Video Contest

Video Contest Winners Announced

To highlight the incredible impact adults can have on the lives of children, we asked our supporters to submit video “testimonials” describing an adult who significantly influenced their life. We received many inspiring one minute videos sharing stories of mentors, coaches, teachers and other leaders who inspired and even changed the trajectory of lives between kindergarten and high school graduation.

The first place winning video is above. Josh Perry of FusionForge Consultants describes a volunteer named Ray who brought knowledge, passion and excitement to a Junior Achievement economics course he taught at Josh’s high school. “As a result of the time spent with Ray, I went on to donate time back to my local high school,” says Josh, “For four years as a volunteer with a local youth ministry active in the school and for another two years as a substitute teacher.”  Josh’s prize for winning the contest is a day with BNI Foundation co-founders,  Ivan and Beth Misner, in Austin, TX.

Second place went to Lonnie Young of Young & Company. In the video (view HERE) Lonnie remembers the man who turned him on to math, which led to him becoming an accountant. Lonnie’s Prize was a $75 Amazon gift card.

Our third place winner (view HERE) was Robyn Smith. Robin recounts how her mailman inspired her entrepreneurial spirit and drive. Robin recieved a $50 Amazon gift card as a prize for sharing her story.

Congratulations to our winners, and  thank you to all of the entrants for participating. Their videos illustrate how even small gestures and actions by adults can make a big difference in  children’s lives.

Back to School Supply Drive

The ABC’s of Back to School Giving

This summer’s Business Voices® Back to School Supply Drive is in full swing. Now is the time to review our toolkit for supply drive project ideas and how-to’s. The toolkit is a great source of information you will need to plan and execute a successful drive to bring much needed support to local schools. There are a number of different approaches you can use and details for each one are in the Business Voices® toolkit.

The Back to School Supply Drive is an easy way to impact students’ learning experiences. You can make school a better place for students and teachers just by providing school supplies.  Our June blog post illustrated how most teachers must pay out of their own pockets for necessary supplies that are not provided by the schools. This is an important time of year for teachers to collect the supplies they will need throughout the school year. Help the children in your community to feel empowered by having the items they need to focus and learn.

The toolkit should have all of the information you need, but if you have any questions about projects or starting a Business Voices® team, contact us at info@bnifoundation.org.

Givers Gain® Grants Awarded

Givers Gain® Grants Awarded

The BNI Foundation awards the Givers Gain® Grants to schools and educational organizations twice a year in May and December. Ten awards of $1000 each are typically awarded. The grants are used to enhance classroom learning with the goal of benefiting as many classrooms, teachers and students as possible. Here are the winners for May.

Boys Haven of America, Inc. – Beaumont, Texas – Project Funded: Equine Therapy Summer Program

The grant funds will be used to provide Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine-Assisted Learning sessions for residents of Boys’ Haven who have all experienced some form of abuse or neglect in their lives. The boys learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with horses and discussing thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and patterns.

Project 16:49 – Janesville, Wisconsin – Project Funded: Building Self-Sufficiency in At-Risk Youth

This grant will be used to purchase ARISE evidence-based life skills curriculum for teens. The curriculum helps students with a number of topics including anger management, domestic violence and sexual abuse, self-esteem, time management, career networking, finances, health and hygiene, school drop-out prevention, nutrition and exercise, and safety.

Humble I.S.D. Education Foundation – Humble, Texas – Project Funded: From MOSAIC Masterpieces to Beyond

The grant money will be used to purchase two cash registers, a bar code label maker and supporting materials. Our program supports students age 18 to 22 with special education as they transition from school life to adult life. The registers will be used at our MOSAIC store and at shows and events where the students sell items and crafts they make themselves.

Clara J. Peck Elementary – Greensboro, North Carolina – Project Funded: Resource Center

We are establishing a resource room where students and their families can study, get help from teachers, work on assignments and receive help from volunteers and school workers. The grant funds will go toward computers, printers, furniture, reference books and supplies for the resource center.

Congratulations to all of the Givers Gain® Grant recipients. We wish you success in your endeavors.

Teachers are Picking Up the Bill for Their Own Jobs.

Teachers are Picking Up the Bill for Their Own Jobs

Teachers investing their own money into the classroom have become so commonplace around the country that it is now taken for granted. For years, schoolteachers have learned to accept the fact that they will spend part of their salaries on items for the classroom. New teachers entering the profession are generally aware of the situation because it is widespread and because they are told as much in college. This information is even found in some college textbooks. Studies have determined that the average teacher spends as much as $1000 yearly on necessary supplies not provided by their employers.
These out of pocket costs could add up to a major expense, especially for someone just starting a career. But, as mentioned, most teachers enter the profession knowing what is expected. New teachers are not likely choosing the career for it’s high income potential. This kind of sacrifice requires a different perspective and a willingness to take on the responsibility to do what is needed to perform the job properly.

