Submitted by Kevin Barber, Chairman of the BNI Foundation Worldwide Inc. & ED BNI Germany South-West
In Part One, I talked about how everything fits together – the BNI Foundation, Business Voices, BNI Connect 5, BNI Cares and referred to the “BNI Foundation” to a movement, a mindset. It is the basis of everything that BNI Members, chapters and directors across the world do to support children and education in their local communities.
The Givers Gain® Grant Program and the Business Voices™ Initiative are the two ways in which the BNI Foundation fulfills its mission of supporting children and education. This is indicated by the dotted green line in the diagram below:
Currently there are five independent, non-profit, legal-entity BNI Foundations in the US, Canada, France, Japan and Spain. These are the countries where donations can be received by a recognized BNI charity and distributed in the form of Givers Gain® grants to schools and other organizations to give children a better chance in life. The BNI Foundation Worldwide, Inc. is registered as a public charity in Charlotte, North Carolina and acts as the lead organization in developing BNI Foundation activities globally.
This does not mean that these five countries are the only places where the “The BNI Foundation” is active. There are also very active Business Voices Programs (which we know about) in Italy and Taiwan, China and similar informal activities at chapter level across the world of BNI.
Our goal is to establish some form of BNI Foundation presence in each country and then to start recording all of its activity by 2020. How this happens is less important than that it happens. Where a non-profit legal entity is legally, financially and logistically an option, this is the preferred first step. If not, identifying a “go-to person” who we can help to establish and coordinate a Business Voices Program, is a more than acceptable alternative. This individual would be able to record all the amazing things that members and chapters already do.
At the 2018 BNI Convention in Bangkok, strong interest was already expressed by directors from Spain, UK, Finland, Brazil, Cambodia, India, Hong Kong, Poland, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand, which is a good start! Let’s keep the momentum going.
Remember, the BNI Foundation can help you support the community in which you live and work and at the same time bring real benefits for your business. We look forward to working with you.
Thank you for reading!