In 2015 A&BC began working with Forward Momentum Chicago (FMC).  FMC is a BIPoC led and serving not for profit, with the commitment to serve schools located in the city’s south and southwest neighborhoods as their number one priority. 

When FMC entered A&BC’s portfolio in 2015, its operating revenue was $400,750 with net assets of $170,400.      

Seven years later FMC’s revenue is in excess of  $895,500 with net assets of $1,144,129. 

Each A&BC relationship begins with an intake meeting between staff and the Arts Partner senior leadership. In 2015, FMC expressed needs to support its mission and vision that included establishing a marketing plan with branding and web strategy, staff and board development and recruitment plans, and a strategic plan with review of their mission and vision statements.

Through several conversations with A&BC staff, FMC decided upon a sequenced capacity building plan, that included attending several A&BC Learning Labs and On Board® workshops, and engaging in our Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) program. 

Over the past 6 years, FMC and A&BC, have partnered on 5 BVA Projects including:  

  • 2015 HR Plan -valued at $18,000/ 120 volunteer hrs; cost to FMC $250
  • 2016 Strategic Plan- valued at $31,425/ 210 vol. hrs; cost to FMC $250
  • 2017 Board development plan- valued at $31,950/ 213 vol. hrs; cost to FMC $250
  • 2018 Facilitated board retreat- valued at $5,850/ 39 vol. hrs; cost to FMC $250
  • 2020 Strategic Plan- valued at $35,175/ 235 vol. hrs; cost to FMC $450

Total value of capacity building (2015-2021) to FMC $122,400  

Total Cost to FMC- $1,450  


In its 2020 request for an updated Strategic Plan, FMC expressed the desired goals of the project to specifically address Board Governance, Audience Development, Human Resource Development, and Income. 

Four volunteers worked on a Team for 8 months throughout 2020, to produce a strategic plan that outlines specific initiatives for each strategic objective to:   

  • Increase the amount of programming in schools 
  • Acquire and cultivate new donor types 
  • Implement a multi-dimensional marketing strategy 
  • Cultivate a strong and committed board 
  • Diversify revenue 

 Upon conclusion of the 2020 Strategic Planning BVA Project, FMC reported the project helped enhance:  

  • leadership team’s ability to make good decisions & use data to inform decisions
  • systems that support operational efficiency
  • resiliency (ability to adapt to changes in the environment)
  • ongoing ability to build and sustain capacity without outside help

Two years later, FMC reports it is expanding its Saturday and in/ after school programming; individual giving has significantly increased; added 1 FT Programs Coordinator, with a current open FT opportunity for a Development Manager; recruited 4 board prospects to join its board in March 2022, with 2 A&BC On BOARD® matches continuing to serve as Treasurer and Chair of the Development Committee; enhanced its social media and messaging; and realigned the role of the Executive Director to spend less time in the classroom in order to dedicate more time meeting with board and staff as part of FMC’s succession planning.