Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about BNI in general, as well as questions specific to our Chapter, BNI Brookline Networkers.

Q: What are BNI's Core Values? 

A: Please review BNI's Core Values here.

Q: How much does it cost to join a BNI Chapter in Massachusetts?

A: You can find a list of current Membership Dues here. In addition, there is an initial one-time registration/application fee. There may also be room dues associated with your individual Chapter.

Q: Can anyone join a chapter?

A: As with all chapters in BNI Mass, we only take one person per profession. All applicants are subject to interview and Membership Committee review and vote. Please visit this page to see a list of our current list of most wanted professions.

Q: How do you know new members are reputable?

A: The application asks for references and we have a Membership Committee that interviews each applicant.

Q: What if a member gets a referral and does poor work?

A: We always suggest that members attempt to work things out between themselves. If that is not possible, a member may file a formal complaint with the Membership Committee who will investigate the claim.

Q: What occupations benefit the most from networking?

A: It is not the occupation, it is the individual. The occupation can be anything. If you're focused and you have a dream and you're willing to make a sacrifice, you are the person we want in the group.

Q: What is a Contact Sphere?

A: A Contact Sphere is a group of professionals who complement rather than compete with each other.

Q: Are members supposed to bring visitors?

A: You're encouraged to bring visitors for seats that are open.

Q: Do ethical rules for certain professions prohibit participation in BNI?

A: BNI understands the importance of the ethical concerns governing certain professions and acknowledges that rules can differ by location. BNI therefore requires its members to uphold the rules of its profession so as not to violate the professional's ethical obligations. In the event that BNI's general rules could potentially violate a professional's ethical code, BNI's rules are superseded by the professional's code of ethics. Significantly, a primary objective of BNI is to educate its membership in ways to market and grow business. It is BNI's intent to ensure that this is permitted.

Q: If I specialize in a field within my profession, am I expected to be an expert in all aspects of my profession?

A: BNI understands that many professions are broad and that people often specialize within their profession. BNI does not expect, nor does it encourage, any professional to participate in an area in which the professional does not have expertise. On the contrary, BNI prohibits professionals from acting outside of the scope of their abilities.

Q: My profession does not let me directly solicit business. Is BNI still right for me?

A: BNI's primary objective is to assist its members in ways to improve their business and to educate them concerning how they can effectively network. Business people get business when their expertise is known and others reach a comfort level with them. BNI provides a forum that allows members to meet other business peers who need to know effective and efficient business people.

Q: What time does BNI Brookline Networkers meet and where?

A: With the exception of certain holidays, we meet weekly on Tuesday mornings at 6:45am and attempt to conclude promptly at 8:30am. You find find our  meeting location here.

Q: How do I visit and join your Chapter, BNI Brookline Networkers?

A: Please click on this link to find our meeting location and to get registered to visit our Chapter.

Q: Why would I join BNI Brookline Networkers in particular?

A: Please read about why our Chapter is different than other chapters.

Q: What is the meeting agenda and format at your weekly meetings?

A: Please review our meeting agenda to get a feel of how the meeting flows.

Q: Who are the BNI Brookline Networkers Members?

A: Your can find our Member Listing here.

Q: Who is on your Leadership Team at BNI Brookline Networkers?

A: Your can find a current list of our Chapter Leaders here.

Q: Am I expected to join the Leadership Team at BNI Brookline Networkers?

A: Not right away. As a new Member, we welcome you to get acclimated to general membership. Over time, it is expected that Members will choose a leadership role that suits them. It is a great way to learn more about the inner workings of the Chapter and to become a key decision maker on topics that affect the entire membership. Learn more about the various leadership roles here.

Q: What is a Contact Sphere?

A: A Contact Sphere is a group of professionals who complement rather than compete with each other.  You can find BNI Brookline Networker's Contact Spheres here.

Q: What are BNI Brookline Networkers Chapter policies?

A: Please review our Chapter policies here. You should find everything you need to know about the protocols our Chapter follows including General Guidelines, Absences, Finding Substitutes, Attendance requirements, how to prepare for Member and Feature Presentations,  information on holidays and inclement weather, room dues, and polices regarding membership and conflict.

Q: What happens if I am late to a meeting?

A: Important: if you are LATE, you forfeit your right to present your own 45-second Member Presentation and should provide a testimonial for another Member.

Q: What if I cannot make a meeting and need to be absent?

A: If you are an existing Member and need to be absent from a meeting, it is your responsibility to find a substitute who can attend in your place. You can send anyone to be your substitute, but the substitute must follow protocols for being a substitute, which you can find here. If you have difficulty finding a substitute, we provide a list of standing substitutes as a resource. It is your responsibility as a Member to:

  1. provide your substitute with a prepared 45-second Member Presentation in advance of the meeting that your substitute will stand up and speak aloud during the Member Presentation portion of the meeting. For example: “I’m Susie Smith, and I’m subbing for Lois Lane of XYZ Business…”  and;
  2. to review our Guidelines for Visitors and Substitutes with your substitute prior to the meeting. Do not send your substitute unprepared!

If despite diligent efforts you are unable to secure a substitute, you may take an absence. However, please review our attendance policy.

Q: What is your attendance policy?

A: Please review our attendance policy here.

Q: As a Member, do I present at every meeting?

A: Yes, during each meeting, you have the opportunity to give an individual 45-second Member Presentation (this timing can be adjusted at the discretion of the President if time permits). You will be timed, so it is advised that you come prepared. When the bell rings you should stop speaking. A good 45 second ends with asking for a good referral for you that week.

Additionally, new Members will be scheduled to give an introductory 3-minute presentation after you complete the requisite BNI training. After that, as an Existing Member, you will be scheduled to present an 8 Minute Presentation approximately twice a year. This is your opportunity to educate the rest of the Chapter about what you do, in greater depth.

Q: Do you meet on holidays?

A: Our Chapter does not meet on certain holidays. You can find our list of holidays here.

Q: What happens if there is inclement weather?

A: If there is inclement weather, our Chapter may cancel a meeting. Please review our weather policy here.

Q: Other than registration fees and annual dues owed to BNI corporate, do I owe anything else?

A: Yes, in addition, each Member of BNI Brookline Networkers owes room dues which are due on a quarterly or annual basis. Room dues are used to pay for a number of budgeted items, the most significant of which includes rent for our meeting space, but also for other incidentals such as webpage maintenance, visitors' days and events, and chapter activities.

Currently, rooms dues are $65.00 per quarter, but are subject to change. The Chapter reserve a right to impose a late fee of $10.00 is added when room dues are not paid on time.

Q: What professions are you looking to incorporate into your Chapter?

A: You can find a list of our Chapter's Most Wanted List of Professionals here. If you do not see your profession listed on the list, you are still more than welcome to visit our Chapter and submit an application, provided that there is not already a Member who is in the same profession and there is a vacant seat. Check out our Guidelines for Visitors here.