Clear Goals to Propel Your Nonprofit

Clear Goals to Propel Your Nonprofit

Is your nonprofit organization moving towards its missions? If not, it may be due to a lack of clear and specific goals. The mission statement should act as a beacon. Look at it as the as the ultimate goal that everyone is always working toward. However, mission statements are often far-reaching by design and meant to encompass a broad set of goals and objectives. The goals that get you to your mission should be much more specific and measurable. They include the projects that staff and volunteers will work on throughout the year. Clearly stated goals can motivate staff, donors and volunteers.

Evaluation

Before setting goals, the first step is to evaluate where your nonprofit currently stands in terms of finances, donors, staff and volunteer engagement. You may want to focus on one or more of these when setting future goals. This is also the time to look at past and current goals. How effectively are those goals being pursued? Do the goals serve the mission? Determine where the organization is succeeding and what issues are outstanding. Goal setting should involve staff from all departments. Keep communication open and the process transparent.

Examine the forces outside of your organization that will affect your work. Developing trends, changing community needs and donor and volunteer motivations could all suggest directions for goal setting. An understanding of where your nonprofit stands on these issues should give you an idea of weaknesses to improve and strengths to bolster. Keep your mission statement in mind as you determine your short and long term goals.

SMART Goals

Having determined your nonprofit’s standing, it’s time to set the goals that will guide your future actions. SMART is a long-standing goal setting system used by organizations around the world. SMART stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-based. Each of these aspects works to create goals that are clear and motivating to your staff and volunteers.

SpecificGoals are specific as possible to provide focus and clarity. 

Measurable:  Goals must have objectives and milestones that can be measured. These will serve to mark progress.

Attainable:  Goals are realistic. Set ambitious goals that you have the resources to accomplish.

RelevantYour goals fit the big picture. Goals are relevant to the organization’s mission.

Time-based:  Deadlines can bolster motivation. Use multiple shorter deadlines.

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SMART Examples

The following are examples of specific goals that will nonetheless apply to many nonprofit organizations. Each one can serve as a starting point for formulating your own goals.

Raise Funds

Fund raising is certainly one of the most important goals that many nonprofits share. Some specifics of fund raising are how, how much, and by when. Sources include social media calls to action, fund raising events that can raise awareness and direct appeals to existing donors and volunteers.

Increase Awareness

Exposure and increased awareness will often help facilitate other goals, and a clear and specific mission and goals can make your audience more receptive. Concentrate on the communication channels you have in place that are most effective and new strategies you can introduce to increase your reach. Monitoring and measuring your impact is now easier than ever with online analytic tools.

Recruit

Recruit both volunteers and donors to maintain the effectiveness of your organization. Some will become both volunteers and donors so appeal to both altruistic impulses. A good place to start is by expanding your existing network and securing regular, ongoing donations. Increase donation channels to make it easy for your donors.

The new year can be a great time to reorganize and set upcoming priorities and goals for your nonprofit organization. Short and long-term goals should provide achievable and measurable steps to achieve the organization’s mission. Ensure that goals motivate your staff, volunteers and donors to action. With these points in mind, your nonprofit’s goals will help propel it to success.

The Easiest New Year’s Resolution to Keep!

The Easiest New Year’s Resolution to Keep!

If my own personal experience is anything to go by, at this point in January it could just be that some New Year’s resolutions – especially those of the “I am not going to do, eat, or drink that any more” or the “I am going to do this, that or the other every day” variety, have already been consigned to history. Disappointing as that might be, for those of you who followed this suggestion….

“In 2023 I am going to give a few minutes of my time to learn more about just how easy it is to get more involved with BNI Foundation activities in my region and why that could be important for me, my BNI team and my own business”

……you are still very much on track – at least with this one!

And the quickest and easiest way to get started is to put the date of this year’s 2nd Business Voices Future Leaders (BVFL) Week in your diary NOW – October 15 – 21, 2023. This is the week in which we invite BNI Chapters to hold their weekly meeting in a nearby school. If the week itself is not convenient, any time in October is fine too.

At the end of the weekly meeting, in which 15- to 18-year-old students have the chance to experience how modern business owners work together to help each other become more successful, selected Team Members go to or remain in the school to provide career orientation sessions, talking about their own professions to young people facing complex career decisions. The students’ homework assignment then gets them talking to their parents/guardians about their own jobs and careers and the experiences they have drawn from them.

