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Effective, Experienced Counsel for Non-Profit Organizations

Law Firm Specializes in Representing Non-Profit Organizations: High Quality Services and Affordable Fees

From the forming of a non-profit organization to obtaining tax-exempt status from the IRS, to complying with federal and state laws governing fund-raising and operations, the advice of experienced legal counsel is crucial at every stage of development.

Leaders of the non-profit organization are focused on developing its mission and resources. Guidance from legal counsel with special expertise in federal and state laws applicable to non-profit organizations enables leaders to grow the organization with the assurance that legal requirements are being met.

Our attorneys are highly experienced. For example, Mac Canter and Errol Copilevitz have over 36 years of experience in advising non-profit organizations and Mark Diskin has over 30 years of experience. Unlike many large law firms, we do not assign a team of junior attorneys to "learn on the job" while working on your matter. We have the experience, expertise, resources, and archives to provide the answer you need, when you need it. We do not have to "reinvent the wheel."

We are not general practice lawyers. We specialize in legal services for the non-profit community which includes both non-profit organizations and service providers (e.g., fund raising counsel and fund raisers) to non-profit organizations.

We are attorneys for more than 250 non-profit organizations of all sizes and types, located throughout the United States. While most of our clients are exempt from federal taxes as 501(c)(3) organizations, we represent many organizations that are tax exempt under other categories of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, e.g., social welfare organizations exempt under 501(c)(4) and trade associations exempt under 501(c)(6).

Our clients include the following:

  • Charities (of all types)
  • Churches
  • Religious Organizations
  • Schools
  • Universities
  • Private Foundations
  • Social Welfare Organizations
  • Donor Advised Funds
  • Health Care Organizations
  • Supporting Organizations (Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3)
  • Research Organizations
  • Think Tanks
  • Conservation and Environmental Organizations
  • Animal Welfare and Rights Organizations
  • Humane Societies
  • Community Foundations
  • Corporate Foundations
  • Economic Development Organizations ("Enterprise Incubators")
  • Low Income and Special Needs Housing Development Organizations
  • Veterans Organizations
  • Law Enforcement Officers Organizations
  • Trade Associations and Professional Societies
  • Social Clubs
  • Fraternal Orders (e.g., Masons, Shriners)

Incorporation, Tax-Exemption, State and Federal Regulatory Compliance

Our attorneys provide monthly retainer-based services to nationally prominent non-profit organizations. We also provide "as-needed" services on an hourly billing basis or "fixed fee" basis to non-profit organizations which prefer these relationships. You get the same high quality, promptly responsive services on any basis you choose.

We advise in regard to options for the formation of a new non-profit organization, draft the necessary documents to create the organization, and secure IRS recognition of tax-exempt status. We also provide state charitable solicitation registrations for 501(c)(3) organizations, as may be needed. These services are usually provided on a "fixed fee" basis.

Our services include:

  • Formation (preparing all organizational documents, e.g. articles of incorporation, bylaws, trusts)
  • Securing IRS Recognition of Tax-Exempt Status (IRS Forms 1023 or 1024)
  • Advice as to IRS Form 990 (Annual Tax Information Return)
  • State Regulatory Compliance
  • Charitable Solicitation Registrations
  • Tax Advice (Avoiding Unrelated Business Taxable Income; Maintaining Tax-Exempt Status)
  • Representation in IRS Audits and Tax Controversies, Including In Tax Court
  • Group Exemption Rulings
  • Non-Profit Mail Permits (and USPS matters related thereto)
  • Executive Compensation Planning
  • Charitable Giving Generally (Both Lifetime and Testamentary)
  • Planned Giving (including Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Gift Annuities)
  • Capital Campaigns
  • Advice Regarding and Review of Fundraising Agreements of All Types
  • Intellectual Property Protection (Copyrights and Trademarks)
  • Investment Policies (compliance with UPMIFA)
  • Conflicts of Interest Policies and Interpretation
  • Corporate Sponsorship Agreements
  • Royalty License Agreements
  • Charitable Sales Promotion Agreements
  • Combined Federal Campaign and State Civil Service Campaigns
  • Workplace Campaigns
  • Tax-Exempt Bonds
  • Facilities Acquisition
  • Legal Opinions in Connection with Audits
  • Advice Regarding Federal
  • Lobbyist Disclosure Act (LDA)
  • And Registration under LDA

Get It Right From the Start

Individuals who want to create non-profit organizations often turn to local, general practice law firms or paralegal services that advertise on the Internet or rely on do-it-yourself advice. For some, that works out. However, for many, it doesn't. Precious time is wasted "reinventing the wheel" which often comes with a high price-in time and dollars. Many clients have come to us after having had less than satisfying experiences with lawyers and accountants who are not specialists in state and federal laws which uniquely apply to non-profit organizations. We've taken over applications (Form 1023 or Form 1024) to the IRS for recognition of tax-exempt status that have gone awry and have gotten them back on track.

But it's better to get it right from the start---starting with expert advice focused specifically on the type of organization you want to form and "governance" options, e.g., whether the board of directors is elected by the directors themselves or by voting members who need not be directors.

Careful planning also includes drafting provisions providing for the indemnification of officers and directors, a conflict of interest policy, and the other "best practices" policies listed in the recently revised Form 990.

When you retain us to create the non-profit organization and obtain recognition from the IRS of its tax-exempt status, you are getting much more than documents. You receive a comprehensive consultation to make sure you understand formation options and governance options. You won't get this from lawyers who are not experienced in non-profit organizations. And you won't get it from fill-in-the-blank paralegal services. We don't believe in "cookie cutters" when it comes to forming a tax-exempt organization.

Stay on Track!

We can design a monthly retainer to fit your needs and your budget, whether your organization is just getting going or is a fully mature organization with a sustaining endowment. Many non-profit organizations prefer a budget-based retainer which allows them to plan for their legal needs on an ongoing basis at a cost they set in advance. Other clients prefer to retain us on a hourly billing basis or fixed fee basis. You get the same prompt and high quality legal services on any basis you select.

Contact Us to Schedule a Consultation

Whether you are considering forming a non-profit organization or you are managing a non-profit organization, we would welcome the opportunity to be of services to you. The non-profit organization specialist lawyers at Copilevitz & Canter LLC invite your inquiry as to all tax and legal matters affecting non-profits. Contact us to discuss your organization's goals and concerns.