Business on Board Program supports arts, culture groups

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. Participants are equipped with the knowledge, strategies and tools to maximize their effectiveness and understanding of board leadership. Professionals seeking to serve on a board and those already serving on a board are welcome to participate. 


Board-Executive Partnership • Board Engagement • Board Role Descriptions • Communication • Community Engagement • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion • Evaluation (Board, Executive Director, Programs) • Financial Management • Fundraising • Governance • Legal and Fiduciary • Nonprofit Structure • Onboarding • Power, Privilege and Bias • Recruitment • Strategic Planning • Succession Planning • Vision, Values and Mission

Applications are now OPEN and accepted on a rolling basis. Program fees vary - please see the website for more details.

Organizations are aspiring to have boards that are representative of the communities they serve. The Arts + Business Council prioritizes the diversity of the cohort and seeks to recruit professionals from marginalized groups that have experienced discrimination or exclusion, including but not limited to:

Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) • Immigrants, Refugees and Migrants • LGBTQ+ • People of Low Socioeconomic Status • People with Mental Health or Cognitive Disabilities • People with Physical Disabilities or Limited Mobility • Women


Week 1
Set the Stage: The program kicks off through an exploration of nonprofit structure and board governance and onboarding. Dive deeper into individual board roles and the board-executive relationship. A panel of nonprofit arts and culture leaders rounds out an introduction to board expectations.

Week 2
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.

Week 3
Leverage Your Presence: Build a toolkit on how to take the lead when entering and navigating new organizational cultures and board dynamics. Learn how to be an organizational representative who can successfully weave community engagement strategies before pivoting into board legal and fiduciary responsibilities.

Week 4
Maximize Your Network: 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.

Week 5
Lean Into Change: Investigate diversity, equity, inclusion and access as it relates to board leadership and recruitment. Know the signs of whether an organization is actively working toward meaningful growth and think critically on the effects of diversifying a board.

The curriculum will be conducted virtually over 5 weeks from January through February 2022. The bi-weekly format includes one mandatory hands-on participatory session and one recorded webinar that can we viewed anytime. 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.