesday, March 5 from 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.

Board Coaching is back! We know that each board of directors is unique; they carry varied skill sets, they have different financial capabilities, and possess rare connections to the communities they live and work in. It’s no surprise that cookie-cutter board composition templates or governance best practices don’t always apply! All-star Business Volunteers for the Arts Ashleigh Brookshaw and John Bierbusse will join Breakfast Club to provide focused board coaching and facilitate connections between peers who may be experiencing similar challenges.

When registering below, please describe two of your greatest challenges when working with your organization’s board of directors. This may include governance, creation of new bylaws and policies, cohesive understanding of the organization’s mission, etc.

A cereal bar, tea, and coffee will be provided.

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Annual Benefit Luncheon | Arts & Business and Capacity: Exemplifying Cultural Equity
Mar 12 @ 11:30 am

Pictured: Xavier Ramey

Tuesday, March 12, 2019, 11:30 a.m.
Blue Cross-Blue Shield Building, 300 E. Randolph St., 30th Floor Event Center


The Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC) invites you to Arts & Business and Capacity: Exemplifying Cultural Equity.

The arts sector has a major impact on Chicago’s culture and commerce, supporting thousands of jobs and adding value to our civic lives. But does it truly reflect the people who call our city home? How can we, as individuals and organizations, contribute to Chicago’s vibrancy by lifting up our cultural diversity? Keynote speaker Xavier Ramey, chief executive officer of Justice Informed, joins this year’s luncheon to share why cultural equity should matter to your business, how it benefits the communities we serve, and why Chicago’s success depends on it. Ricardo Gamboa, award-winning artist, activist, and academic, will moderate discussion.

Come discover how the fusion of arts, our demographic composition, and economic development all tell a story about the vibrancy and future of Chicago!

For more information, email or call 312-372-1876, ext. 101.

Proceeds from this event benefit A&BC’s capacity building efforts throughout Chicago.

The Arts & Business Council of Chicago recognizes the generosity and lead sponsorship of Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Illinois, MERGE, Segal Consulting, Aon Hewitt, Goodman Theatre, Willis Towers Watson, Boston Consulting Group, the Joffrey Ballet, and Elkay Manufacturing.

Sponsorship Opportunities >>


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About Xavier Ramey
Xavier Ramey is the CEO of Justice Informed, LLC, a social impact consulting firm based in Chicago, IL. He is an award-winning social strategist, noted public speaker, and conflict mediator. Combining his background in economics, extensive management and social impact experience, and direct-action campaigning in the Black Lives Matter movement, Xavier leads a company that brings a wealth of experience and network to clients seeking catalyzed strategies for inclusion, philanthropy, CSR, and community engagement. A native Chicagoan, he is a recognizable voice on the topics of community and economic development, policing and policy violence, and connecting the Christian faith to our lived experience.

Xavier served as the lead of the Social Innovation and Philanthropy strategy in the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement, managed multi-million dollar philanthropic portfolios to stimulate employment, and worked as a nonprofit Director of Development in Chicago’s North Lawndale community. Xavier is a founding member of the #LetUsBreathe Collective, an artist-activist organization committed to addressing State violence against people of color. He is a Board member of Young Chicago Authors, and the newly opened Chicago Center for Arts and Technology.

Board Training: Fundraising Landscape @ Arts & Business Council of Chicago
Mar 23 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm


Speaker: Charles Katzenmeyer, VP Institutional Advancement, The Field Museum

Learning objectives include:

  • Funding landscape for nonprofit arts organizations and sector-wide trends in giving
  • The role board members play in securing funds
  • How to structure the “ask”
  • Creating a donor cultivation calendar

Price: $150

Advance registration is required as space is limited. We will not accept walk-up registrations.

For questions about this training, please contact Noemi Garcia at


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Lab: QuickBooks Online @ WeWork State Street
Apr 2 @ 9:00 am – Apr 3 @ 12:00 pm

Tuesday, April 2 from 9:00am – 12:00pm
Wednesday, April 3 from 9:00am – 12:00pm

QuickBooks Online gives you many ways to improve your accounting efficiency and choose the processes and reports that are most important to your nonprofit organization. This hands-on Learning Lab will show you tips and shortcuts that’ll help you cut down on time spent working, while maximizing the accuracy of your accounting.

You’ll learn:

  • Overall settings and structure
  • User access
  • Memorized and automated transactions
  • Banking downloads and account reconciliations
  • Clients vs. vendors
  • Detail vs. summary transactions
  • Payroll setup, timesheets, and processing
  • Importing options to reduce data entry (i.e. from third-party payroll, PayPal, etc.)
  • Exporting data
  • Financial reports and notes
  • Audit preparation and attachments

And more! This Learning Lab is limited to 10 people. Registration will close once capacity is reached. Attendees must be available for both sessions.

