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What are the Core Values that Guide BNI®?

BNI® is upending the dog-eat-dog competitive world of business by changing the way people approach solutions. By getting people to collaborate and cooperate, BNI® helps stitch together new connections in the business community, which weaves communities together more tightly and fosters friendships as well as growth. BNI® carefully tracks referral activity, and members publicly acknowledge one another’s contributions in a way that helps members see their actions fostering real change in their communities.

This commitment to community is exemplified by the work of the BNI Foundation®, which extends the principle of Givers Gain® by getting involved in charitable work in communities across the world. BNI’s Business Voices™ program specifically helps struggling schools and other institutions at the local level, as a way of giving back.

‘Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast’

BNI founder, Dr. Ivan Misner, says that culture eats strategy for breakfast. As a business consultant, he observed that businesses that have a team full of people committed to a common goal are virtually unstoppable in the business world. Strategy is important, but it’s nothing compared to the teamwork generated by people with a passion and a clear-eyed vision for their purpose in the world.

BNI®‘s mission is to help professionals and communities thrive by bringing people together and harnessing the power of altruistic entrepreneurship. We believe that when you bring entrepreneurs together and invite them to help other professionals succeed, it generates a virtuous circle of economic growth that can transform lives — not only for BNI® members, for also for their employees and communities.

Core Values

Givers Gain®

Business networking often feels mercenary and opportunistic. A business owner sets their sight on a target — someone they think can help their business — and then they attempt to corner them for a one-on-one encounter that feels like face-to-face cold calling. BNI® is different. Networking is more about farming than hunting, says Dr. Ivan Misner, Founder and Chief Visionary Officer. It’s about cultivating relationships with other business professionals, a model that BNI® facilitates.

The best way to build relationships is to help and support someone, to give to them and that in turn can yield dividends. This idea anchors one of BNI®’s cornerstone philosophies, Givers Gain — the theory that if you give, you get back. If I give you business, you’ll give me business and we’ll all do better as a result of it.

Givers Gain® is based on the social capital theory of the law of reciprocity, that by working together we all support and help one another.

Building Relationships

The Givers Gain® philosophy leads to a vested interest in establishing meaningful business relationships with fellow professionals so referrals can be found for — and obtained from — trusted sources.

Lifelong Learning

BNI® is very much about passion, people and process. Training and education are the cornerstones of process. Every member receives extensive training to help them give and receive referrals. Chapter leadership teams also undergo training in conducting meetings and evaluating members.

Traditions + Innovation

While BNI® holds its core values to heart, we have consistently evolved over 35 years. The company is committed to innovation, such as building robust online tools that expand the power of our networking and referral networks.

Positive Attitude

BNI® believes in having fun. Meeting new professionals in the community is an opportunity to build friendships, not just referrals. It’s also an opportunity to create a meaningful positive social impact in the community.


BNI® is committed to keeping our word and delivering on the promises we make to one another. In turn, we hold ourselves accountable on a team, franchisee, and member level.


As a global franchise focused on giving to others, we are committed to recognizing the exceptional accomplishments at every level throughout our organization.