Business Voices Future Leaders Week took place for the first time in October 2022, when 770 BNI Members from 65 Chapters gave practical career orientation advice to over 6500 students in 11 countries! And now for the really exciting part:

· After one meeting, 4 students went home and told their parents “Mom/Dad, school was so cool today, please can you join BNI?!

· An electrical contractor was approached after his weekly presentation by a 16-year-old boy who offered to connect him with his father who was building a factory. The last time we heard, negotiations had already commenced!

· Within four weeks of BVFL 2022 closing, it had already resulted in one Thank You for Closed Business for $243,000!

BNI Members who took part last year got so much out of the event themselves that they are already looking forward to returning in 2023 and a number of schools have asked if we can establish BVFL as a permanent fixture in the school calendar. If you would like to know more about how your chapter can take part, please register your interest via this link Business Voices Future Leaders Week – BNI Foundation to receive a detailed information package.

And if you simply have questions about what we do at the BNI Foundation and why we do it, please contact us on info@bnifoundation.org and one of our team members will be in touch to set up a call. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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David Kauffman, January 2023

What Comes After The Holidays?

What Comes After The Holidays?

Christmas is a time of giving, which should be easy enough for BNI people to whom Givers Gain® is second nature. I remember a speaker at a Global Convention many years ago saying “Dr. Misner, I am sorry, but with all due respect “Givers Gain” is wrong, it should be “Givers Give,” because that is what Givers do, they Give – out of conviction that Giving is the right thing to do, not because they expect something in return”. Of course, in the end, they gain too, but this is not their intention, it just happens!

More BNI Members and Directors than ever have Given to the BNI Foundation in the past year – and for this, we want to say to all of you who have helped us in our mission to support Children and Education – THANK YOU! Some of you have Given money and, of course, money always helps, but many more have Given your time, your talent, and your experience. Today we have Foundation activities in more countries than ever before and our first Business Voices Future Leaders (BVFL) Week in October saw 770 BNI members from 65 chapters in 11 countries provide hands-on, professional career orientation advice to over 6500 students facing complex choices about their future careers.

Of course, this is also the time of year when people around the world decide on their New Year Resolutions and to make this easier to keep than usual, here is one suggestion from us:

“In 2023 I am going to GIVE a few minutes of my time to learn more about just how easy it is to get more involved with BNI Foundation activities in my region and why that could be important for me, my BNI team, and my own business”.

Whether you wish to 1) help us give more Givers Gain Grants by supporting us financially via the “Donate Now” button on our homepage www.bnifoundation.org or 2) launch a Business Voices team in your region or 3) find out more about how your chapter can participate in BVFL Week or 4) you are just learning about us for the first time and simply have questions about what we do and why we do it, please contact us on info@bnifoundation.org and one of our team will be in touch to set up a call.

Wherever you are in the world, we look forward to hearing from you and to learning – in the spirit of Givers Gain – how we can help you!

Happy New Year!!

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Kevin Barber, December 2022

Speak Up For Service Day Celebrates Community Involvement of Youth

Speak Up For Service Day Celebrates Community Involvement of Youth

Too often, the community involvement of young people is overlooked. On Speak Up For Service Day, October 30th, we recognize the impact of the young people who are actively engaged in community service. Speak Up For Service Day shines a light on their contributions.

The Mandan Lions Club of North Dakota, itself a community service organization, established Speak Up For Service Day in 2014, but its history goes back a little further. In 2003, the Lions club started the Student Speakers Contest for high school students in honor of Laura Christensen Espejo, a local woman who had devoted her life to improving health care availability for the less fortunate of Fargo and Peru. The contest went statewide in 2010. Today Lions Clubs throughout the North America hold public speaking contests for youths. Speakers are encouraged to share insights about current issues.

Get Involved

Speak Up For Service Day provides an opportunity to recognize the youth in your community for the projects they support and to encourage further community involvement by young people. If you are in a position to do so, create opportunities for youth to get involved. The benefits are many including confidence boosting and positive community impact. Here are some ways to observe Speak Up For Service Day:

  • Be vocal! Speak to others, especially young people, about the service initiatives available in your community.
  • Celebrate and encourage young people who get involved in their communities.
  • Raise awareness about the contributions young people make to their communities.

Starting to give of one’s time and effort at a young age can lead to a lifetime of fulfilling volunteer work and community service. Use Speak Up For Service Day as a springboard to get a young person in your life involved in community service.