Instructor: Yvonne Afable
Managing Partner, Accounting
Afable Consulting

Click here to read Yvonne’s bio.

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Presenter Bio:

Yvonne P. Afable is the Managing Partner of Accounting Services for Afable Consulting LLC, a firm providing accounting and technology support to not-for-profit organizations and small businesses. She earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Accounting & Finance from DePaul University and is a Certified Management Accountant. After starting her career in public accounting, she decided to focus on the nonprofit industry and joined the management staff of American College of Surgeons and Rotary International.

For the past 18 years, she’s been consulting with nonprofit organizations and small businesses, helping them understand and tell their financial story. Using Intuit/QuickBooks and Sage products, she and her team offer services to meet each client’s needs: accounting system set-up and training, bookkeeping services including payroll processing, audit preparation, financial reporting and analysis, and documentation of fiscal policies and procedures.

Yvonne serves as Treasurer on the board of Kartemquin Educational Films and teaches the Financial Management course at the School of Art Institute and Zumba at LA Fitness, South Loop. She resides in Chicago, with her partner, Jose-Albin D. Afable. They have three children (Nicole, Gabrielle, and Justin) and two dogs (Kona and Kai).

Board Training: Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting, & Tax Issues @ Arts & Business Council of Chicago
Apr 13 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm


Speaker: Megan Angle, CPA & Manager, Porte Brown LLC

Learning objectives include:

  • Financial oversight and safeguarding of assets and nonprofit status
  • Policies: conflict of interest, whistleblower, document retention & destruction, executive compensation, etc.
  • Understanding nonprofit financial statements
  • Taxes including payroll and UBIT
  • Filing with the IRS and other government entities
  • What occurs during an audit and when you need one
  • Managing cash flow

Price: $150

Advance registration is required as space is limited. We will not accept walk-up registrations.

For more information, or accessibility accommodations, please contact Noemi Garcia at


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Business Volunteers for the Arts: Spring Orientation @ Teamwork Englewood
Apr 20 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) connects skilled professionals with arts and cultural organizations in need of management assistance. Are you ready to join our pro bono consulting program and lend your professional abilities? Apply in time for our next volunteer orientation!

Orientations are offered in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Individuals wishing to join must submit a volunteer application, and participate in an introductory interview, prior to an orientation.

Application Deadline: Friday, April 12. Apply here.

For more information on the BVA program, click here.

Breakfast Club: Proposal Writing @ The Arts & Business Council of Chicago
May 7 @ 9:00 am – 10:00 am

The Arts & Business Council of Chicago convenes a monthly morning gathering for arts administrators to discuss topics and share ideas relevant to the business of art. Breakfast Club is a dynamic opportunity for arts administrators to connect with one another and collaborate on solutions for navigating personal and industry challenges.

Tuesday, May 7 from 9:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M.

Writing a stellar proposal to government, corporate, and foundation funders can be the key to getting support for your organization and special projects. As institutional funders lean more and more into demonstrable impact, how can arts and cultural organizations secure the funding they need to thrive? Alexandra Nelson of Juno Consulting joins Breakfast Club to guide a peer-to-peer conversation on successes and strategies in proposal writing.

A cereal bar, tea, and coffee will be provided.

This Breakfast Club is at capacity and can not accommodate any additional registrations. If you’d like to be placed on a waitlist, please contact Braden Cleary at

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Lab: Budgets and Boards @ WeWork State Street
May 15 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

What function does the annual budget play in your organization? What decisions should a board make in setting or approving an annual budget? Although budgeting is a central duty for many boards, the answers to these questions can vary between organizations and different perspectives can lead to confusion and conflict. This Learning Lab will explore several frameworks for organizational budgeting and practices that can make the budget a more useful tool for planning and accountability throughout the year. This will include the processes of creating, approving, monitoring, and amending a budget.

Who should attend:

  • Executive Directors & Finance Staff
  • Board Members & Finance Committee Members

What you’ll learn:

  • How board and staff can create, approve, monitor, and amend a budget;
  • How your budget can be used as a tool for planning, reporting, control, and accountability; and
  • Who among board and staff hold responsibility for these functions.

Instructor: Corrigan Nadon-Nichols / Corrigan Consulting

Click here to read Corrigan’s bio.

For more information, and accessibility accommodations, email Braden Cleary at or call 312.372.1876 x 105.

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Presenter Bio:

Corrigan helps people create healthy organizations where they can achieve their shared goals. He has assisted dozens of groups through initial formation, start-up, growth, and recovery phases. He provides training and consulting for boards to improve financial, management, and governance systems that suit the unique context and goals of each organization.