Getting Started

The Arts & Business Council of Chicago’s services to arts, cultural, and creative organizations include management consulting; board member training and matching; and professional learning. These programs are built to help Chicago-area arts, cultural, and creative nonprofits improve managerial and organizational capacity.

To engage in our programs, which include Business Volunteers for the Arts ®(BVA) and On BOARD®, you must be an active client of the Arts & Business Council of Chicago (A&BC). We require that you be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in good standing with the IRS to begin the application process. A&BC also supports the work of organizations, groups, or projects with a fiscal sponsor that is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in good standing with the IRS. Additional participation criteria may apply to specific programs.

A&BC is not accepting new clients at this time. You may still register for Learning Labs to meet your professional learning and capacity building needs.

If you have questions about the above process or participation criteria, email Braden Cleary at or call 312.372.1876 ext. 105.

A Guide to Our Services

Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA)
The BVA program recruits and trains skilled Chicagoans interested in volunteering, and matches them to serve on pro bono consulting projects for nonprofits in the Chicago area. Organizations must have proof of General Liability insurance coverage to participate in BVA.

Through the On BOARD program, we train individuals and organizations on the foundations of board service. Participants learn the fundamentals of nonprofit board roles and responsibilities; board-staff relations; legal and fiduciary responsibilities; and a board’s role in fundraising.

Learning Labs
A&BC provides professional learning opportunities for arts, cultural, and creative leaders looking to deepen their knowledge of nonprofit management practices. Learning Labs cover leading research and emerging issues in:

  • Concept Development & Planning
  • Board Governance
  • Financial Management
  • Audience Development & Marketing
  • Income Generation
  • Staffing & Structure
  • Facilities

This proprietary online assessment tool helps your organization measure management and oversight capacity, helping you develop a healthy and balanced organization with the resources you have.


For more information, email Braden Cleary at or call 312.372.1876 ext. 105.