Business On Board
Business on Board trains professionals in nonprofit board service and matches them with arts and culture nonprofits seeking board candidates.
With a comprehensive program led by local experts in the sector, participants are equipped with the knowledge, strategies and tools to maximize their effectiveness and understanding of board leadership. Business on Board is the only program in the Greater Philadelphia area that focuses on the unique needs of the local arts and culture sector and offers a robust observership experience that lasts anywhere from a few months to a year. Professionals seeking to serve on a board and those already serving on a board are welcome to participate.
The past few years has brought unparalleled change to the arts and culture community amidst a pandemic and national civil unrest. With an economy reopening, organizations are reexamining their purpose, practices, and sustainability for an unpredictable future. Now more than ever, board members can play an extraordinary role in shaping the direction of the arts and culture sector.
|Board-Executive Partnership||Evaluation (Board, Executive, Programs)||Onboarding|
|Board Engagement||Financial Management||Power, Privilege, and Bias|
|Board Role Descriptions||Fundraising||Recruitment|
|Community Engagement||Legal and Fiduciary||Succession Planning|
|Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access||Nonprofit Structure||Vision, Values, and Mission|
This program is designed and led by the Arts + Business Council’s Director Elizabeth (Liz) Thompson.
Applications for the 2023 cohort of Business On Board are now CLOSED.
Looking for a workshop to expand your knowledge on a specific board topic? Learn more about Business on Board’s Deep Dive Series.
SET THE STAGE
Meet your cohort in person while laying the groundwork with nonprofit structure, governance and board-staff roles. Frame your program learnings through a diversity, equity and inclusion lens before diving deep into board legal and fiduciary responsibilities.
Tuesday, January 10 | 9:00AM – 12:00AM | In-Person Participatory Session*
Thursday, January 12 | 3:30PM – 5:00PM | Virtual Recorded Webinar
MANAGE THE BIG PICTURE
Identify effective organizational missions, visions, and values and hone in on the board’s role in strategic development. Understand the board’s responsibility in evaluating programs, board members, and the executive director, and how to plan for transitions through succession planning.
Tuesday, January 17 | 8:00AM – 10:00AM | Virtual Participatory Session*
Thursday, January 19 | 3:30PM – 5:00PM | Virtual Recorded Webinar
AVENUES OF SUPPORT AND ACCOUNTABILTY
Master nonprofit funding streams and models to identify areas of growth. Embrace fundraising responsibilities through new perspectives while practicing the ask, followed by an in-depth review of board financial management.
Tuesday, January 24 | 8:00AM – 10:00AM | Virtual Participatory Session*
Thursday, January 26 | 3:30PM – 5:00PM | Virtual Recorded Webinar
LEVERAGE YOUR PRESENCE AND NETWORK
Build a toolkit on how to enter and navigate new organizational cultures and board dynamics and how to be a successful organizational representative. Think critically on the effects of the diversifying a board through board recruitment and retention strategies.
Tuesday, January 31 | 8:00AM – 10:00AM | Virtual Participatory Session*
Thursday, February 2 | 3:30PM – 5:00PM | Virtual Recorded Webinar
INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE IMPACT
Learn how to engage thoughtfully with the communities your organization serves. Circle back to diversity, equity and inclusion as it relates to board leadership and know the signs of whether an organization is actively working toward meaningful growth. And finally, feel confident in identifying the ways your unique skillset and background can contribute to an organization.
Friday, February 10
12:00PM – 5:00PM | In-person Participatory Session
5:00PM – 7:00PM | In-person Alumni Reception
February | Match and introduce participants to organizations
Wednesday, April 26
9:30AM– 10:30AM | Cohort check-in and update
“Business on Board was truly valuable for its mix of theory and practical learning at the same time. The curriculum was really enlightening, engaging and forced me to participate in the discussions which were instrumental in the decision I made to join a board. From selecting the right board to having practical ideas to use during the observership – the mix was perfect.
Some takeaways were understanding the importance of a mission to a nonprofit and how to think of nonprofit structure as having 4 walls of a house that all have to be strong. A big learning moment for me was when I observed a board discussing a sensitive issue. How the board members shared their views and how the discussion was structured and concluded was great for me to observe, especially since it drew upon what we were learning in the program curriculum. Lastly, I came out with new appreciation for the strength of the Philadelphia arts and culture community and the opportunities it has to positively impact diverse communities in the region.
