Business Volunteers for the Arts®

Business Volunteers for the Arts delivered over 30,000 hours of pro bono consulting services between 2009 and 2021. The value of their contribution, in dollars and cents:


BVA Project Example: Strategic Plan for Forward Momentum Chicago (FMC)
6 months; 4 volunteers;
235 hours, valued at $35,175. Cost to FMC- $450

FROM FMC’s 2020 November NEWSLETTER:

“The Arts & Business Council of Chicago paired us with amazing Business Volunteers for the Arts (BVA) consultants who worked hard to help us develop our new 3 year strategic plan that will take us into our 10th year. “

Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) recruits skilled Chicagoans, trains them in nonprofit practice, and matches them with arts, cultural, and creative organizations in need of business, management and/or operational assistance. Our BVA consultants are thoroughly vetted, highly-qualified individuals who have subject-matter expertise and a demonstrated commitment to the arts.

Are You Ready for a Project?

Our BVA consultants work in groups of 2-5 and lend their abilities in a variety of business-related project areas, including:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Communications & Marketing
  • Income Generation
  • Human Resources
  • Business & Financial Planning
  • Data Analysis
  • Board Structure & Operations
  • Retreat Facilitations


A&BC does not provide the following services: Executive Searches, IT, Website Development, Fundraising and Contributed Revenue Planning, or Legal. However, these agencies offer some of these services to not for profit organizations at no or low-cost:

Time commitment is dependent on the nature of the project with most projects lasting between 2-6 months. Art Partners and consultants agree on an anticipated completion date–as well as outcome–prior to the project start.

Submitting a Project Proposal

When reviewing proposals, we prioritize BVA applications that:

    1.  Primarily serve those that have been historically excluded from capacity building programs
    2.  Leads to larger sector-wide learning
    3.  Additionally, we take into consideration the population and geographic area(s) that your organization serves, the racial and gender composition  of your organization’s leadership, and how your project fits in with the existing BVA Project portfolio as well as the other proposals submitted. Therefore, not all project proposals can be accepted. Projects may be deferred to the next round.  Project proposals are accepted two times a year.

Proposal Opens: April 15, 2022

Proposal Deadline: June 17, 2022

Estimated Project Launch: August/ September 2022

Proposal Opens: October 1, 2022

Proposal Deadline:  December 2, 2022

Estimated Project Launch: February/ March 2023



  • We require that you submit a New Art Partner application and schedule an Intake Meeting before applying for a BVA project.
  • Organizations must have proof of General Liability insurance coverage to participate in BVA.
Processing Fee (effective April 1, 2022)

Recent Art Partners Served

For more information, contact Kristin Larsen at or 312-372-1876, ext. 101