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Non-Profit Organizations

The work done by non-profits and charitable organizations is a vital part of every community. These organizations face unique challenges as they are formed, and throughout their operation.


The work done by non-profits and charitable organizations is a vital part of every community. These organizations face unique challenges as they are formed and throughout their operation.

The firm helps in the formation of such organizations as non-profit corporations, associations, foundations, trusts, or cooperatives, depending upon the specific objectives of the organizers. This work includes a wide range of legal issues impacting the purpose of the organization, its management, and its boards of directors.

The firm assists clients in the creation/formation of 501(c)(3) organizations and with navigating various legal issues including by-law amendments, board of director disputes, HR/employment issues, real estate issues, tax exemption protections, and litigation. The firm’s clients in this non-profit sector vary in purpose and size, including economic development organizations, colleges and universities, long-term care and assisted living facilities, charitable trusts, community service organizations, civic leagues, veterans’ associations, professional associations, trade organizations, churches, educational entities, and other charitable organizations.

Services for Non-Profit/Tax-Exempt/Charitable Organizations

  • Corporate Compliance: Maintain corporate records; draft/amend bylaws; documentation of corporate meetings.
  • Tax Status Issues: Monitor activities to ensure compliance with required tax exempt purposes.
  • Contributions: Provide proper documentation for acknowledgment of donor contributions.
  • Scholarship Programs: Provide guidance on establishing and maintaining a scholarship program.
  • Investment Compliance: Provide guidance to board on compliance with investment management issues.
  • Meetings: If entity is a corporation, attend corporate or trustee meetings in an advisory capacity.
  • Trust Maintenance: If entity is a trust, provide guidance on trust maintenance.
  • Reporting Requirements: Work with the organization’s accountant in completing annual filing requirements (IRS Form 990) and advance ruling period final reporting.
  • Accounting Issues: Work with organization’s accountant regarding financial reporting.
  • State Requirements: Provide guidance on state requirements for reporting fundraising activities.
  • Private Inurement/Intermediate Sanctions: Provide guidance on avoidance of private inurement which could jeopardize tax-exempt status. Provide guidance on intermediate sanctions, if applicable.
  • Federal Tax-Exempt Status: Complete filings for exemption from various state taxes (such as sales tax and real estate tax).
  • State Tax-Exempt Status: Complete filings for exemption from various state taxes (such as sales tax and real estate tax).
  • Donor Estate Planning: Provide guidance and documentation for charitable bequests (including charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts).
  • Financing Transactions: Serve as bond issuers’ and borrowers’ counsel in tax-exempt financing transactions.
  • Business Concerns: Provide guidance encountered by other business organizations including contracts, leases, employment and labor issues, and zoning and land use.
  • Event Release Forms: Draft release forms to be signed by participants in events; general counsel on liability issues.
  • Attorney General & Audit Concerns:  Assist in responding to inquiries and audit.

Non-Profit Representative Experience

  • Represented a large regional non-profit in securing $2.75M financing, title search, and insurance for the construction of new retail space.
  • Successfully resolved board dispute through litigation regarding a contested election.
  • Represented regional non-profit organization in its disposition and sale of obsolete facilities.
  • Represented a prominent non-profit corporation in its expansion of its operation in downtown Pittsburgh; this included consolidating two separate business operations into a single location and obtaining permits to comply with the City Zoning Ordinance.
  • Formation of several non-profit charitable organizations; this includes preparation of formation documents, preparing bylaws, licensing agreements, and state nonprofit tax eligibility filings.
  • Successfully defended a local non-profit organization before the PA Supreme Court, in an appeal involving disclosure demands for years’ worth of attorney-client privileged communications in connection with derivative litigation.
  • Conducted internal investigations for non-profit and for corporate entities involving employee misconduct.
  • Advised private for-profit and not-for-profit entities on corporate governance matters, including the role and responsibilities of directors & officers.
  • Advised nonprofit and charitable organizations in applying for and maintaining tax-exempt status.
  • Counseled numerous non-profit entities in structuring, interpreting and adhering to their endowment restrictions, establishing and monitoring investment parameters, unitrust conversions, and cy pres matters.

Serving our clients successfully since 1900

The same attributes that have anchored over a century of success are still our guiding principles today.

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