Business Volunteers for the Arts
In a switch from our traditional BVA Program, our business volunteers will be assisting the ten artists/arts organization and creative businesses that have been selected as part of the new Flywheel arts incubator program. These volunteers will help create sustainable arts businesses by lending expertise in the fields of PR, marketing, IT, fund development, accounting, business management, strategic planning and much more. BVA Volunteers give back, build their resumes and work in a creative environment by consulting on short term pro-bono projects.
(Please note: We will be accepting requests for business assistance projects outside of the Flywheel incubator in 2013.)
The Role of the Business Volunteer for the Arts Consultant
The role of a BVA consultant is different than that of a board member or other volunteers in the organization. The volunteer consultant is placed to solve a specific management challenge, opportunity or issue, by utilizing his or her business expertise. A good volunteer consultant should leave behind new skills and systems that will advance the arts organization over time.
The Arts Clients
Arts clients of the BVA program apply to receive services through our program. They may be individual artist or nonprofit arts/culture organizations in the greater six-county Sacramento region and provide us with documentation of their 501(c)3 nonprofit status, a list of board members and staff, a copy of their mission statement, the budget from their last fiscal year and three samples of recent promotional material. Small creative enterprises that meet certain criteria may also apply for assistance. Upon receiving an application from an arts group, BVA staff visits the arts client to learn more about their organization and their specific project needs. BVA staff helps the arts client outline one or more potential projects.
Finding the Best Match
Matching a volunteer to a project is more than just matching the skills areas of a particular volunteer to a project; it’s about personalities, interests, availability, location, calendars, etc. BVA staff works hard to find the best match possible for each project. Sometimes there will be more than one volunteer working on more than one project for a single arts client. In the past there have been teams of two or more volunteers working toward a single goal for an arts group. Volunteers are not obligated to accept projects when they are offered to them. There is a small administrative fee ($50-$125) for each match or project, based on the client’s annual operating budget.
When BVA staff finds a volunteer willing to take on a project, a match meeting is scheduled. This meeting usually takes place at the arts client’s location, and consists of the potential volunteer, one or more representatives from the arts client (Executive Director, Board president, etc.), and BVA staff. The purpose of this meeting is to have the arts client and volunteer meet to discuss the needs of the arts group. The goal is to determine if the project is a good fit for both parties. If both parties agree this is a good fit, a project agreement is signed by all 3 participants (BVA staff, volunteer, arts client). It’s also possible that either side may determine that this particular match wouldn’t work well.
Working on a Project
For the duration of the project, the volunteer and arts clients work at their own pace, holding their own meetings, to accomplish the goal(s) of the project. BVA staff can step in if either side is unable to continue, the project in unproductive, or a problem arises. Some projects are completed after one consultation, and others can take 3-6 months or longer. Each project is unique.
Completing a Project
When a project is complete, contact BVA staff. The volunteer and arts client will both be asked to complete an evaluation about their experiences. Volunteers are required to keep track of the number of hours and the value of their services throughout the project. BVA volunteers are eligible to be nominated for the Arts & Business Council of Sacramento’s “Volunteer of the Year” award that is presented annually at A&BC’s Prelude to the Season luncheon event.
What our clients are saying
“CCAS needed general marketing advice as well as strategic planning for marketing of the Capitol Artists’ Studio Tour and the Annual Benefit Art Auction. Our Business Volunteer, Sandra Kopp, provided expert advice and not only improved our marketing for the two events but also for the marketing of our all subsequent programming. Our web site and Facebook pages received record breaking traffic.” Michael Azevedo, Gallery Manager, Center for Contemporary Arts Sacramento
“As a personal testament, Sandra Kopp (BVA Volunteer) was a great addition to help fill a much needed void with our studio tour. We more than doubled our numbers from the previous year and she has just joined our board and is chairing our marketing committee. Thank you for connecting us.” Cheryl Holben, Board Member, Center for Contemporary Arts Sacramento; Appointed SMAC Commissioner
“Our organization, Heart to Heart Ministries, serves approximately 60 youth and their families in the South Sacramento area with an emphasis on disadvantage/at risk youth. BVA provided a marketing volunteer and a videographer, Jayson Carpenter. BVA also introduced us to Margaret Park and she was responsible for getting two of our youth connected with the Kings to sing at the ARCO arena and for connecting us with the Disney Channel. Our community is growing because of the support gained through BVA, it has been one of our greatest support systems.” Sharon Brandon, Director, Heart to Heart Ministries
What our volunteers are saying
“I have developed a much greater appreciation of how arts organizations function and of their diversity and role in the community. I have made a number of contacts that have benefitted our firm in terms of referrals. I also served on an arts organization board for eight years – I doubt that would have occurred to me without BVA.” Jennifer D. Franz, Ph.D., President, JD Franz Research, Inc.
“The volunteer opportunity gave me more confidence to help other potential clients. In addition, I sharpened my listening and speaking skills – so the client could establish specific (project) goals.” Rebecca Fong, Marketing Intelligence Coordinator, Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau
“By encouraging employees to participate in activities such as BVA, it creates a stronger community and gives an employee pride of accomplishment. This helps an employees gain skills that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to try in the business setting. The program is helping me with personal satisfaction – knowing I can give back to the community.” Susan Wheeler, Principal, Pathfinder Consulting Solutions