Givers Gain Grant Provides Chess Sets, Coaching to Virginia Beach Students

Givers Gain Grant Provides Chess Sets, Coaching to Virginia Beach Students

 

Hampton Roads Chess Association in Virginia Beach, VA is a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the life benefits of chess to people of all ages and abilities. They work closely with area schools, and other local organizations, to provide chess equipment and instruction to students throughout the region. Now, Hampton Roads Chess Association is also a Givers Gain Grant recipient.

 

“We are so grateful for your support in being able to impact children who could not otherwise afford chess programming,” said Executive Director, Tina Schweiss, “These children will learn focus, impulse control, decision-making, planning and organizing, calculation, pattern recognition, time management, and so much more through chess.”

 

The bulk of the grant was used to hire chess coaches to provide instruction to students at two elementary schools, Seatack Elementary in Virginia Beach and Lindenwood Elementary in Norfolk, VA. Hampton Roads has partnered with Connect With a Wish – a Virginia non-profit that serves children in foster care – and a portion of the grant funds were used to provide the children with chess classes, clubs and tournaments to participate in as well as personal, portable chess sets. Finally, any remaining funds supplemented the Joan H. Schlich Memorial Scholarship Fund which covers individual, need-based scholarships. “We have a scholarship fund with which we strive to turn no child away for inability to pay. The fees they would normally pay for tuition, training accounts, etc. are covered by the scholarship in whole or in part,” said Schweiss.

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The Hampton Roads Chess Association has done great work introducing and promoting the game of chess to children and adults, all the while working with a network of other non-profits and chess focused organizations to maximize their impact and reach. We at the BNI Foundation are proud to support this worthwhile organization.

Business Voices Future Leaders Week

What is Business Voices Future Leaders Week?

Business Voices Future Leaders Week (BVFL) is a simple way for BNI professionals to offer young people career orientation advice within their local community. During the week of October 17 – 21, 2022, we are inviting Chapters to hold their weekly Meeting in a local school, showcasing the way BNI teams work together. After the Meeting, volunteer Members will remain in the school to talk and answer questions about their chosen professions.

 

Why did the BNI Foundation create BVFL Week?

BVFL is designed to give students a real world understanding of what businesspeople do and how they got there. As BNI Members and Directors, we have unique experiences and are proud to have so many entrepreneurs who may not have a traditional educational background. At the BNI Foundation, we believe it is important for students to see that every educational and professional experience is important. Regardless of the path to your career, it is important to show students that success is achieves in many different ways. Business Voices Future Leaders Week also provides opportunities for BNI Members to give back to their communities and gives Chapters a reinvigorating experience to remind them of the importance of their networks for growing their businesses and the communities in which they live.

 

How to get involved

If your Chapter is interested in participating in BVFL, please register in advance by using the link provided below. To make the process as smooth as possible, you must register your team in advance. Once registered, a representative from our organization will email you the event packet with all of the materials needed to have a successful and fun day!

Our Goal for BVFL Week

Our goal is to provide career orientation advice to students ages 15- 18 years old as they prepare for their future careers.

 

 

Register today!

Business Voices Future Leaders Week

The 3 Pillars of the BNI Foundation

The 3 Pillars of the BNI Foundation

 

Every solid structure needs a good foundation. The BNI Foundation’s 3 Pillars are what make our organization succeed in making the biggest impact for as many young people as we can. Our 3 pillars are Business Voices, Givers Gain Grants, and the Misner Endowment Fund, all of which are essential to fulfilling our mission. Below outlines each pillar and how they work together to make us the BNI Foundation!

 

Business Voices

Inspired by a cry from an inner-city community, Co-Founder Elisabeth Misner was moved by one parent’s televised plea for help with the dire situation in that community’s schools, and thus, Business Voices was born. Business Voices (BV) allows BNI Members, Directors, and Chapters to use their time, talent, knowledge, and experience to help children in the communities in which they live and work. Through BV, you can make an impact on your community, supporting educators and students as they grow and learn. Our Business Voices teams are our volunteer teams that provide “boots-on-the-ground” support all over the world through utilizing the network of BNI Chapters.

 

Givers Gain Grants 

Our Givers Gain Grants are grant funds given to organizations whose mission is to positively impact young people. Our Givers Gain Grants help to fund programs that help young people by providing clothing, after school programs, tutoring classroom supplies, scholarships, and much more. Grants are generally $1,000 USD and are funded by donations received from our generous supporters. They are available to support educational organizations in countries around the world. Our Grant Cycle runs twice a year, once in Spring and again in the Fall, each lasting approximately 4 weeks.

