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Nonprofit Organizations

The firm’s attorneys include some of the nation’s leading practitioners in all aspects of nonprofit organization law. Our clients range from major national advocacy organizations, labor unions and charities to family foundations and local nonprofits.

The firm provides nonprofit organizations across the country with a full spectrum of legal services. We have helped establish, and secured tax exemptions for, hundreds of nonprofit organizations in many states, and advised nonprofit managers, funders and officers at every stage of organizations’ lifecycles. We have helped clients with the full range of issues nonprofits typically face, such as navigating election and tax laws, defending copyrights and trademarks, structuring corporate boards and advisory committees, negotiating mergers and vendor agreements, fundraising, grant-making including program and mission-related investments, spending down foundation endowments, complying with state reporting requirements, troubleshooting new projects and programs, developing employment policies and resolving ethical dilemmas.

We help nonprofits steer through the Internal Revenue Service’s tangle of statutes, laws, regulations, rulings, advice and informal practices. Our services range from obtaining tax exemptions for new organizations to advising on Form 990 reporting requirements to addressing unrelated business income tax to solving nonprofits' most complicated tax problems. We have represented nonprofits in audits and at all levels of IRS proceedings, and have handled numerous examinations under the IRS’s Political Activities Compliance Initiative. We have secured numerous favorable private letter rulings, and firm partner Holly Schadler successfully argued the precedent-setting Sierra Club v. Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service, 86 F.3d 1526 (9th Cir. 1996), which determined the royalty treatment of affinity credit cards under the unrelated business income tax.

Firm lawyers often serve as groups’ outside general counsel. We also provide expertise on nonprofit legal matters that fall outside the scope of services provided by organizations’ regular in-house counsel or outside counsel. Further, we assist institutional and individual funders and service providers to understand the tax rules, so they can help organizations leverage their tax status to the greatest extent possible, without jeopardizing the organizations’ exemptions. Organizations must also consider the distinct but closely related requirements of federal and state election laws, and how tax law intersects with them. The firm’s lawyers regularly advise on these matters and have written widely about them. In sum, our commitment to all our clients is to provide specialized insights on whatever legal issues they face.

The following are the types of organizations we advise most frequently, although we also work with other entities. Follow the links below to see how we can help your organization:






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