Frequently Asked Questions - Business Volunteers for the Arts and Volunteerism

The Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) Network is a knowledge sharing group comprised of organizations that run programs designed to engage employees in the business community through the arts. An “engaged employee” can be defined as someone who is “fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about his or her work, and as a result takes positive action to further the organization's reputation and interests”.

The BVA Network originated with a core group of organizations that operate Business Volunteers for the Arts® programs, but as this is not the only way to engage employees through the arts, we have since expanded the network to include other employee engagement programs. Organizations in the BVA Network run a bevy of different employee engagement programs, including arts-based training programs, corporate arts challenges, virtual volunteering opportunities, and more.

The BVA network allows organizations and groups that run these programs to share best practices and learn from one another. Americans for the Arts also serves as a resource for groups looking to start such programs, providing tool-kits and on-going consultation. To learn more about employee engagement programs, visit our BVA Tools & Resources.

To join the BVA Network, you simply need to be an organizational member of Americans for the Arts and have a vested interest in engaging employees through the arts, or doing so in the future. In doing this, you will have access to webinars, conference calls, and tool-kits that will assist you in determining what program is best. Americans for the Arts staff is also available for ongoing consultation and support, which you can reach by emailing privatesector@artsusa.org.

Business Volunteers for the Arts® (BVA) is a national skills-based management consulting program operated by a network of organizations across the country under the leadership and coordination of Americans for the Arts. It pairs nonprofit arts groups with specially trained business executives who volunteer their time and skills to assist with distinct management projects. At the same time, it provides unique leadership development opportunities for these volunteers—allowing them to apply and expand their professional skills and gain new perspectives by working outside their field.  

Business Volunteers for the Arts® operates as a program of a larger organization, usually a local arts agency or other community arts group. To learn more about starting a Business Volunteers for the Arts® program, check out the tool-kit and supplementary materials. Or, send us an email at privatesector@artsusa.org. Business Volunteers for the Arts® is a licensed program of Americans for the Arts.

If you are interested in starting a Business Volunteers for the Arts® program at your organization, you should access the Feasibility Study before planning the program to ensure that all of the elements needed for success are in place. If the program is something you wish to implement, you may request the Business Volunteers for the Arts® Manual and Supplementary Materials in the BVA Tools & Resources. The manual includes a manual outlining the components of a program, including timeline, staffing, and operations, as well as templates for forms, promotional pieces, and other materials. We require that before you undertake this process you reach out to us at privatesector@artsusa.org. We will provide ongoing support and consultation to assist you through the process of implementing your Business Volunteers for the Arts® program.

If you are interested in starting an employee engagement program at your organization, you can visit the BVA Tools & Resources to learn about your options. We strongly recommend that before you undertake this process you reach out to us at privatesector@artsusa.org. We will provide ongoing support and consultation to assist you through the process of implementing your program, or we can help you explore your options if the available ones are not the best fit.