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Exploring the right financial structure and processes for growth

MIWISCONSIN Media registers as a 501(c)3 to best serve the Spanish-language community

The challenge

Alejandro Riano created MIWISCONSIN Media to increase civic participation and offer Spanish-language news and information to his community. As Alejandro grew his new publication, he had some fundamental questions about structure – should the business continue as an LLC with fiscal sponsorship or file an application to become a nonprofit entity? Being from Colombia, Alejandro had some questions about the specifications for different kinds of business structures here in the U.S. He also received a grant from the Borealis Foundation and wanted to understand best practices for managing money, projecting cash flow and building out a longer-term budget.

As a single founder serving as editor and publisher, Alejandro also hoped he could gain a better understanding of what responsibilities should shift to his first hire and when he would be financially ready to make that step.

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Alejandro Riano
Founder, MIWISCONSIN Media

The results

Alejandro was paired with bilingual coach Ingrid Marielos Marthy, who helped him think through how he could best structure the business in order to run it well as a single founder. One crucial decision he made was to file an application to become a nonprofit entity. This change would streamline some of MIWISCONSIN Media’s revenue activities and make it easier for Alejandro to manage the organization. Applying for nonprofit status has also helped him become more successful in receiving grants from foundations to support his work.

With templates provided by Ingrid and the Startups Lab, Alejandro learned to create a P&L and an annual budget for MIWISCONSIN Media. He also worked through the financial calculations to determine whether an FTE was possible. While it wasn’t possible at the moment, Alejandro now has a replicable formula to determine when a new hire is sustainable.


Created budget and P&L

Began 501(c)3 application filing process

Learned strategies to manage risk when making a new hire

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