Foundations and Nonprofits

Stafford Rosenbaum attorneys have a long history of supporting and working with nonprofit organizations and charitable foundations.  In addition to legal expertise, through their community activity our lawyers have substantial experience serving as officers and directors of nonprofits and foundations which has enhanced their ability to represent these organizations.

Our firm recognizes that nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations face challenges different from those faced by for-profit companies.  In light of the constantly changing laws and regulations, today’s nonprofit organizations need experienced counsel to assist them in fashioning solutions to a wide range of legal matters.  Whether you are a public charity, a civic organization, a membership organization, a trade association, a private foundation, or a donor, we are here to help with all your legal needs, including: 

Formation and Start-Up

  • Determining the most appropriate legal structure for intended activities.
  • Incorporation, including Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and other corporate documents.
  • Establishing charitable trusts, endowments, and foundations.
  • Developing conflicts of interest, whistleblower, and ethics policies, and addressing concerns.
  • Obtaining tax-exempt status under 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), or 501(c)(7) as applicable.
  • Obtaining property tax exemption.
  • Obtaining sales tax exemption.
  • State and local law compliance (charitable solicitation and registration laws, raffle licenses, and other required state and local licenses and permits).

Governance, Compliance, and Operations

  • Establishing effective governance structures, committees, boards, procedures and policies.
  • Advising nonprofit Boards and officers on fiduciary duties and avoiding liability.
  • Legal and tax issues relating to restricted funds, grants, endowments, scholarships, fellowships.
  • Developing employment policies and advising on personnel and employment issues.
  • Tax and regulatory compliance.
  • Maintenance of records including corporate minutes, and annual filings.
  • Applying for IRS determination letters and letter rulings.
  • Providing general counsel concerning everyday operations, contracts, and business matters.
  • Charitable raffles and auctions.
  • Lobbying rules and restrictions applicable to nonprofits.
  • Sales tax and sales tax exemption issues.

Organizational Change

  • Nonprofit mergers.
  • Joint ventures and strategic alliances.
  • Creation of subsidiaries.
  • Spin-offs.
  • Restructurings of nonprofit organizations, including changes to organizational structures, articles of incorporation, and bylaws.
  • Conversions of for-profits to non-profits.

Land and Environmental Concerns

  • Real estate acquisitions and sales.
  • Property tax exemption.
  • Lease agreements.
  • Zoning, land use, and local permit issues.
  • Environmental laws.

Intellectual Property

  • Handling relations with publishers and distributors.
  • Trademark and copyright registration and licensing issues.

Planned Giving, Private Foundations, Operating Foundations, Endowments, and Charitable Trusts

Private foundations, charitable trusts, endowments, and other forms of planned giving can help establish a legacy of giving that enables donors to control and manage foundation assets, provide for charitable giving in the future, and unite families in philanthropic activities.

Our attorneys have substantial experience assisting donors and their private foundations in creating practical approaches for a wide range of charitable initiatives, including: 

  • Charitable gift planning, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, endowments, donor advised funds, and private foundations.
  • Foundation management and grant administration.
  • Formation of charitable foundations, and applications for tax exempt status.
  • Maintenance of records, including corporate minutes and annual filings.
  • Preparation and filing of 990PF returns and split-interest trust returns.
  • Tax and regulatory compliance.