August 2023
Lessons Learned
Lalo Medina
2 min read
April 12
This month, we hear from Lalo Medina, Chief of Staff at Association of Latino Professionals for America, who shares his experience of how non-profit organisations can respond to sudden cuts in funding.
With the economic downturn of 2023 triggering fiscal adjustments, non-profit organizations find themselves having to strategise to ensure program continuity. As chief of staff in such a setting, I navigated a particularly challenging episode - one of our key corporate partners slashing their contribution.
In these circumstances, it's paramount to leverage our resources optimally. I decided to leverage our board since one of our board members works for this partner. After a board meeting, I had a lengthy conversation with them, and they began making calls, sending emails, and gathering information because they were unaware that the budget cuts would impact their contribution to us. We then continued to engage with the partner through conversations and attending events, and we have just learned that there is a high probability that they will match last year’s contribution.

Lessons for chiefs of staff

Reflecting on the situation, there are three lessons that would benefit any chief of staff:
1. Be vigilant and leverage the information available to you. Ideally, finalizing such critical contracts prior to fiscal year closure would shield us from budget cut impacts.
2. Maintain a transparent flow of information between the board and our Executive team, especially about negotiations with their linked entities, as this can fortify our negotiation standpoints.
3. Ask the right questions to the Executive Leadership Team, especially when ensuring awareness of our key accounts' status. This forward-thinking approach, I believe, can prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.
Author Bio
Lalo Medina
Chief of Staff, Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA)
Lalo Medina the Chief of Staff to the CEO at ALPFA, the first national Latino professional association in the United States, established in Los Angeles in 1972. The Association serves as the premier Latino organization focused on knowledge, network and action to create generational impact in Hispanic communities. Through his role, Lalo has represented ALPFA at the World Economic Forum as part of the Hispanic Delegation in Davos.