Charitable and nonprofit organizations provide a major and growing portion of services to the community. Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. helps nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations capitalize on opportunities and implement creative solutions to the unique and complex problems they face, by providing both quality legal counsel and exceptional service.
Our charitable/nonprofit organizations law group has represented tax-exempt organizations of all sizes and types. These include social service agencies, church-sponsored or affiliated organizations, private and community foundations, fraternal organizations, hospitals, schools, arts and cultural entities and trade associations. Based on our experience, we are well aware that although certain legal services needs are similar to for-profit businesses, charitable/nonprofit organizations must address some specific legal and business issues peculiar to their endeavors, and must do so in a manner consistent with their mission and their unique nonprofit, tax-exempt status.
We have provided counsel to tax-exempt organizations in many broad areas, including the following:
- Organization, including selecting the most appropriate legal entity, filing Articles of Incorporation, preparing by-laws or other governing instruments and converting for-profit to nonprofit entities.
- Governance, including advising Officers and Directors on their roles, fiduciary responsibilities and liability. Open meetings and open records issues, including compliance with all applicable state and local statutes
- Taxation, including applying for and obtaining tax-exempt status and addressing various tax issues involved in the operation of nonprofit organizations, such as excise taxes, unrelated business income taxes and tax laws unique to private foundations.
- Employment and employee benefits, including reviewing contracts with employees, drafting employee manuals, addressing workplace safety and accommodation issues and structuring executive compensation and retirement plans.
- Government relations, including analysis of proposed legislation and counseling regarding public affairs and restrictions on lobbying.
- Development and fundraising, including counsel regarding the tax (estate and income) and estate planning opportunities available through charitable giving. In this context, our firm has provided advice concerning development issues for both donors and recipients.
- Real estate and development, including representation in land acquisition, zoning, environmental assessment, leasing, financing and negotiating contracts with architects and construction contractors.