Registration Open for Virginia Main Street Rev Up: Diversified Funding & Sustainable Program Operations

During the month of May, join the Virginia Main Street (VMS) team for an immersive half-day workshop focused on Diverse Funding and Sustainable Program Operations. Led by self-described spreadsheet nerd Jennifer Goldman, the workshop – Money Matters – will dive into funding best practices, diverse funding streams and work plan-aligned budgeting.

Held separately in three different locations across the state, communities have the option to select which VMS Rev Up workshop they’d like to attend. Training content will be the same at all three workshops so choose the location that’s most convenient for you. Space is limited so register now!

A successful revitalization program must have the financial resources necessary to carry out its work and sustain its operations. Program resilience relies on diversity of revenue streams, as dependency on one primary or only source could jeopardize the program’s operations.

What does Main Street need money for?

Your program creates value when its activities generate community benefit and impact. The program’s budget is specifically dedicated for the purpose to enliven the commercial district into a vibrant, people-centered place. Main Street creates value in two general buckets, organizational for sustaining operations and building programming, which includes essential program activities like promoting the district with branding and business promotions and advancing the strategic use of space and development.

What does a balanced funding structure look like?

Diversification is an important part of your program’s revenue. In a nutshell, it means spreading out risk so each source of revenue is not overly vulnerable. You’ve probably heard that old saying, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” In other words, don’t rely on one source of revenue because if it fails, you’ll lose everything. You’ll reduce that risk with a diverse mix of public and private sources, including but not limited to local government, sponsorships, earned revenue, and contributions from businesses, community members, and partner organizations. To accomplish their mission, Main Street programs need to prioritize community investment through a comprehensive and balanced funding structure.

As part of the VMS program’s “Switch to Six” series, which prepares Main Street community professionals and volunteers for the new Main Street America (MSA) Community Accreditation Standards, this in-person training and interactive workshop will provide opportunities for various group exercises and foster organization-wide commitments to the fundraising process that will leave you with the answers to move your program forward for impact. We hope to see you there!