Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday Grows Bigger Every Year

Now that Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are behind us, we have Giving Tuesday to truly drive home the spirit of giving for the holiday season. Conceived of by the 92nd Street Y in New York City as a day to encourage everyone to donate their time and/or money to a worthy charity, Giving Tuesday, which falls on the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, started six years ago and spread through the public consciousness with the help of media companies like Mashable, Skype, Cisco and Google.

Today Giving Tuesday is observed in dozens of countries and has resulted in 100’s of millions of dollars in charitable donations. Last year’s estimate alone is $274 million moved. The event is driven by social media and two years ago Facebook began to take part. In 2017 $45 million was donated through the social media platform, with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matching $2 million of that amount. Given the yearly growth, we can expect even larger numbers this year and for the giving spirit to be carried through to the end of the year and beyond.

Giving Tuesday and the BNI Foundation

The BNI Foundation was started to help children, schools and educational organizations around the world. The Business Voices initiative is designed to facilitate charitable giving by BNI chapters and members. A Business Voices team partners with an educational organization in its own community and works with them to help meet the organization’s and students’ needs. BNI members give their time, talent and treasure to make a difference in the lives of students. If you are not familiar with Business Voices please visit our website for information and a toolkit that includes everything you need to get your BNI chapter involved. This is the perfect time to get your team started as many students and schools need help with supplies and more when they return to class after the holiday break.

Business Has A Voice in Education

BNI Foundation Co-Founder and President, Beth Misner, had a chance meeting at a local, Austin restaurant with a family from Houston. Michael was here to attend a rally to ask our state government not to cut funding for programs that help medically fragile children with their needs, including learning and keeping up with their counterparts as they undergo necessary medical care.

You’ll love meeting Charlotte, Michael’s young daughter, as Beth interviewed her daddy about their efforts. Remember, Business Voices is an initiative of the BNI Foundation. Our Business Voices teams say: “Bureaucracy Not Involved.” How can we help education and kids? That’s our #1 question.

We are improving tomorrow’s business through education today. Our mission is to create a conduit between Business and Education for children’s educational needs. Charlotte is just one of the reasons why we do this!

Please leave a comment below if you want to join Beth in the BNI Foundation and help us help kids with our unique and powerful movement.

Givers Gain Grants Update

With the launch of the BNI Foundation’s Business Voices movement in August, 2014, more excitement, energy and support has been building within BNI than ever before for the great work we have been doing over the past 18 years in children’s education. As a result of the enthusiastic reaction, we plan to begin supporting Business Voices with our Givers Gain Grants program.

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Help Us Feed Inner City Kids!

Feed the Need UgandaAfter returning from an impactful trip to Zimbabwe, former BNI Select Business Source Chapter member Steve Sargent introduced his chapter to an opportunity they never expected. Steve used his presentation time, not to present on his business, but to present an opportunity for the chapter to literally save lives by giving two hours of volunteer time. Sargent found that in keeping with BNI’s Givers Gain® philosophy, chapter members were eager to help.

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Business Voices Collaboration with Smothers Academy

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Damon speaks to the BNI members in New Orleans

Written by: Beth Misner

Damon Smothers with the students of John D Martyn Alternative School.

Damon Smothers with the students of John D Martyn Alternative School.

Ivan and I (Beth Misner) hosted the BNI regional Member Extravaganza winners at a breakfast on Saturday morning during our New Orleans trip in October 2014. We invited Damon Smothers, the school psychologist who had coordinated the school visits from the previous day which I have written about earlier on this blog site, to our BNI breakfast. We asked him to share with our guests the vision he has had for some time of the Smothers Academy, a public school for boys with a prep school focus. Here is a summary of what he told us:

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The BNI Foundation Needs YOU!

The BNI Foundation Needs YOU!

As BNI grows and expands across every populated continent, our need for volunteers to serve in the BNI Foundation is also growing.

Do you have a heart for service and philanthropy?

Do you value the work of the BNI Foundation to improve tomorrow’s business through education today?

Do you have some time to donate to our cause?

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Business Voices Plants Stand Up Youth Ambassador Program

The second school we visited in New Orleans was John McDonogh #35, a former charter school struggling to serve its students. McDonogh #35 used to serve students who have scored high enough on an entrance exam to be admitted as a college prep school. They are trying hard to maintain that focus and trajectory, but it’s more difficult now. And we encountered a metal detector at the front entrance through which everyone must pass before coming in.

I can tell you with confidence I have never been in a school that had a metal detector before. I knew they exist, but being up close and personal with that reality was sobering.

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Business Voices Comes to New Orleans

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The Business Voices Team New Orleans

“We are going into the 9th Ward, Beth,” I was told two weeks ago while planning our first inner city school school visit to meet the students of some of our nations’ toughest schools in order to begin building relationships there. New Orleans was the destination and John H. Martyn Alternative School and John McDonogh #35 were our two schools. Yikes.

John H. Martyn Alternative School

I did not know what I did not know. I did not know that these kids have been moved to the John H. Martyn Alternative School as a last resort.

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Business Voices Dream Team Webinar with Beth and Ivan Misner

Recent events in Ferguson, MO, have really touched the core of my heart. Let me start with a little background.

I spent my junior high and high school years in rural East Tennessee, in Dayton. I rode the bus to high school that picked up the kids from the projects, as we called it, before it picked up me and my brother. Most of the students picked up from the projects were black students. I was one of the few white students who would sit with black students if there were a spot open on the bus. Most of my classmates stood, rather than take a seat beside one of them. You can just imagine the names I was called. I look back on my younger self and feel grateful that I was known even then for love.

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Member Spotlight on: Aaron Millar and Care4Kenya

The beginnings of Care4Kenya go back to the Summer of 2013. In my Sales Manager Moment during one a BNI meeting, I asked for an introduction to a hairdresser. My then-Chapter President, Kimber Lee, referred me to Judy Kasue. I had a 1-2-1 with Judy who was not a BNI member at that time.  I was so impressed with Judy and her family as I learned about their humanitarian work in Kenya. When I mentioned that my teenage son, Dustin, was struggling with depression, Judy said, “Dustin should come to Kenya with us.”  When our families met in the summer of 2012, Dustin learned that 40% of Kenyans (approx. 16 million Kenyans) don’t have access to clean water. For the first time in years, Dustin caught a vision of how he was needed and that he could make a difference.

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