Charity Lawyer Blog

Nonprofit Law Simplified

Who owns a nonprofit?
Governance

Who Owns a Nonprofit Corporation?

Let’s be clear about one thing. No one owns a nonprofit corporation.[1]

While there is no outright ownership, there is control. One of the fundamental questions I ask when forming a new nonprofit corporation is how board members will be selected. This is a key question because those who hold the power to select board members retain the ultimate authority over the corporation.

The possibilities are limited by the nonprofit corporation statute in the state where the corporation is domiciled.

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Nonprofit Mergers, Acquisitions, and Affiliations

What is a Trademark?

A trademark is a protection on a good or service that is unique to your nonprofit. It can be a word, phrase, slogan, symbol, design,

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Excess Benefit Transactions
Starting a nonprofit

Excess Benefit Transactions

Before 1996, the only option the IRS had when faced with a tax-exempt organization that had violated the private inurement rules was to do nothing or to revoke the organization’s tax-exempt status, a penalty that often punished the organization’s beneficiaries more than the insiders who benefited from the inurement. To cure this problem, Code Section 4958 was added to the Internal Revenue Code in 1996 to provide the IRS with an “intermediate” tool between the extremes of either ignoring the problem or revoking the nonprofit’s tax-exempt status.

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What is an Endowment
Grantmaking and Gift Planning

What is an Endowment?

Black’s Law Dictionary, 9th ed., defines an endowment as: A gift of money or property to an institution (such as a university) for a specific

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Balancing Nonprofit Governance Rights
Governance

Balancing Nonprofit Governance Rights Among Stakeholders

We have blogged about the phenomenon of nonprofit hostile takeovers and the fact that no one owns a nonprofit. However, there is always control. Although nonprofits generally lack shares that can be owned and transferred, there are many ways to ensure a level of control or influence over a nonprofit entity. Those seeking to control a nonprofit or balance governance rights among different stakeholders need to understand the available options.

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Governance

Advantages and Disadvantages of Term Limits

When forming a new nonprofit corporation, one important consideration for incorporators is whether or not term limits should be imposed on members. Additionally, incorporators need to consider whether or not terms should be successive or staggered. There are many pros and cons for both sides of these arguments. However, in our experience, there are more advantages to term limits in the vast majority of cases. Also, we tend to favor staggered terms.

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Giving Tuesday
Grantmaking and Gift Planning

Get Ready for Giving Tuesday

What is Giving Tuesday? Giving Tuesday is celebrated the week after Thanksgiving and has become a time for Americans to share their good fortune by

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FREE DOWNLOAD

How to Start a Non-Profit Organization

It always starts with an idea: you want to solve a problem in your community, conduct research into a disease, or raise awareness of an important issue.
As the solution unfolds, you realize you need to raise funds to turn that dream into a reality. At this point, many visionaries jump to filing for tax-exempt status.
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FREE DOWNLOAD

How to Start a Non-Profit Organization

Download our free guide to learn about the many elements needed to run a successful nonprofit organization, as well as how to avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.