What Your Non-Profit Needs to Know About Force Majeure

Force majeure has become the word “du jour”; French for “superior force,” it refers to a principle of contract law in which parties to a contract can limit their liability and performance obligations. In the simplest terms, it allows parties to suspend or discontinue the performance of contractual obligations in cases of emergent circumstances beyond the parties’ control. It may also operate to limit contractual liability. But its practical application is nuanced. Here’s what you need to know:

MOUs versus Contracts

Nonprofits tend to view MOUs as a kinder gentler way to document their intentions.  However, a contract is, at its core, an offer by one party to do something, an acceptance by the other party, and the promise to exchange something of value to seal the deal. Under this definition, the MOUs we see nonprofits create are almost always bare bones legal contracts.