The BNI Foundation®


The Unexpected Benefit of Networking

By: BNI Foundation Team
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    The BNI Foundation®

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    BNI Foundation Team

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Submitted by David Kauffman, BNI Foundation Vice Chair

We know that networking is about farming, not hunting. It is about planting seeds for the future. Think about all those people you know through contacts at work, the gym, your religious affiliation, neighbors and networking groups. You most likely know many more people than you realize. These people are all seeds. What have you done with all those connections, all those seeds? How many people could you help by harvesting these relationships, thereby utilizing what you have grown?

Recently I was informed that Horizon House Shelters put out a call for coats for elementary school age children living in their shelters as the weather turned colder. How could I help them? Yes, I could pass the hat around at my chapter again, but that gets old after a while. Those who want to give will do so without being asked. So, I thought about those seeds, those connections I have grown over the years and put the word out. I was informed of a group of auto dealers who buy a few thousand new coats to be given to organizations who needed them. As it turns out, I know the person who heads up this drive at the local YMCA.  A phone call later and we had 160 brand new coats in the correct sizes! This is harvesting the seeds for the unexpected benefit of networking. This is how Business Voices works; find a need and solve the problem.

Business Voices teams can best be described by the phrase “boots on the ground”.  Support looks different depending on what the schools or educational organizations identify as their greatest challenges. In some communities, poverty is one of the top challenges. Children need food to eat, coats, socks, and basic school supplies. As we head into the holiday season we should use our connections to help the children in our local communities. Each area has different needs. That is why we recommend listening to what the schools, teachers, and even the students, identify as their unique challenges. If you are a member of a Business Voices team, thank you. If you are helping children on your own, let us help you start a team. Wherever there are young people in need, they will benefit from having us in their stories.

We call this cause networking — and who better to lead the way with cause networking than the world’s largest, most successful networking organization?

Tell Us About Your Business Voices Efforts

You organized the team, did the work and put together a great project to help students in your community. Now let us shine a light on your efforts. By completing the Business Voices monthly form, you will inspire others by letting the world know what your team is doing. Send us photos, videos and details of your event so we can highlight it on our website and social media.

If you are helping children and your chapter or region does not yet have a team, we want to hear from you.

You can find the form here. You can also visit our site to learn about past Business Voices successes.