"The Dixon Center Military and Veterans Partnership: Rapid Action Response to Get Dollars to Veteran Support and Services with Meaningful and Measurable Impact”
WHY create a Military and Veterans Partnership (MVP) using the Center?
Major fundraising efforts in the veterans’ space often struggle to get funding released fast enough to where it can do the most good – in the community, assisting veterans where they live with access to training, careers, wellness, and affordable housing. There is no time to waste. As the data in previous pages shared, over one million active duty military members will return to their communities from service in the next few years; 1.5 million veterans live at or below the poverty line; 65,000 veterans are addicted to opioids; 16% of veterans are underemployed; an increasing number of veterans are dying from exposure to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan; and 20 veterans commit suicide every day.
Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services has extensive knowledge of the veteran and military family nonprofit landscape. This understanding will allow for the rapid creation of an MVP service distribution model to stand up to external scrutiny and immediately remove barriers for potential program sponsors and underwriters to fund this important initiative.
WHAT is the Dixon Center MVP?
The MVP is a group of pre-selected nonprofit partners with proven, transparent, and measurable track records of success in providing direct services to veterans and their families. The nonprofits impact the veterans' quality of life in the specific areas of workforce development and career placement, wellness, and housing.
HOW would MVP work?
Through the Dixon Center’s leadership, a strategic framework and set of criteria for pre-selection of the MVP will be vetted and established. This framework will build upon the proven models of systems level change and collaboration, as envisioned through the Center’s vision. Focus will be placed on partners who deliver services at the community level and have expertise in training and employment, wellness, and affordable housing. All partners must demonstrate efficacy and system level thinking. During the operational planning phase, the Center will engage with the partners to ensure resources are concentrated on having the greatest impact.
Under the leadership of COL David W. Sutherland, US Army (retired), Dixon Center has a trusted adviser with direct knowledge and awareness of thousands of veteran organizations. Including his tenure as a direct report to Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Sutherland has cultivated a network of thousands of organizations and like-minded individuals since 2008.
Sutherland and his team at Dixon Center know how organizations discharge and direct their veterans and military programs. As a result, the team possesses a unique and studied perspective that will enable monies raised to hit the ground running for the group of nonprofit direct service partners.
Dixon Center’s unbiased nonprofit distribution model expertise will include historic examples, such as FARM-AID, LIVE-AID AND COMIC-Relief. It is envisioned that 70% of funding would go to the existing Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Partnership vis-a-vie Dixon Center, with 30% distributed to a competitive grant application processes based on performance and innovation. Dixon Center will use well-defined models of accountability and will manage the MVP evidence-based impact reporting process with a focus on local, targeted, and community-driven innovation projects.
Goals and Objectives for this effort include:
- Increase effectiveness and speed of delivery of funds, while reducing distribution transaction costs.
- Increase fund efficiency and build the MVP brand awareness.
- Increase quality for use of donations and ensure veterans' and their families' needs are immediately met.
- Gain assistance from tried and true partners in planning and the future use of funds. Establish measurable outcomes and impacts desired for the program. Enhance systems change by the proven networks of the partners.
- Model expectations and highlight how the funds are to be used, enabling donors to connect to the need and to see that their work is already delivering to those touched by military service.
- Create a strong percentage of funding that is immediately available to make a positive difference in veterans and military families lives. Accomplish this by empowering chosen partners to create "menus" of interventions that can be stood up as direct result of the funding that comes from the Dixon Center's Summit donations. Pre-thinking and partners' design for use of the funds will enable donors to understand the immediate and local impact their donations can have.
MVP has the potential to transform the experiences of hundreds of thousands of veterans and military families. Every person who is involved – during planning, execution, evaluation, and assessment – will be empowered as a direct result of the valuable dollars donated. The gifts will allow partners to focus on prevention assistance, rather than crisis intervention.
All partners chosen will be expected to collaborate with one another in an unprecedented way, while focusing on assisting veterans and their families to succeed where they live. The bar of standards will be set high, ensuring that post-launch organizations who wish to participate in the MVP will be aware of its expectations of outcomes, impacts, stewardship, and mission first perspectives.
Via Dixon Center, evidence of sources and impact of donated funds will be studied and shared. The results will be open sourced to encourage accountability, agility, and thoughtful connections across several years. Dixon Center will serve as a convening agent between all recipients, driving collaborative dialogues to lead to a systems level change in communities around the country. In turn, the increased transparency will further develop the national brand of the Center.
Success in 2020 can enable the partners to track results over time - allowing system level changes to be studied, modeled, and replicated. In at least two years, the Dixon Center Vision Summit will be viewed as one of the most impactful multi-year social giving events ever delivered in the United States.
WHY not just give directly to one of the MVP organizations?
The failed “Whack-a-Mole” strategy used in Iraq and Afghanistan, prior to Surge Operations, was driven by organizations and institutions operating in stovepipes. The strategy limited coordination of resources and provided zero focus. The same can be said for the past many years of supporting veterans and their families. The amount of money that has been spent, the insatiable quest for public recognition, the competition for resources, and the duplication of efforts has not had the intended impact. The needs of our veterans and their families are evolving, not disappearing. Dixon Center is the keeper of the standards, making sure that the slow drip of funding can be quickly moved to the masses nationwide. It ensures that the right organizations can have the greatest impact on the greatest number of veterans and their families.
Our current partners include: