On BOARD® is the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s unique board governance and leadership program that prepares individuals who are ready to engage as active board members of arts, cultural, and creative nonprofit organizations.
On BOARD: Legal and Fiduciary Responsibilities + Ethical Considerations for Board Members
What are the spoken and unspoken responsibilities of board members? How can board members enact agency to respond to today’s major issues in the nonprofit sector?
Serving as a board member can be one of the most challenging and rewarding volunteer assignments. While appointment or election to a board is an honor, board members have significant legal and fiduciary responsibilities that require time, skill, and resources.
In this session, we will cover board members’ general roles and responsibilities and key fiduciary duties, liability and protection for board members, and corruption and cybercrimes.
- General roles and responsibilities of nonprofit board members
- The Business Judgment Rule
- Key fiduciary duties of nonprofit board members
- Duty of Care, Duty of Loyalty, Duty of Obedience
- Liability and protection for board members, the importance of Directors & Officers insurance
- Corruption and Cybercrimes – Bribery, Fraud, Extortion Considerations
Presenter: Shermin Kruse, Law Professor at Northwestern Pritzker and Negotiation Consultant
Group Leadership Coaching Program
At the Arts & Business Council (A&BC), we understand the difficulties faced by arts leaders who have recently taken on a senior position in a nonprofit organization. With the added pressure of the pandemic, these leaders are expected to manage their staff, engage with their boards, and envision new models for transforming work culture to support equity.
That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce our latest offering, the “Group Leadership Coaching Program.” This six-month pilot program is designed to empower 10 arts leaders from 5 organizations to solve complex issues and lead their organizations with confidence.
As a participant in this program, you’ll be one member of a cohort of ten arts leaders from five nonprofit organizations. Through group and individual coaching sessions, you’ll build meaningful relationships, receive ongoing support, and solve complex problems together.
The Group Leadership Coaching Program is specifically designed for arts leaders who are new to senior roles and are grappling with the pandemic’s impact. Our goal is to provide a supportive space for you to navigate complex issues and develop your leadership skills.
We’re accepting applications from two senior leaders within the same nonprofit, the “lead applicant” being the new arts leader and the “second applicant” being a staff or board member. This approach is designed to help the new leader work with an internal colleague to create shared understanding, team alignment, and collective action toward the priorities affecting the organization’s mission, operations, and management.
We’re proud to collaborate with Emmanuel Neal, a Management Consultant, Executive Coach, and Ph.D. candidate at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, to bring you this program.
If you’re a new arts leader looking to develop your skills and build a supportive network of peers, we encourage you to apply for the Group Leadership Coaching Program. This is your chance to work with a colleague to create team alignment and navigate this time of transformation together.
Scroll down to read about:
- The Coaching Program
- Eligibility Criteria
- Application Process
- Coaches and Facilitators
About the Coaching Program
The International Coaching Federation defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity, and leadership.
The Group Leadership Coaching Program will be co-facilitated by four executive coaches, including Emmanuel Neal, who has been coaching arts leaders for 10 years and has been a volunteer for 3 years with A&BC’s Business Volunteer for the Arts® program.
While Emmanuel and his colleagues are consultants, this program’s nature is to offer 1:1 coaching and encourage group dynamics to solve problems together. To that end, this program is not a consulting service; we won’t be reviewing grants, business plans, or any other consultative tasks. Instead, you will share your current challenges with your cohort and collectively get actionable insights and tools to solve them together. Read about the coaching topics below.
- Group coaching sessions with all organizations
- 1:1 coaching with (only) new arts leaders (lead applicant)
Duration: July – December 2023
Time commitment: 3 hours per month
- Group sessions last 2 hours, and meet once per month in person.
- Individual sessions last 1 hour, and meet once per month online.
The group sessions (2 hours long) will be held on Tuesday evenings between 4 pm to 8 pm. The exact times will be determined with participants after acceptance:
- July 11th – 1st session
- August 8th – 2nd session
- Sept 12th – 3rd session
- Oct 10th – 4th session
- Nov 14th – 5th session
- Dec 12th – 6th session
Location: Hybrid. Group sessions will meet in person (TBD cohort member locations) and individual coaching will be conducted through Zoom.