 

Misner Endowment Fund

The Misner Endowment Fund was created in 2019 to ensure financial support for the BNI Foundation for years to come. Donations to the Misner Endowment fund grow with our organization through interest earned and will support children and education by funding grants and programs. Through their generous support, Misner Fellows are helping us achieve our goal of having $1,000,000 USD in the Endowment Fund — which was the dream of Co-Founder, Elisabeth Misner.

 

 

A Magic (Johnson) Moment at the ConnexFM Conference

A Magic (Johnson) Moment at the ConnexFM Conference

 

Our chairmen, Kevin Barber and David Kauffman, along with board member Michael Walchonski, were recently given the opportunity to speak about the BNI Foundation’s impact at the ConnexFM conference in Long Beach, CA. While there, they met and spoke with Magic Johnson, world renowned basketball star and philanthropist. At the meet and greet they thought they would have a bit of private time with Magic, but he had other plans.

He was pushing past the backstage crowd and got to our chairmen and Kevin asked, “How can we help you?” He stopped and looked at them and said, “What did you say?” David responded,” We are the BNI Foundation, and our foundation has a similar mission as yours, we help children succeed, I want to know how we can help you?”. He looked and said, “That is a totally different conversation.

Give me something to write on and call me to set up a meeting.” After talking about both of our Foundations for a brief time, he gave them his number! BNI Foundation and Magic Johnson have hopes to work together on a project soon. A true testament to the Givers Gain philosophy, we are excited to see what the future holds!

New Life Beginnings: Partnership with Connex Foundation

New Life Beginnings Project: Partnership with the Connex Foundation

The BNI Foundation has been working on a partnership with the Connex Foundation over the last few months to support New Life Beginnings, a shelter for women and children in Long Beach, California and we were finally able to see the project come to life on April 24th, 2022. Along with this partnership, the BNI Foundation awarded a $25,000 Givers Gain Grant to the project, our largest Grant to date. Board Members Kevin Barber, David Kauffman, and Michael Walchonski were on-site representing the BNI Foundation during the New Life Beginnings Project making much needed updates to the building spaces, living quarters, and learning centers.

New Life Beginnings provides safe shelter to vulnerable women and their children in a stable, caring, structured environment. The organization does not take government funding because the regulations in place would only allow those seeking shelter to stay for 2 months and women would only be permitted to house 2 children with them, requiring their families to be separated and the other children to be placed in foster care.

At the BNI Foundation, we know how important it is for children to live and stay in an environment that has all of the resources they need to be successful which is why we were proud to be the premiering sponsor of the New Life Beginnings Project. With this grant, we could contribute new books, furniture, and other necessities in the shelter to make sure all of the families and children that are staying at New Life Beginnings feel welcomed and cared for.

In addition to the project, the BNI Foundation was given the opportunity to attend the ConnexFM Conference the following days. As the guests of the Connex Foundation, our Chairmen were able to speak on stage about the BNI Foundation, our goals, mission, and vision. We are thankful for the partnership with the Connex Foundation and the good work we could do together with the New Life Beginnings Project.

To watch a review of our project, check out our YouTube channel – linked here!

BNI Foundation Learning Center in Kashipur Village, Bangladesh

 

[Kashipur Village, Khulna, Bangladesh] – The BNI Foundation partnered with Speak Up for the Poor to build the BNI Foundation Learning Center in Kashipur Village in Bangladesh. Speak Up for the Poor is a nonprofit whose mission is to create a new reality for girls in poverty. They create transformative programs for impoverished girls though three channels – the Girls Education Program, homes for at-risk-girls, and as justice advocates for girls experiencing abuse.

Speak Up for the Poor was a Givers Gain Grant recipient in the Fall of 2021 and immediately put the funds to work with the construction of the BNI Foundation Learning Center completed in March of 2022.

“The BNI Foundation grant has funded the construction of a brand-new Learning Center (schoolhouse) in Kashipur village — one of the 35 villages and urban communities in which Speak Up’s Girls Education Program operates”, says Dave Palmer, Director of Development for Speak Up for the Poor. “The new Learning Center in Kashipur will facilitate the education of more than 150 girls and young women in our Girls Education Program every year.  We are so grateful to the BNI Foundation for their kind partnership with us”.

Speak Up for the Poor helps girls from impoverished backgrounds to escape child marriage and child trafficking, and to stay in school all the way through high school and college graduation, changing their future. Their life-saving programs in communities throughout Bangladesh are monumental, and the BNI Foundation is proud to partner with Speak Up to provide this grant to help in their mission to change lives.

For more information about Speak Up for the Poor, visit their website at  https://www.speakupforthepoor.org/.

 

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