Submitted by David Kauffman Vice Chair BNI Foundation, Managing Director BNI Delaware Valley Regions
Last week I was teaching the Member Success Program to a number of tenured BNI Members; in fact, two were in their 12th year. I started to speak about the foundation, and one of them stopped me to ask a few questions. What is this foundation? If I wanted to get involved, how can I? These were good questions, and so I took the time to answer them.
Question 1: What is this foundation?
The BNI Foundation is helping to change lives by improving circumstances for children facing financial instability that negatively affect their educational opportunities. We support initiatives that provide resources to educators and organizations that make success easier for kids, either by removing barriers or by providing incentives for focusing on studies. For us, the mechanism to help with this shift is investing our time, treasure, and talent to assist in education where we can. We do this through our Givers Gain® Grant Program and through our Business VoicesTM Teams.
Question 2: How can I get involved?
There are many ways to get involved. The easiest is to simply donate. This can take the form of your time, your talent or your treasure. Your time: Business VoicesTM 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. Your talent can be reading to young students, career days, mentoring a student, or providing an internship. Please make sure to visit our websites resources page and tell us about the great activities you are doing to help the local children, and we will highlight your efforts on our social media pages and website. Then there is your treasure; this too comes in different forms. Our website’s includes links where you can make a single donation, set up an ongoing monthly donation, or include the BNI Foundation in your legacy. There is also a new option for Tribute Cards, allowing you to donate in the name of a loved one. This is a great gift option for weddings, birthdays, etc.
The Misner Endowment was set up earlier this year to benefit the BNI Foundation. Founders Dr. Ivan and Beth Misner started the endowment with a private donation of $100,000. The goal is to grow the endowment to $1 million. We have received pledges for over $250,000. To make an endowment donation please email firstname.lastname@example.org. The endowment donation levels are:
Sr. Fellow: $5,000
Diamond Fellow: $10,000
The Business VoicesTM Teams program is available to all BNI chapters. In the online you can find information to start a team and a wealth of ideas to start helping students, schools and educational organizations in your own community right away. We are excited about having you join the fray.