On BOARD® 2019-10-10T13:31:32-05:00


Since 1999, more than 375 people have been trained through On BOARD, with over 320 joining a Chicago-area nonprofit board.

On BOARD is the Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s unique board training and matching program. We equip you with the knowledge, strategies, and tools to effectively serve on the board of directors of a nonprofit organization.

As an On BOARD participant, you can expect to:

  • Take part in leadership development
  • Expand your skillset including: strategy, influence, negotiation, conflict resolution, & creative decision-making!
  • Join a dynamic network of business & cultural leaders
  • Immerse yourself in Chicago’s neighborhoods to better understand the issues affecting communities
  • Invest in Chicago’s creative economy

You’ll attend classes to learn the fundamentals of board service. You will also attend the Meet the Boards networking event where you’ll meet participating arts and cultural organizations, who you’ll get to know over the course of the program.

Participants come to us with a range of backgrounds and vocational, lived, and academic experiences. Some expertise that we look for in On BOARD participants include, but are not limited to, strategy, finance, marketing, nonprofit management, organizational change, and management consulting.

Apply Today

Ready to take the next step?


Once you apply, we’ll reach out to schedule a short conversation to discuss the program and your interests. 


  • Sept 14 – Arts Organization Structures & Board Responsibilities
  • Oct 19 – Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting, & Tax Issues
  • Nov 16 – Legal & Fiduciary Responsibilities; Non-governing Boards
  • Dec 7 – Fundraising Landscape

Networking Event:

  • Sept 25 – Meet the Boards (6-8pm)


  • February 8 – Arts Organization Structures & Board Responsibilities
  • March 7
  • April 4 – Nonprofit Finances, Budgeting, & Tax Issues
  • May 2

Networking Event:

  • May 13 – Meet the Boards (6-8pm)
Program Tuition

Tuition for the program is $995 (a payment plan is available). Many employers will subsidize the cost of tuition as an investment in professional development and community engagement.

We offer a discounted rate of $500 to individuals working in higher education or the civic or nonprofit sector.

Are You a Current Board Member?

Looking for training on what it means to be a board member? We open up our On BOARD classes to current and prospective board members who are only looking for training. You can read more about the opportunity here.


For more info, please contact On BOARD Director Noemi Garcia at ngarcia@artsbiz-chicago.org or 312-372-1876 x103.