Our 25th Year as a Foundation

David Kauffman Vice Chairman BNI Foundation

This year we are celebrating our 25th year as a foundation. This is a great milestone. Over the first 25 years of giving, we have donated over 3 million dollars to our local communities in support of our children and the teachers who educate them. There are now formal entities in 14 countries and Business Voices activate and many more! But with your help we can do so much more!

We have been asked, where does the money go? We want to tell you that with the support of the BNI Global Team we can use 100% of all money raised or donated to help in your local communities. How many foundations can make that statement! There have been over 150 Givers Gain Grants, larger grants to projects like New Life Beginnings, Friends of Thai Daughters, The Monarch School, and Shine Service Centers. We are now also a proud partner of the NFLA and we have built learning centers for children who would not be able to go to school.

Some of the recent grants have gone to teachers like Sarah Stockham, who used the money to buy Leveled Readers for the advancement of students reading skills. Boys and Girls Club of NJ purchased 3-D printers for their science program. Partners in Education Toledo purchased College & Career Ready Material to help their students to be better prepared after graduation. Horizon House used its grant to buy and fill backpacks with school supplies for the elementary students in their shelters. College Settlement Camp bought science Equipment, microscopes, and binoculars. Suisun Valley K-8 School created tower gardens to teach the children how to grow and eat healthy. Raskob Learning Institute and Day School needed iPads and Jenny Strene, Principal, needed Robotics kits. The Paraison School purchased books on Technology and the ATG Learning Academy needed Chrome tablets to help communicate with their students. The Bradford Elementary School art department purchased art supplies and new books to replace their 35-year-old textbooks. These are just a few of the many organizations that your BNI Foundation has helped.

What have our Business Voices teams been up to? We created Business Voices Futures Leaders Week where we had over 64 chapters giving career advice to over 6500 children in a single week. Look for more information on how you can get involved this year from October 15th to 21st. https://bnifoundation.org/future-leaders-week/
They have completed Career Days and Fairs, School Supply Drives, Student Mentoring, Student Recognition Events, School Projects like building computer rooms and libraries, Clothing drives, and so many other projects.

As a parting thought, remember this is YOUR foundation and with YOUR help we can do so much more to insure the children of the world can inspire to greatness!

There Is Still Good Reason To Smile!

There Is Still Good Reason To Smile!

The announcement in January by Amazon that it would be discontinuing its AmazonSmile program came as a surprise and disappointment to many. For customers signed up for the Smile program, Amazon had – since 2013 – donated 0.5% of the transaction value to a registered charity of that customer’s choice.

Amazon justified its decision by arguing that with one million registered non-profit recipients around the world, its impact had remained behind the organization’s expectations. Another explanation could, of course, be that after AmazonSmile attracted so many new customers, they have now decided to simply cut costs and increase margins by a further 0,5%. Whatever the real reason, the program ended on 20 February 2023.

I was never a big fan of the BNI Foundation promoting AmazonSmile to raise funds for us, because I truly believe that BNI members should be buying whatever they need from other BNI members, even if it ends up costing a bit more. After all, BNI is all about investing in relationships and we are not likely to build a relationship with a Member from Amazon anywhere in the world any time soon.

Having said that, most of us resort to buying from them from time to time, because they are quick and (normally) reliable. And knowing that every time we spend money with them a small part went to – in my case – the BNI Foundation made giving them our business feel just a little bit more acceptable.

Of course, realistically speaking, the benefit was actually very small. To raise $100 dollars in donation income, BNI members needed to spend $20.000 AND remember to purchase through the Smile.Amazon portal, not through Amazon itself! In 2022, we received a grand total of $550, so maybe Amazon was right about the impact not living up to expectations!

So why is there still good reason to smile? Because generating that income required purchases of $110.000 and there are a lot cheaper, simpler, and more effective ways of helping the BNI Foundation to support children and education than that. A monthly donation of $50 or $100 dollars or more will get you recognition on our website and there are also three levels of contribution to the Misner Endowment Fund, which mean you will be helping children for ever!