Topics: The group session topics will be collectively decided based on the general areas shared below
- Leadership Development
- Team Building and Collaboration
- Creativity and Innovation
- Emotional Intelligence
- Career Development
- Stress Management and Resilience
- Financial Management
- Marketing and Audience Development
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- Legal and Compliance
- Board and Governance
- Strategic Planning
Coaches (bios below):
- Emmanuel Neal, Management Consultant and Executive Coach, Ph.D. Candidate at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology
- Laticia (Dr. Tish) Thompson, Ph.D., Founder & Chief Business Psychologist at Legacy Blueprint, LLC
- Chandra McPherson, Ph.D., Founder CLM Executive Coaching & Consulting
- Lawrence James, Ph.D., Managing Partner at Lawrence James Jr & Associates
Cost: Participation in the program is free.
For this pilot program, we are seeking new leaders (executive, administrative, or artistic staff) to apply with a another/ second leader (staff or board) from their organization. We define “new leaders” as having been in their current role for less than 18 months.
To qualify for this opportunity, your answers to the following statement must be “yes”:
- The lead applicant is a senior staff leader who has been in their role for less than 18- months
- The applicant is representing a Chicago-based arts organization that has been in existence for at least 7 years
- The organization has a board of at least 5 members, not including staff
- Another leader (staff or board) within the organization has agreed to participate in this program. (It is not necessary for the second applicant to be new to their role.)
The coaches with A&BC staff will evaluate applications based on:
- Organization’s commitment to racial equity
- Alignment of motivations and needs with the program’s coaching topics
- Availability to attend group coaching sessions.
Please follow this link to submit your application before April 16th, 2023, 5:00 pm CST.
We recommend having the following documents handy before applying:
- IRS letter designating 501c3 status
- Bios of applicants if no LinkedIn or website link
All applicants will be notified by A&BC no later than May 5, 2023. Five organizations, with two leaders from each, will be invited to join the cohort.
If your organization is invited to be a cohort member, the Lead Applicant will be required to reply by May 12, 2023, agreeing to:
- Officially join the cohort and engage in 1:1 and group coaching between July and December 2023
- Complete the survey to indicate topics for group coaching sessions
- Read and accept the standards of conduct
- Attend 4 of the 6 group coaching sessions
- Complete a post-engagement survey
In the meantime, please save the dates of the 6 group coaching sessions to be held on Tuesdays evenings between 4 pm – 8 pm:
- July 11th – 1st session
- August 8th – 2nd session
- Sept 12th – 3rd session
- Oct 10th – 4th session
- Nov 14th – 5th session
- Dec 12th – 6th session
If you have any questions, please contact Kristin Larsen, A&BC’s Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Emmanuel Neal at email@example.com.
Emmanuel Neal is a coach, consultant, and creative individual currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Business Psychology (Consulting) at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.
He takes an inquiry-based, facilitative, and experiential approach to coaching, recognizing each client as a whole person and subject matter expert. Emmanuel aims to serve as an accountability partner and accessible resource to help clients grow both personally and professionally. His coaching style is empathetic, patient, direct, and aligns with organizational goals.
Emmanuel holds a Master’s in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago and is a member of the Society of Consulting Psychologists and the Institute of Coaching through Harvard/McLean Hospital. He volunteers as a consultant with the Arts & Business Council of Chicago and serves on the board of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project.
Dr. Laticia (Tish) Thompson, Ph.D., is a renowned business psychologist, Founder, and Chief of Legacy Blueprint, LLC, a management consulting firm that helps people develop respectful and productive relationships in the workplace. With a Master of Science in Management and Organizational Behavior, Dr. Tish recently completed her Ph.D. in Business Psychology from the Chicago School for Professional Psychology, emphasizing consulting.
Dr. Tish’s ability to bring about sustainable change in organizations and create fun and thought-provoking learning experiences is widely recognized. She has received the title of best-selling author for her personal story titled “I Am Not My Hair,” and her TEDx talk “I Am… Bold, Bald and Beautiful” showcases her expertise in leadership, change, organizational culture, and self-discovery.
