In 2013, our leadership participated in a program with the Arts & Business Council of Chicago entitled, Business Volunteers for the Arts. The program matches an emerging arts organization with local pro-bono consultants who help co-create strategic plans and processes for the nonprofits they are paired with.
As a nascent organization founded in 2012, the timing was important because it got us thinking bigger picture. Instead of putting our heads down and working harder and harder, it clarified that goals were helpful and that we could put systems in place to get there.
The reality is that most nonprofits don’t have solid business plans or acumen when they get started. They know why they want to put in the work and what causes they want to give their lives too, but the how of it can get lost in the passion for the mission.
Business Volunteers for the Arts is doing the incredible work of getting arts nonprofits in the Chicago area to think critically about the viability and sustainability of their work.
If we can’t sustain the organization through efficient and impactful work, then we won’t be here next year or the year after making significant gains in our mission sector.
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