What is the BNI Foundation?

The BNI Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving educational opportunities for children around the world. Founded in 1998 by Elisabeth and Dr. Ivan Misner, we have raised millions of dollars to support the educational needs of children and inspire them to achieve a brighter future. The BNI Foundation provides more than just monetary funding of programs- we connect people who care to their local communities.

The BNI Foundation’s mission is to lead a global movement of businesspeople who fund educational programs and volunteer time to prepare children for a promising future.

How do we support children’s education?

BusinessVoices_BNI_foundation

Business Voices projects focus on how BNI Members, Directors and Chapters can use their time, talent, knowledge, and experience to help children in the communities in which they live and work.

Business Voices Teams can be initiated by any BNI Member in any Chapter around the world. Contact info@bnifoundation.org to learn more and get started.

Givers-Gain-Grants

Givers Gain Grants are generally for $1,000, or the local equivalent, and are funded from donations received. They are available to support educational organizations which make a lasting impact on the future of their students.

Grants are awarded twice a year – one cycle in Spring and one cycle in Fall. If you know of a qualifying organization which would benefit from receiving a Givers Gain Grant, invite them to apply online.

Misner-Endowment (1)

The Misner Endowment Fund was created in 2019 to ensure an annual income flow for the BNI Foundation for years to come. As donations accumulate, our capital fund grows and earnings generated will help us to continue funding grants and programming to support young people.

Donors to the Misner Endowment Fund are known as Misner Fellows, generously providing capital contributions to our campaign to reach $1,000,000 – the dream of Foundation Co-Founder, Elisabeth Misner.

Our Programs

Through Business Voices you can make an impact on your community, supporting educators and young people as they grow and learn. Business Voices projects are about “doing not dollars”. They are projects organized and lead by BNI Chapters in their communities and are a major part of BNI Foundation activities. Support may look different depending on what the schools or educational organizations identify as their greatest challenges. We ask what it is that the schools and young people really need and do our best to provide what is needed using the resources of our BNI network.

Business Voices Projects can be:

  • Children’s Clothing Drives
  • Backpack and School Supply Drives
  • Book Collections
  • Mentoring
  • Donating Business Attire for Graduating Seniors
  • Organizing Career Fairs
  • Future Leaders Week

Business Voices Teams can be initiated by any BNI Member in any Chapter around the world! For more information about how to start a Business Voices team, contact info@bnifoundation.org.

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October 15th - 21st is Future Leaders Week 2023!!

During Business Voices Future Leaders (BVFL) Week, we invite BNI Chapters around the world to engage with a local school so that they can provide practical career orientation advice to students of 15-18 years facing challenging career decisions. One option is for the weekly Chapter Meeting to be held in a school, with selected BNI Members staying after the meeting to talk to students about their professions and their experience. If this is not practical in your country or region, the career orientation classes can be held independently from the weekly BNI meeting.
Click this link to find out more about how your Chapter can participate in 2023.

The BNI Foundation awards grants by referral only. A school or educational organization must have a relationship with a BNI Chapter, Member or Business Voices Team in order to be eligible for a grant. If you know of an organization which would benefit from a grant but does not yet fulfil this criteria, this may be an excellent opportunity to build a relationship with their nearest chapter. Please contact us for guidance if required.

The grant monies should fund projects which:

  • benefit the largest possible number of children (i.e., do not primarily provide items which will become the property of students)
  • enhance the classroom and learning environment
  • support, where possible, multiple classrooms, teachers or instructors

Grants are awarded in Spring and Fall after a 4-week open-application cycle. Recipients may only apply for a grant once within a rolling 12-month period. The number of grants awarded is dependent upon the number of applications received and the amount of available funds at the time of the funding cycle and is subject to change.

We look forward to receiving applications from organizations with a primary focus on children’s education and, if successful, to building relationships with these organizations for years to come. 

To Learn More or Apply for Funding, Click Here. 

Misner Endowment

Donations made to the Misner Endowment Fund will remain there permanently. They are not used to finance grants, but to generate income which will itself then finance grants and projects in the future. This means that donors to the Fund can be proud of the fact that they are making a positive difference to the lives of children FOR EVER!

Donors to the Fund are known as Misner Fellows and every donation we receive from them brings us closer to achieving Elisabeth Misner’s dream of having a capital fund of over $1,000,000.

There are 3 levels of Misner Fellow, all of whom are recognized by name on our website, receive a unique token of appreciation and are invited to participate in an exclusive annual event at Global Convention. Donations are cumulative, so someone starting at Fellow level ($2,500 USD) can progress to Senior Fellow ($5,000 USD) and then Diamond Fellow ($10,000 USD) at any time.

If you would like to join us in supporting Elisabeth’s dream or require more information, please contact our Chairmen, Kevin Barber and David Kauffman, by way of email at info@bnifoundation.org. We look forward to hearing from you.

Leadership

BNI Foundation India Board Members:

Top: Kevin Barber, Sandeep Shah, David Kauffman.
Bottom: Hemu Suvarna, Ivan Misner- BNI Foundation Co-Founder, Meena Srinivasan.

Founders & Worldwide Leadership:

David Kauffman, Vice-Chairman;  Ivan Misner, Co-Founder; the late Elisabeth Misner, Co-Founder; Kevin Barber, Chairman.

Country Coordinator, BNI Foundation India:

Sandeep Shah (Right) and his wife Manisha Shah pictured with Dr. Ivan Misner.

News & Events

Upcoming Dates

March 1, 2023

SPRING – Givers Gain Grant Applications Open

March 31, 2023

SPRING – Givers Gain Grant Applications Close

October 1, 2023

FALL – Givers Gain Grant Applications Open

October 31, 2023

FALL – Givers Gain Grant Applications Close

October 15th – 21st, 2023

Business Voices Future Leaders Week

November 8th- 11th, 2023

BNI Global Convention 2023