Any amount of money means that we can fund more projects than would otherwise be possible, but in the spirit of Givers Gain®, it doesn’t even have to be money! Through Business Voices™ there are multiple ways for you to help children in your local community get a better start in life, not least Future Leaders Week, which takes place from 15 – 21 October 2023. For further information, or just to talk to us about the BNI Foundation and how we can help you to grow your business, your chapter and your region, please contact us on info@bnifoundation.org.

Thank you, yours still smiling 😊

Kevin Barber, March 17, 2023

Giver’s Gain Grant Funded to Bring Diversity to Art Schoolbooks

[Bradford, Vermont] – The Bradford Elementary School was recently awarded $1,000 of grant funding by the BNI Foundation to support their art program. This grant funded updated schoolbooks in the classroom to reflect a diversity of artists from different backgrounds who are masters in their mediums. The Bradford Elementary School is a student-centered community of learners who work together to support student growth academically, socially, and emotionally.

“I am very excited to be the recipient of the BNI Givers Gain Grant! As the art teacher at Bradford Elementary School, I am privileged to see each of my kindergarten through sixth grade students every week for art class,” said Al Morrow, Bradford Elementary Art Teacher for K-6.

“They are always excited to learn about new artists, and one of my favorite ways to introduce them to different artists is through picture books. Most of the books we have in the art room are

about thirty years old, and do not reflect the diversity of today’s art world. Because each year’s art budget is used to purchase art supplies for students, updating the books has had to wait. I am thrilled to be able to use the funds from the BNI Foundation Givers Gain Grant to finally be able to diversify and update the books in the art room! I know that the students of Bradford Elementary will be ecstatic to have access to these wonderful books”.

At Bradford Elementary School, we are seeing firsthand the urgent need to support educators in their ability to provide relevant materials for their students. We believe updating these books will have a significant impact on the students at Bradford Elementary

School as they continue their education by providing diverse, updated materials. The BNI Foundation works diligently to ensure that the grants we provide to educators will make the biggest impact on the largest number of students, and we are glad that we can assist Ms. Morrow in her endeavors to provide the highest quality education possible for her students.

 

 

Givers Gain Grant Summer 2018 Cycle

Givers Gain Grant Cycle has Begun

The Givers Gain® Grant summer cycle begins today. Twice a year the BNI Foundation awards five $1,000 grants to schools and educational organizations to help fund projects that will benefits children and students. The ideal project will enhance the classroom or learning experience and benefit the largest number of children possible.

Schools and educational organizations that wish to apply for a Givers Gain® Grant must be referred by a Business Voices team. This means that the school or organization must be affiliated with a Business Voices team. Grants are awarded by the BNI Foundation’s Board of Directors after they are reviewed by the Business Voices Advisory Council. 

Most years the summer grant cycle would be the last one of the year. Thanks to the generosity of our donors during this year’s BNI National Conference, there will be third cycle in the winter! Stay tuned for more information about this extra batch of grants this fall.

Find more information, as well as the application link, on the Givers® Gain Grant page. Good luck to all of those applying.

Impromptu Fundraiser

Keifer Sutherland Helps Collect $1,000 for BNI Foundation at Impromptu Fundraiser

Fundraising for the BNI Foundation was a huge success at this year’s BNI US National Conference in Las Vegas. The Foundation has surpassed it’s goal of raising $20,000 in direct donations. At the end of the conference the BNI Foundation had raised $26,000 as well as signed up six new Heroes and five new Super Heroes. Heroes and Super Heroes are supporters who commit to donate $50 a month and $100 a month respectively.

In a chance encounter, actor Keifer Sutherland, who was visiting the Red Rock Casino, was kind enough to offer his support for an impromptu fundraiser at the hotel lounge. Guests were quick to demonstrate their generosity, donating cash, and even poker chips, right on the spot. By evening’s end, Mr. Sutherland had helped raise $1,000 to contribute the Foundation’s goal.

The funds raised will allow the BNI Foundation to double the number of Givers Gain® awarded this year. We would like to thank all of the BNI Foundation’s supporters and donors that are helping us reach our goals. Remember that the BNI Foundation is your Foundation, and its work is only possible when our members drive home the Givers Gain® core value.

 

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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