Diversify Operations and Revenue Streams

Since 2012, Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services has had the goal to diversify operations and revenue streams as part of our business strategy.

As a Center of Excellence, diversification allows the Center to remain relevant and current on the needs of veterans and their families. It also causes us to look for new business opportunities. This strategy allows the Center to seek new market segments to expand our reach and impact. We have found that diversifying can prove to be a challenging decision as it can lead to extraordinary rewards but still has possible risks.

Specifically, operations are inextricably linked to diversified fundraising revenue. In other words, getting money from more than once source. We have found over the past eight years, and learning from our parent organization, The Fedcap Group, that having diversified fundraising revenue creates stability and keeps Dixon Center from being overly dependent on one source of funding, which can endanger our work.

The three reasons that Dixon Center opts for diversification is for:

  • Growing business operations,
  • Ensuring maximum utilization of community and partner resources and capabilities, and,
  • Getting away from solutions that are no longer relevant due to changing social conditions where veterans needs no longer exist.

Dixon Center subscribes to the 1-10-1000 Rule of fundraising activities. We do 1 event a year with a return on our investment, we seek 10 grants, and we have built a donor base of more than 1,000.

In Fiscal Year 2020, and despite the pandemic, our strategy to diversify resources provided depth, and versatility in revenue streams with no budget requirement shortfall.

Our FY 2020 revenue came from multiple reliable sources: 58% corporate giving; 15% major gifts; 3% individual giving; and 24% from foundations. We did experience a decrease in individual giving that we attribute to the pandemic. Fortunately, we were able to anticipate the pattern change and compensated with direct appeals.

Key to our flexibility is that our President ensures everyone on the staff participates in seeking funding opportunities and supports the efforts of our command council leadership who serves as our chief fundraiser. Our pipeline is formally reviewed every month. This way, if we have a shortfall in one funding source, we can adjust our asks before it is too little, too late.

In 2020 by diversifying operations and revenue streams we captured some lessons that Dixon Center will carry into the future:

  • As the economy changed, the giving patterns of the people change. Diversification into several partnerships and approaches helped create a balance for Dixon Center during financial ups and downs.
  • There are always unpleasant surprises with a single approach to problems. Being diversified allows the Center to anticipate these surprises and address them before they become a crisis.
  • Diversification allows the Center to maximize the use of partnerships and potentially underutilized resources.
  • Due to economic factors, certain social sector organizations may struggle for a period. Diversification allowed the Center the opportunity to move away from activities where there may not be a need and use resources in a more efficient manner.

Achieving our goal of diversification of operations and revenue streams has allowed Dixon Center to operate with autonomy and take advantage of all that come with that.

The Fedcap Group has always embraced our Center of Excellence approach and encourages freedom of action. The ability to call our own shots is essential to our mission accomplishment, meeting our command councils’ guidance and more important, enabling veterans and their families so they can succeed where they live.