Where is the Money Going?

The list of items purchased for the classroom by teachers is extensive. It starts with the decorations teachers use to liven up the classroom and engage their students. The colorful, educational banners, map, posters, alphabets and other learning tools that are ubiquitous in classrooms create a warm atmosphere conducive to creativity and learning. Without teachers taking on the expense, classrooms would be very different places.
As public school budgets continue to be hit, teachers find themselves having to cover even basic supplies like books, paper and pencils. Meanwhile, some have to work with decades old textbooks because they are not prioritized in schools’ budgets. Even furniture is not out of the scope of teacher spending.
In impoverished neighborhoods, it is common for teachers to spend on items unrelated to education to help their students. Teachers will pay for classroom snacks, student meals on school trips and personal items for students with the most need. It is not unheard of for teachers to pay for students’ college applications and curriculums.

Other Effects of Budget Cuts

There are other ways that educational budget cuts affect teachers. Less money means less incentive to join and stay in the profession. Here are some other effects of the lack of proper funding.
Lower Pay – This translates in to smaller paychecks, or losing a job when a school district decides to reduce class sizes.
Reduced Benefits – School district contributions to teacher benefits can be lowered when cuts need to be made somewhere.
Fewer Equipment Purchases – When money is low, schools may put off investing in technology like computers. Teachers and students suffer when they do not have up to date equipment.
Fewer Electives – A school facing budget cuts will typically cut non-core subjects from the curriculum, sometimes cutting teacher positions in the process.
Larger Class Sizes – A common response to budget cuts, bigger classes are less conducive to one-on-one instruction and cooperative learning.
As things stand now, some 20% of teachers quit the profession within the first three years. Educational budget issues do not help matters. Whether teachers accept it or not, they should not have to bear this financial burden. The BNI Foundation was started to address these sorts of issues. Our Business Voices initiative works to get business leaders involved in education by volunteering their time and talents, while our Givers Gain Grants help fund educational projects. Learn more, visit bnifoundation.org.

Who’s In Your Story??? – A BNI Foundation National Video Contest

Who’s In Your Story? – A USA Video Contest!

 WHO: When you were growing up, did you have an adult who significantly influenced your life?

(A teacher, coach, mentor or friend is acceptable, just NOT an immediate family member.)

Then, we at the BNI Foundation want to hear from YOU!

WHY: We want you to share your story with us so we can share it with the world so people will see and hear the huge impact that adults can have on kids!

WHAT: So, tell us in a 1 minute or less video, about the person who inspired you, possibly even changed the trajectory of your life when you were between Kindergarten and High School Graduation.                 We especially welcome stories in which a small gesture or action made a big difference, showing how easy it can be to help our youth, without always spending a ton of time over many years. It can be raw footage, shot with a phone, and does NOT need to be professionally filmed or edited.

 WHEN: May 18 – June 15, 2017

 WHERE: U.S., Email your video contest submissions to: Marketing@bnifoundation.org

 – Subject Line should read: Who’s In Your Story? Video Contest

– Email should include:

-Name

-Location

-Video (1 minute or less) embedded or attached or a public link

to a video that can be downloaded from another place.

Examples: Hightail, Google Drive or Dropbox

 HOW: (RULES)

All submissions must

– Be NO more than 1 minute long

– At start of video, state your name & location (city & state)

– Be received by 11:59 pm (Eastern Time) on June 15, 2017

– Be a spoken testimonial of how this special person positively influenced your life

– Include a signed photo release consent form (downloadable here)

BONUS: (PRIZES) 3 Overall Winners

– 1st prize – 2 days in Austin, TX for winner + 1 guest

(1 day to be spent with Ivan & Beth Misner and includes airfare and hotel!)

– 2nd prize – $75 Amazon Gift Card

– 3rd prize – $50 Amazon Gift Card

Have fun making your videos and telling us your stories!!!

BNI FOUNDATION SILENT AUCTION

One of the most exciting events at the BNI US Conference this year for the BNI Foundation is the BNI Foundation Silent Auction! This is silent auction features some fantastic experiences:

Become a Sonoma Valley Winemaker!

