Givers Gain® Grants Eligibility Criteria & Guidelines

(United States of America)


The BNI Foundation gives grants by referral only.  A school or educational organization must have a relationship with a BNI Director, Chapter, Member, or Business Voices Team in order to apply for a grant. Schools or educational organizations that fit our mission for helping children and education are eligible to apply for the grant. Givers Gain Grants will also be awarded to non-US nonprofits when appropriate.

The BNI Foundation does not accept grant proposals from:

  •   Unsolicited requests
  •   Schools or educational organizations without an active Business Voices Team
  •   Schools or educational organizations that discriminate with regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, age, ancestry, marital status, disability, or protected veteran status
  •   Organizations without a primary focus on children’s education
  •   Grants which benefit individuals
  •   Scholarships
  •   Requests for partial funding for large projects
  •   Private foundations
  •   Conferences and seminars
  •   Capital campaigns


The grant monies should fund projects which:

  • will benefit the largest number of children possible
  • will enhance the classroom or learning environment, and does not primarily provide items that will become the property of students
  • enhance learning and engagement in the classroom or educational environment
  • when possible, will benefit multiple classrooms, teachers, or instructors


Typically, ten Givers Gain Grants of $1,000 each are awarded each year. They are awarded in March and October after a 4-week open-application cycle. Schools and educational organizations may only apply for a grant once within a rolling 12 month period.

Grant Review Process:

  • Grants will be awarded by the BNI Foundation’s Board of Directors after the review process.
  • The number of grant awards 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.

Begin the Online Application Process Here

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I be referred if I have no current contact or relationship with someone on a Business Voices Team?

Since our teams are predominantly made of of BNI Chapter Members, please visit BNI to meet our members and learn if there is a local Business Voices team. You may find a chapter near you at If there is no Business Voices team serving your community, please email, and our staff will assist you with determining the likelihood that a team may be forming in the future.

What kind of information do you require from me in order to be considered for a grant?

We appreciate that educators are not grant writers. Our grant application is very straight forward and is sent to you in the form of a link to a questionnaire. We will need to know your contact information, including the school or organization’s address; tax ID number; information about your project, such as size of your classroom, subject, name of your project, how it will benefit the students and how you will measure that; how you will spend the grant money; how you are being assisted by the local Business Voices team; who is your contact and what is their contact information; and your non-profit’s budget and a copy of your most recent 990 tax form.

If I have another organization who will pay part of my project, may I apply to the BNI Foundation for the balance of the costs?

No, we want to fund the full amount of your project. The only exception would be if your Business Voices team has committed to match the Givers Gain® grant amount of $1000 by doing local fund raising for your school or educational organization to support your project.

May I apply more than once?

You may apply by referral of a BNI Member only one time within a 12-month timeframe. For example, if a Member refers you for the Spring grant cycle, and you are awarded, you would not be able to be referred again until the following Spring grant cycle.

How will I know if I have been awarded the grant?

We pride ourselves on getting through the grant cycle quickly and efficiently. We make every effort to have the grants reviewed and recipients selected within 30 days of closing a grant cycle. 

Will I be notified if I am not awarded the grant?

We will make every attempt to notify everyone of the status of your application; however, due to the volume of requests received, it is not always possible to notify everyone. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us to inquire as to the status of your application.

I am not located in the USA. May I be referred to the BNI Foundation for a Givers Gain® grant by a BNI Member in another country?

Our BNI Foundation affiliates have their own registered NGOs and make grants from within their countries. Please contact us for more information on BNI Foundation activity in your country, if applicable.

How do I contact the BNI Foundation?

By email at or by phone at 704-248-4800, ext: 66.  

Ensure that all children obtain a quality education now and in the future.