The federal and state laws regulating nonprofit or tax-exempt organizations are becoming increasingly complex. The attorneys in Dinsmore's Nonprofit Organizations Group have broad and deep experience in many areas of the law applicable to tax-exempt organizations, including tax, corporate law, corporate governance, intellectual property, litigation, health care, ERISA, labor and real estate.
We represent a broad range of tax-exempt organization clients including national and international public charities, family and private foundations, foundations affiliated with public corporations, colleges and universities, private and charter schools, hospitals and supporting organizations, national fraternities and sororities, their house corporations, local chapters and related foundations, other social clubs, healthcare providers, trade and professional associations and religious organizations.
On a daily basis we help clients obtain exemption from Federal income tax, advise clients on best practices that will protect the client's tax exempt status, advise clients on unrelated business taxable income issues, intermediate sanctions (including reasonable compensation issues), private inurement and private benefit issues and lobbying and political activities. We also have extensive experience advising operating and non-operating private foundations on the special tax issues they face under the private foundation excise tax regime.
Further, since the implementation of Sarbanes Oxley, more and more of our nonprofit organization clients have asked us to assist them with internal reviews of their governance procedures which often leads to our preparation of governance guidelines, committee charters, conflict of interest policies and ethical conduct statements. We are also often called upon to advise directors and officers with respect to their fiduciary responsibilities in general and with respect to particular matters that come before them.
In addition, we advise our nonprofit organization clients on the solicitation and use of endowment funds and gifts restricted to a specific purpose and on the fiduciary obligations regarding the investment of charitable assets and appropriate processes for satisfying those obligations and help our clients develop endowment policies and investment policy statements. We also advise our clients in their capacity as trustees of charitable split interest trusts.
We also regularly counsel clients on the rules governing charitable solicitation, including Federal tax requirements and state charitable solicitation statutes. We register our clients with the appropriate state and local governmental authorities throughout the country as well as advise our clients on the issues arising from professional fundraisers, raffles, sweepstakes and auctions.
As nonprofit organizations are often corporations or trusts, the attorneys in our Nonprofit Organizations Group have significant experience in corporate transactions, financing, estate planning, trustee matters and real estate. Further, the intellectual property section of the firm assists our tax-exempt clients in protecting their intellectual property rights, by, among other things, preparing “work made for hire” agreements and “technology transfer” policies and agreements; registering trademarks and resolving trademark disputes; and advising clients on avoiding infringement claims generally and in connection with their websites.