Corporate Formation and Structures
Whether you’re starting a nonprofit organization from scratch or looking to restructure one that has grown and changed over time, we can help. Services include incorporating your organization, drafting articles of incorporation and bylaws, obtaining federal and state tax exemption status, identifying fiscal sponsors or group ruling holders where necessary, as well as guiding nonprofits through restructuring, mergers, and dissolution.
Good Governance Policies
Keep your nonprofit organization on track by making sure you have good governance procedures in place. We can review your organization’s board structure, composition, and selection process with careful attention to the needs for independence and organizational control. We provide education on the duties and responsibilities of board directors and officers, as well as support for creating strong policies to govern conflicts of interest, financial oversight, and record retention.
Charitable Gifts & Fundraising
Make sure raising money doesn’t raise problems for your organization. We can help ensure that fundraising campaigns comply with charitable solicitation and fundraising disclosure rules. We can also help you avoid classification as a private foundation by reviewing programs to ensure they comport with the public support rules and are sufficiently tied to your organization’s mission. Other services include reviews of charitable gifts and grants, as well as corporate sponsorships.
Political campaign activities and lobbying issues
Sometimes your mission takes you into the arena of political and legislative activities. Let us help you avoid activities that can jeopardize your exemption and ensure that your nonprofit organization understands the range of permissible activities in this area. In particular, we can help you work through the distinctions between direct and grassroots advocacy, as well as advise on keeping those activities within the rules governing your tax exemption.
Compliance, Audits, and Investigations
So many rules, so little time. Let us help you comply with federal and state tax rules for exempt organizations, from advice on preparing the annual 990 form to resolving compensation issues and complying with changes to state corporation laws. We can also help with reviewing activities and businesses associated with your nonprofit to minimize or eliminate risks of unrelated business income, penalties, sanctions, or the loss of your organization’s exemption.
Business Transaction Support
After you’ve complied with all the exempt regulations, you still have an organization to run that has many of the same issues as any business. That’s where we can help by applying our knowledge of the nonprofit sector to related business areas such as contracts, leases, and intellectual property issues related to publishing, licensing, and royalty agreements. While we can’t do absolutely everything, we can cover many of the bases and provide referrals and contacts to experts in other legal areas when necessary.