Blending Seminar

Winery Tours & Tastings

3 Night Stay & Airfare for 2 (Within the US)

Read More

BNI Foundation US Conference Walk and Talk May 2017

IMG_9699 3A few years back, Beth Misner, Co-Foundation of the BNI Foundation, initiated a fun event. Beth decided to start walking on Saturday morning of the BNI Convention. In the beginning, she invited a few special people to walk with her and to conduct 1:1 conversations. This idea grew into a larger event, with many BNI leaders, members, and GST staff participating. It has not just become a BNI Foundation tradition, but a fun event at BNI Conventions, both locally and globally. Some walk, some run. This is your perfect opportunity for a casual dance card or 1:1 with Graham Weihmiller, Beth Misner or Stephanie Starr.

 

The Walk and Talk (or Run) will take place on Saturday, May 20th at 6:15AM. Please register online here.  We are happy to take registrations on-site, but this year, we are adding a fun t-shirt to our first 50 registered walkers and runners as a THANK YOU!

 

Register Today, as t-shirts are going fast.  Show your BNI Foundation support and pride!
We cannot wait to see you there!

 

Regards,

 

Erica Gifford

Volunteer Coordinator

The BNI Foundation

Learn about the BNI Foundation and it’s programs at the BNI US Convention

Every year, the BNI Foundation is lucky enough to be a guest at BNI US Conference. BNI and the BNI Foundation have a unique relationship – we are two separate entities, but exist simultaneously, sharing resources and embodying the concept of Givers Gain®.

 

This year, from May 17-20, Stephanie Starr, the BNI Foundation Executive Director, will be joined by her “Dream Team” of Volunteers from around the US to help to educate and inform BNI leaders how the BNI Foundation can help Members Make More Money while cause networking. The BNI Staff and volunteers, including some BNI Executive Directors, will be on hand to help BNI Executive Directors and Director Consultants learn how to implement service projects in their area to increase their bottom line, improve member retention and growth, and spread the word about BNI in their area.

 

Here are four main ways you can learn about the BNI Foundation and its programs at the BNI US Convention:

 

1.Our Booth – Learn more about the BNI Foundation and its programs! Opens at 8 AM on May 18th and closes at 4pm on May 20th.

2.Our Walk and Talk – We are hosting a Fun Walk and Talk (or Run) on Saturday morning, bright and early at 6:15! Register here and be sure to get a premiere spot and t-shirt.

3.Our Auction – Have you always wanted to become a Sonoma Wine Maker or attend a baseball game at Wrigley Field on the rooftop or vacation on the beach in Galveston? If so, come bid at our silent auction on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the BNI Foundation Table. We will announce all winners during the Gala.

4.Our Round Tables – The BNI Foundation is hosting an information round table on Saturday, May 20th. Stop by our table to sit down with Stephanie Starr and other Executive Directors, Director Consultants and Regional Administrators who are working with the BNI Foundation to see how to implement it in your region.

 

Feel free to drop us a note at info@bnifoundation.org before the show to set up a One to One.

 

We cannot wait to see you there!

 

Regards,

 

Erica Gifford

Volunteer Coordinator

The BNI Foundation

The Time is Here…Full Speed Ahead

Four months ago, the BNI Foundation was very happy to bring Stephanie Starr, Executive Director, onto our wonderful team. BNI Foundation Board Chair, Jeff Stay, and Co-Founder and President, Beth Misner have been closely working with Stephanie to share the culture of Givers Gain, our vision and mission (which she, in turn, helped us codify), and our future dreams for just how many kids we can impact with our initiatives.

It was Beth’s intention from the beginning to take off the foundation president’s hat within the next six months, after a time of working closely together with Stephanie to lay the best groundwork possible for our agency.

That time is here! Stephanie is now completely handling the operations of the BNI Foundation, interacting with our Board of Directors, and leading our other staff and volunteers. Beth will be stepping fully into her role as Co-Founder and will remain on the Board of Directors as board secretary. Expect to see both of them embracing their complementary roles over the next few months, and join us in congratulating them both on this milestone.

New to the BNI Foundation team are Beth Omecene Epperson, Director of Marketing & Communications with Middle Man Marketing, and Grace Sanchez Hagen, Development Consultant with the Grace Group.

We invite you to learn more about our Business Voices Teams by exploring our website, joining us at Facebook on the BNI Foundation page, or signing up for one of our Launchpad Zoom Web Calls on the 4th Monday of the month.
The young people in our world are only 20% of our total population, but they are 100% of our future! How will you join us to be a positive contributor to their story?

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