Dr. Tish is passionate about working with organizations across various industries that value people as their most valuable asset and strive to build the best possible organizational culture. Her approach to driving change is engaging, empathetic, and insightful.
Dr. Chandra L. McPherson, Ph.D., is the Founder and Principal Business Psychologist of CLM Executive Coaching, LLC, a management consulting firm that specializes in empowering Sales Managers and their teams to effectively manage rejection and stress in the workplace, enabling them to excel in their sales roles. Dr. McPherson is a leading authority in teaching women how to use positive psychology and transformational tools to enhance their happiness, improve communication skills, and eliminate overwhelm and self-sabotage in the workplace.
With over 10 years of experience in sales, starting with Xerox Corporation, Dr. McPherson inspires other women in sales to love their jobs and lives by avoiding burnout. Her areas of expertise include sales, leadership development, transformational thinking, organizational culture, and executive presence. She has shared her knowledge and upcoming book, “The BOUNCE Method, 15-Proven Techniques to Help Professional Women BOUNCE from Misery to Excellence!” as a frequent guest on various podcasts.
Dr. McPherson holds a Ph.D. in Business Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, with an emphasis in Coaching and Consulting. She completed an ICF-Certified Coaching program from The CaPP© Institute to improve her coaching techniques. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in communications from National Louis University. Dr. McPherson finds inspiration in working with family-owned businesses and women in sales to help them develop a refreshed and inspired mindset, empowering them to achieve their goals.
Lawrence James, Ph.D., is a thought leader in the areas of diversity, inclusion, & belonging, executive development, and executive assessment. Showing a powerful mix of inquisitiveness, insight, and drive, he is an innovator known for his willingness to challenge existing paradigms and create new ones. He has developed a holistic, integrated, and systemic model for growing diverse talent which has been detailed in his seminal white paper “Journey to the Top: developing African-American Executives,” as well as numerous blogs.
With his forward-thinking and innovative whole-organization approach to talent development, he has been an invited keynote speaker at a variety of conferences, symposia, and corporate roundtables. Recently, he was selected to be co-editor of a special issue in the Consulting Psychology Journal entitled “The State of Black Leadership: What Can be Done to Create Sustainable Change,” which will go to press in March 2023.
After 12 years as a partner with RHR International, a premier boutique leadership development consultancy, he started his own consultancy focusing on the systemic development of diverse talent from assessment to coaching, inclusive leadership training and development, diversity strategy and advisory services, and organizational transformation. He is an expert in helping corporations develop cultures of belonging, inclusion, and diversity—so that all employees thrive. During his tenure at RHR, he co-created the firm’s diversity, inclusion, and belonging practice area and co-led the service. Internally, he coauthored the design, strategy, and intervention plan for the companies’ own internal journey which led to an over 40% increase in the hiring of diverse talent coupled with improved employee engagement scores firmwide.
Lawrence received his BA in psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master of education in counseling psychology at Howard University, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is a licensed psychologist in the state of Illinois and is a member of several professional organizations.
How are you approaching “coaching”?
We agree with The International Coaching Federation’s definition of coaching, which is “coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity, and leadership.”
Does this program also offer consulting?
No. This program encourages group dynamics to solve problems together and provides guidance around common challenges. To that end, this program is not a consulting service; we won’t be reviewing grants, business plans, or any other consultative tasks.
Where are the in-person coaching sessions taking place?
Although not a requirement, we encourage applicants to host group sessions in their buildings or facilities to advance the collaborative component of the program.
How do you define an “arts leader”?
Arts leaders are individuals who serve in nonprofit arts organizations in senior or executive leadership roles. Even though leadership positions vary from organization to organization, arts leaders usually are decision-makers within their organizations and team leads.
I still have questions. Who can I reach out to?
Please contact Kristin Larsen, A&BC’s Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Emmanuel Neal at email@example.com.
Learning Lab: Brand Strategy And Storytelling for Arts + Culture Nonprofits
Brand strategy is no longer optional for the arts.
