If you have ever been asked (or asked yourself) any of the following questions, we can help provide the answers. We can match your nonprofit with a volunteer lawyer who can help with your specific legal issue. We also provide workshops which address many of the important legal issues faced by nonprofits.
If your organization needs assistance with the issues listed below, fill out our Request Legal Assistance form to request free legal assistance.
Corporate Law and Governance
What are the roles, responsibilities and proper activities of the board of directors of a nonprofit organization? What are the potential liabilities of board members? Is our organization operating within the law and its own bylaws? Should our bylaws or articles of incorporation be revised? Is our organization filing the necessary charitable registration, state and federal reports?
Nonprofit Mergers and Consolidations
What is the difference between a merger, an affiliation, and a joint venture? What are the pros and cons of various forms of collaboration?
Contracts and Leases
Are we protecting our best interests as we negotiate contracts with service providers, other nonprofits, or lessors?
Should we register our trademark? What is the difference between federal and state registration?
Are we properly addressing the legal issues that we face as landlords or leaseholders, as sellers or purchasers of property or in connection with developing, renovating or sharing a facility?
Are our personnel policies up to date? What are the ADA, FMLA, HIPAA and Title VII? Should we have an employment manual? What policies and practices should be addressed?
Hiring and Firing
What are the "do's and don'ts" of hiring and firing paid and volunteer staff? What questions can we ask a prospective employee? What kinds of background checks can we perform? What is the best way to handle the termination meeting? Can we, or should we, give a reference for former employees?
Do we have a harassment policy that covers sexual, religious, racial and other forms of harassment? When and how do we investigate a claim of harassment? What harassment training should paid and volunteer staff receive?
Employee/Independent Contractor Issues and Exempt/Non-exempt Employee Issues
Are our workers independent contractors or employees? How do we properly classify employees as exempt or non-exempt, and what are the consequences of this classification?
Insurance and Risk Management
What risks does our organization face? What protections should our organization have in place to address these risks? Does our organization have appropriate insurance protection, such as Directors & Officers liability insurance?
What is a volunteer? What laws apply (or don't apply) to volunteers? What should our organization be doing to screen potential volunteers? When, and how, can a nonprofit organization be held liable for the negligent acts of its volunteers? Can our volunteers be sued? What is the federal Volunteer Protection Act and what protections does it afford for nonprofit agency volunteers (including volunteer board members)?
Nonprofit Child Care Centers
Is our center in compliance with state and federal laws? Are the center's policies and procedures up to date and adequate to protect the center and employees?
Fundraising and Revenue Generating Activities
Is our organization properly registered to conduct fundraising and appropriately reporting the donations it receives to the IRS? Do solicitations contain required disclosures? Are the proper acknowledgements being provided to our donors? Are we generating income from a business venture? Do we owe taxes on such income?
What political activities are prohibited? Can we engage in lobbying for specific legislation?
Applying for Tax Exemption
Is our organization ready for tax exemption? What are the pros and cons of forming a tax-exempt organization? What are the benefits and responsibilities of being incorporated and tax exempt?
Website and Technology
What legal issues do we face in connection with our website? What are the legal implications of having links from our website to other websites? Should we have an internet use policy for employees?
Privacy, Confidentiality and Liability
When are we required to disclose, or prohibited from disclosing, confidential client information? How do we respond to subpoenas and requests for records? How do we comply with HIPAA?