By: Sam DiCarlo, Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President, Administration, Food Marketing InstituteFinance

As a former catcher, I’ve always had a special place in my heart and head for Yogi-isms – the collection of oddball statements attributed to baseball Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra. The appeal of Yogi-isms is that, while funny, they often have a Zen wisdom to them. One of his most famous, which he adapted into the title of one of his books, was, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

Interpreting his words in the context of financial matters, I think they invite us to keep options open and not be afraid to diversify, but also to keep moving forward.

Providing the retail food industry with the myriad products and services that FMI offers requires resources—both human and financial capital. To avoid being a one-pronged fork, any well-run business endeavors to diversify its revenue sources and FMI is no different in that regard.

Our Diverse Revenue Sources

While membership dues provide the majority of funding for FMI, more than 30 percent of our revenues are derived elsewhere. FMI's conferences, education meetings, the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute and investment revenues provide most of these non-dues revenues.

Our Diverse Expenditures

Our expenditures help us serve the different needs our membership and the various aspect of the food retail industry, thus they are spread out over a number of areas. Thirty percent of FMI's program expenditures are for Government Relations work and another 29 percent are for Industry Relations efforts. The remainder incorporates Member Relations, Communications and Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Research.

Our Financial Health

After paying all the bills and netting out 2018 program expenses, it appears FMI will run a surplus of more than $650,000 this year. This surplus is important in this current industry environment of change and disruption as it provides a secure revenue source for future spending, as FMI seeks to better address emerging issues and opportunities as they arise.

NOTE: Revenue Sources are net of related expenses. For example, Conferences and Education revenues are net of all expenses for labor, A.V., Food and Beverage, etc.