Mission statements are aspirational, yet they are not enough – they are not decision-making tools and are rarely unique or memorable. In this session, we will make a case for articulating an organizational purpose that can help you make big and small decisions, create team alignment, make your funders understand why you are unique, and communicate to your audiences what they can expect from you.
Content Expert: Jennifer Martindale, Marketing and Branding Professional
Jennifer has worked with global brands, innovative nonprofits, and founder-led companies. Her expertise includes consumer goods, multi-unit retail & restaurants, arts & entertainment, automotive, government, and professional sports. She believes brands can use their platform to help shift culture. She worked at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Leo Burnett, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, before joining the Chicago Cubs as Senior Vice President of Marketing
On BOARD: Understanding Nonprofit Finances and Financial Transparency
Financial management is not only about bookkeeping. Board members should be aware of ethical considerations regarding money management and financial decision-making. We will talk about financial oversights and transparency in nonprofits, from policy creation and compliance, and safeguarding of assets, to audits, managing cash flow, tax compliance, and filing with the IRS and other government entities.
Most importantly, when pay equity and transparency are a must in the sector, we will discuss significant issues around nonprofit finances and transparency.
Content Expert: Kate Lorenz
Join the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s “Reimagining the Arts + Culture Sector: Inspiration from Bold Initiatives in the Field,” a series of webinars that showcase radical projects in the arts, culture, and nonprofit sectors.
We will hear from practitioners, projects, and organizations who are challenging long-standing frameworks of oppression and demanding better working conditions, fair labor practices, and deep systems change for art makers and creative practitioners.
About “Guaranteed Income for Artists: A Conversation Between A&BC and Springboard for the Arts”
In this first webinar, we will talk with guest speaker Laura Zabel, Executive Director at Springboard for the Arts, about their Guaranteed Minimum Income for Artists Pilot Program. Laura Zabel will present Springboard’s “Guaranteed Minimum Income for Artists Pilot Program,” focusing on the program’s design process and impact.
On BOARD® Lab: Envisioning the Future Through 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.
Strategic planning can be scary. How to plan in a sector where burnout and putting out fires are the norm? However, learning how to scale strategy and planning to your goals, resources, and priorities can be exciting and an excellent opportunity to build team alignment toward a shared purpose.
We will cover general governance and the role of the board of directors in strategic planning, the advantages of creating and using a strategic plan, how to approach the strategic planning process, and methodologies used for pre-planning and organizational assessments.
- 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
Price: $ 50
Content Expert: Brandi Head, CEO Head-On Strategies, LLC
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: Roadmap To Enacting Pay Equity and Transparency in Nonprofits
Enacting pay equity is not as expensive as it appears. From posting salaries in job offers and creating organizational policies to talking about money and fair compensation from a place of justice, this Learning Lab will tackle crucial aspects of understanding and navigating pay equity and transparency.
Price: Pay What You Can ($15 – $35)
Content Expert: Elsa Hiltner, Organizer and Consultant for Pay Equity & Associate Director of Programs at Lawyers for the Creative Arts.
Elsa Hiltner has worked for over 15 years as a freelance artist and arts non-profit administrator, including as director of development for Collaboraction Theatre Company and as Associate Director of Programs at Lawyers for the Creative Arts. Her essays on labor and pay equity have inspired systemic change in the theatre industry. Her Theatrical Designer Pay Resource has been used nationwide to promote pay transparency and start conversations around pay equity. She is a co-founder of On Our Team, which successfully organized pay transparency on the job sites of Playbill, BroadwayWorld, and the League of Chicago Theatres.
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 On BOARD®, the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s unique board governance and leadership learning program. Throughout six sessions, we prepare individuals ready to engage as active board members of arts, cultural, and creative nonprofit organizations to understand and own their role as board members successfully.
On BOARD®: Demystifying Fundraising & Designing Inclusive Fundraising Practices
One of the many responsibilities of Board Members is to leverage their strengths to engage donors and supporters. But asking for money and advocating for the support of an organization is scary – for new and existing Board Members. In this interactive Learning Lab, you’ll get to know where the money comes from and gain practical know-how on how you will be expected to fundraise and activate your networks.
