At Arts & Business NI, we are very proud of our hugely impactful Board Matching Programme which we have been running for 30+ years.
Our board matching programme places young professionals, seasoned executives and strategic thinkers from our business member pool onto the Boards of local arts organisations.
Our participants undergo in-depth, arts focused, governance training before being introduced to boards. Our aim is to achieve a win/win situation- we take our time to understand the interests, skills and drivers of each individual applicant before matching them with an arts Board. The arts organisations tap into the specialist skill set of their newest board member and their associated networks.
Businesses of all sizes regularly support their people to participate in our board matching programmes, many of them doing so faithfully each year.
Businesses which have taken part in recent years include Sapphire Capital Partners LLP, PwC, EDG Legal, Strategic Investment Board, General Medical Council, Tourism NI, Lighthouse Communications, Belfast Harbour, Mango Bikes, Lotus Properties, UU, UUSU, Belsonic, Connswater SC, Castle Mall, Visit Belfast, Dale Farm, Think People Consulting Allstate, Lanyon Group, Power NI, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, NI Chamber of Commerce, Progressive, PGR Accountants, Marlborough Marketing, Cygilant, Happening, The Junction and retired business people.
The Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme is one we've been delighted to support as a business over a number of years. Specifically, in the last year, five of our staff have been part of this programme that exposes them to the real world problems faced by Arts organisations. In a post pandemic, VUCA world, where the Arts has been one of the sectors hardest hit financially, the programme has been an invaluable learning opportunity for our people.
It has opened their horizons and perspective, and has allowed them to not only apply their professional expertise, but to also build their confidence and boardroom presence, and extend their professional network. We've also had one team member join the Board Bank programme, and we are really grateful to Arts and Business NI for creating this opportunity for the next cadre of local leaders and potential board members.
Arts & Business NI believes board diversity means having a mix of people on a cultural board who have the relevant skills, knowledge, lived and learned experience and background to do the job well and that the mix is representative of the community served and of society as a whole. We would like to encourage applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds and experiences including candidates who identify as LGBTQIA+, have a disability or are neurodiverse, or are from a visible minority ethnic background.
As a young charity with a swiftly expanding staff team, Fighting Words NI needed to put in place good management systems and provide supportive guides to employment for our staff team. The expertise of an HR professional was exactly what we needed. We couldn’t have asked for more in a new Board Member in Bethany O’Neill: she brought professional knowledge that ensured we could satisfy the legal requirements as an employer and ensure compliance within our team, as well as provide support and guidance in her role as a trustee for me in a Chief Executive role. Since Bethany joined the FWNI Board, she has helped us put in place contractual and HR supports that help us set out the direction of growth for our organisation that aligns with our vision, and outlines the kind of employer we want to be. We are very grateful to Arts & Business NI for introducing Bethany to us via their Young Professionals on Arts Boards programme.
Arts & Business NI is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.