What is Business Voices?

BNI has a long, proud legacy of reaching in and helping out where schools have needed extra funding for specific projects not provided for by school districts or state funding. A pivotal factor of our philanthropic word was the creation of the Business Voices initiative to be able to provide even more to the schools which have the greatest needs.

Our initiative pairs BNI members and concerned, engaged and motivated corporations, service clubs and community groups with schools and educational organizations to help them find the resources they need in order to have maximum impact on the kids of our communities.

We call this work cause networking — and who better to lead the way with cause networking than the world’s largest, most successful networking organization?

The BNI Foundation is bringing its Business Voices initiative to your community

“Our BNI members want to help, they have a Givers Gain heart, and they have resources to share, but they just need to know what the needs actually are,” Beth Misner, BNI Foundation Co-Founder and President shares.

“I believe we can all do more to find out what the needs are in our schools and speak out, sharing the needs with our business community so that we can work together to change the critical situation in our schools today,” Beth asserts. “It may seem like our educational challenges are insurmountable, like a huge mountain. We know it is there, but it’s so huge, what can anyone really DO about it?” she asks.

BNI Foundation’s Business Voices initiative gives you a shovel, points to a spot on the mountain, and says to you: “There – Dig right there.” We believe that if enough of us pick up shovels and begin to dig where we can, this mountain will be leveled!


“Education is the great equalizer,” Ivan has said for years. “I do not see the problem with education today mainly as a racial problem, or a social problem. It really is a socio-economic problem. When there is the level of hopelessness within, with seemingly no chance of reaching that golden ring, and apathy without, with not enough people caring or willing to stand up in order to mobilize resources to bring that ring within the grasp of our underserved children, then we continue to have a problem that is perpetuated generation after generation.”

BNI cares and we know you do, too! Business Voices uses Cause Networking to address the needs of our schools. Our movement can create a conduit for powerful collaboration to happen within the business community to move the needed resources into our schools. The question is, will you help us do this?

The Business Voices initiative is designed to be organic – viral – adaptable.

It is very simple to participate in Business Voices at the regional, chapter, family or member leve

  • Follow these “3+1″ simple steps and watch the magic unfold:
  1. Ask for a referral to a local school principal by name (you can easily Google the schools and find the names of all the principals). You will most likely have someone in your chapter who knows that person OR has a contact who will know him/her.
  2. Make an appointment to meet with the principal to learn what the school’s top five challenges are. This process works best if your referral partner joins you for the meeting. Principals need to be very protective of their students and campus, and they won’t understand why you are there, since no one has probably ever come in from the business community to ask them what their challenges are.
  3. Take these issues back to your next chapter meeting to determine which of the five (or maybe even all five!) your chapter’s members might be able to help out with and which ones might be supported by a  Givers Gain Grant from the BNI Foundation.


+1. Share the stories that emerge from this collaboration with the school with us. This will inspire more chapters, members and business owners to join our movement.

That’s all it takes to begin plugging in to the schools in your community.

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