Participants will learn:
- The board’s role in fundraising
- The primary uses of funding board members can solicit from their networks
- Principles of designing your organization’s strategic fundraising engagement process
- Tactics for creating a compelling case for support that board members can use to solicit support and advocate for your organization
- How to develop a culture of philanthropy that is intentional and inclusive
Content Expert: Braden Cleary
Braden Cleary is the Associate Director, Client Development at Arabella Advisors and former Client Engagement Lead at VEGA Partners. He works with clients in a variety of different issue areas and sectors but has a background and interest in arts & cultural management, board governance, and philanthropy. Dedicated to making meaningful contributions to the social impact sector, Braden currently serves on the Excellent Emerging Organizations Committee at North Park University’s Axelson Center for Nonprofit Management and is a former member of the Philanthropic Advisory Group at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Questions about this event?
Email Constanza Mendoza, A&BC’s Director of Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 last year and is expected to continue growing until the end of this year. Grant amounts from the city and state 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, the 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 tailored advice on building a case for their project or organization. This session focuses on philanthropic foundation and government grants for arts organizations, although some underlying principles around proposal writing apply to individuals.
Content Expert: TBD
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.
Price: Pay What You Can ($20-$35)
Content Expert: TBD
Questions about this event?
Email Constanza Mendoza, A&BC’s Director of Programs, at email@example.com
One of the ways in which we fulfill our mission is through On BOARD®, the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s unique board governance and leadership training program. Throughout six sessions we prepare individuals who are ready to engage as active board members of arts, cultural, and creative nonprofit organizations to successfully understand and own their role as board members.
On BOARD®: Board Cultivation. Actionable Insights on Board Recruitment, Engagement, and Assessment
A superb board member brings a combination of time, treasure, and talent to an organization. So why do we continue to evaluate and prospect board members strictly on their treasure ‘capacity’? If a board of directors is to reflect the community it serves, the sector must consider more equitable qualifications.
Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC) Executive Director Kristin Larsen will present her innovative, point-based, planning and assessment model to engage boards of directors. Larsen will guide you through using game theory and a points-based evaluation system to reduce anxiety around giving capacities and create an equitable board of directors that is welcoming to groups that have been historically marginalized.
In practice, Larsen has seen this fresh accountability system increase committee participation, mobilize current board members to prospect new members and donors and ignite a sense of self-governance that reduces stress and time for the Executive Director. You’ll leave this lab with an action plan to define the entire scope of what your board of directors can bring to the organization and design your own point-based assessment model that’s not all about the give/get.
We encouraged Executive Directors, Artistic Directors (directly interfacing with board of directors), Board Presidents, and Chairs of Board Governance committees to participate in this session.
- Attendees will understand how to translate their board’s Roles & Responsibilities into supporting the organization’s annual operating and work plans
- Attendees will understand how to use this tool to ease board recruitment practices
- Attendees will gain skills in motivating current board members to contribute to prospecting and communicating within their own networks
- Attendees will understand how to utilize this tool to increase committee participation and motivate self-governance, reducing their stress and time in board management
- Attendees will understand how to use this tool to increase board attendance at special events and fundraisers; also motivate board members to bring new guests to special events and fundraisers
- Attendees will gain knowledge of how this tool can create board equity (socioeconomic, gender, race, access, etc.)
- Attendees will expand the tenure of their board members using this tool as it presents a visible and tangible representation of a board member’s contributions
Content Expert: Kristin Larsen, Executive Director at the Arts & Business Council of Chicago.
Kristin rejoined the Arts & Business Council of Chicago in 2017 after serving as Director of Programs in the early aughts. Prior to returning to A&BC, Kristin was Executive Director of Stage 773 (2013-2017), a performance venue in Lakeview, Executive Director of Remy Bumppo Theater Company (2002-2012), and a business representative with Actors’ Equity Association (1995-2000) after many years of being an Equity Stage Manager.
Kristin has her BFA in production management from The Theatre School at DePaul University and her MA in facilitating organizational effectiveness in the arts from DePaul University’s School for New Learning. Kristin serves on the Americans for the Arts Private Sector Council, The Entertainment Fund’s Central Region Advisory Council, and volunteers with DePaul’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge program and the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.
Session Duration: 90 minutes