While connecting with cohort members can be challenging in a virtual format, I have made a handful of meaningful relationships that should be long lasting. These connections were all fostered from conversations during the program’s breakout sessions.”
Director, Investment Strategy & Advice, Private Wealth Management, SEI
“Business on Board provided a very engaging and meaningful way to learn about nonprofit board governance, build relationships with professionals in Philadelphia, and get plugged into the nonprofit community. I appreciated the hands-on support to find a board that was a good match for my strengths, skills and interest, as well as the opportunity to observe my board before officially joining them. Finally, I found the curriculum to be highly engaging and full of valuable information – I felt very prepared entering my board service. ”
Executive Director, PA Automotive Association Foundation
“All the sessions and presenters were insightful and I picked up tips and tricks from each one. One that stood out was how to manage digital presence by being more mindful and present. I now feel empowered and qualified to put my skills to use as a board member in a more meaningful capacity. Not only does ABC set you up for success by preparing you to serve, but they also assess your skills and experience to match you with organizations who will benefit most from your involvement as a board member”
The Business on Board curriculum will be a hybrid format over 5 weeks from January through February 2023. The format includes a blend of mandatory participatory sessions and recorded webinars that can be viewed anytime. Participants should plan to be fully present for the entire program, including attending/viewing all sessions in full, completing prework assignments and actively engaging with facilitators and the cohort throughout the program.
Immediately following curriculum completion, those individuals participating in an observership will select, and be introduced to, an organization. The organization and participant will engage with each other for a period of time determined at their discretion. ABC will hold an April observership check in to provide additional support.
Observing an Organization
The observership component of Business on Board serves two purposes: 1) The Arts + Business Council hopes it will lead to an official elected board position; and 2) It supplements the Business on Board curriculum by applying learnings in the field with an arts + culture board. Organizations are expected to provide participants with information in advance to attend any board-related activities, including board meetings, over the course of the observership. Organizations are encouraged to share activities and materials that further highlight and provide insight into their organization, such as upcoming events, promotional material, internal documents, and introductions to other board members, board alumni, and organizational staff.
The Arts + Business Council is grateful to have a long-standing reputation and following in the area with arts and culture organizations. Over 70 organizations participated as host organizations each year. Their range of discipline varies widely; arts education, music, theater and performing arts and visual arts are among the top represented in 2022, with 72% located in Philadelphia. The Arts + Business council primarily attracts grassroots and small-sized (under $5M annual budget) organizations that are evenly distributed between adolescents/growing and established/mature life cycles.
The Arts + Business Council is committed to finding the right organization for each participant; participants receive further support as they become part of Business on Board’s network of over 900 alumni.
For Professionals Interested in Business On Board
When considering the program, individuals may choose whether to participate in the curriculum only or to participate in the curriculum and be matched with an organization through the observership component. The Arts + Business Council recommends the following rates depending on the size of the business or organization. A 20% discount may be arranged when multiple individuals participate from the same institution. Payment is due prior to the first session.
|Category||With Observership||Curriculum Only|
|Businesses Sponsoring Employees|
|Large (>50 employees)||$3,000||$1,500|
|Small (<50 employees)||$2,000||$1,000|
|Business Professionals Paying Out of Pocket or Self Employed||$1,000||$750|
|Nonprofits Sponsoring Current Board Members|
|Mid-Size and Large ($5M->$10M Budget)||$1,000||$750|
|Grassroots and Small (<$1M-$5M Budget)||$750||$500|
|Nonprofit Professionals Paying Out of Pocket||$500||$500|
Many employers support the program fee as an investment in leadership development, community engagement, and good corporate citizenship. Interested individuals are encouraged to inquire about their professional development with their department and/or supervisor. The Arts + Business Council is available to assist with facilitating a conversation between an interested professional and their employer.
Philanthropic grants enable the Arts + Business Council to provide financial assistance. If an organization or business is interested in participating but the fee poses a hardship, the Arts + Business Council may be able to accommodate different budgets.
Deep Dive Series
In an effort to offer continued learning to ABC’s Business on Board alumni, ABC is offering additional individual workshops that dive deeper into nonprofit board themes and topics.
These workshops are FREE to Business on Board alumni and open to the public at a sliding scale rate.
SUCCESSION PLANNING | TUESDAY, November 15, 2022 from 10:00AM – 12:00PM