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NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS

The future of nonprofits remains uncertain. Government funding is being reduced at the federal, state and local levels nationwide. Social media is radically reshaping the nonprofit landscape and will continue to do so in the coming years. These shifts are converging to create a diverse and complex industry segment.

Our approach

Nonprofits are being forced to be entrepreneurial to meet the intricate legal challenges and opportunities presented today. To do more with less, while still meeting the growing reliance communities—both local and internationally—have on them.

We have partnered with more than 250 tax-exempt organizations—both in the U.S. and abroad—and provide pragmatic, creative solutions to help nonprofits achieve the strategic missions of the future.

From highly specialized issues to day-to-day concerns, we bring knowledge, understanding and sensitivity to all matters.

We understand the business needs of nonprofits today and the demands of the future.

We work with

Foundations—international, community and corporate giving programs

Charitable organizations—from small, neighborhood organizations to large, national organizations

Colleges and universities—from large public research universities to small private colleges

Hospitals and health care systems—from major university hospitals to large health care systems

Religious institutions—Catholic Dioceses, religious congregations, Jewish community centers, local synagogues and churches

Trade associations—from a major national association to a Washington-based association that has numerous local chapters

Museums and cultural organizations—from one of the most well-known museums in the country, to small cultural organizations within our communities

Professional schools—from large law schools and technical engineering schools to design and business schools

Get Connected

The Nonprofit Revitalization Act just became law in New York State. The Act affects nonprofit organizations incorporated or doing business in New York State, including both charitable and non-charitable entities. Leaders of these organizations have important decisions to make about the opportunities—and burdens—imposed by the new law. If you would like to contact a member of our Nonprofit Revitalization team, send us a note at: NPRevitalization@nixonpeabody.com. We are ready to share the steps needed to make sure your organization is compliant with the requirements of the Act.

Recent experience

  • Aided an independent law school in its merger with a large university, which will serve as a national model for others to follow as this trend evolves.
  • Assisted five universities in developing a collaborative super-computing center, using innovative financing through new markets tax credits.
  • Successfully represented a large museum as counsel and advisors to the parties to craft the unprecedented agreement to showcase the renowned 1,100 piece collection of modern and contemporary artwork.
  • Assisted a major national trade association in restructuring its vendor endorsements to maximize the tax-exempt corporate sponsorship revenue.
  • Assisted a multinational charitable organization in resolving noncompliance issues with foreign-country payroll taxes.
  • Assisted a national charitable organization in applying for and securing $1.7 million of cy pres damages from two different class actions
  • Provide counsel to a foreign charity with fund-raising in the United States.
  • Offer particular depth in matters involving charitable assets, their use and investment. Our attorneys are familiar with the nexus among the institutional advancement, investment and finance functions with charitable institutions, large and small, having represented institutions coast-to-coast on these matters.
  • Act as counsel to numerous community foundations, with a focus on gifting of complex assets and grantmaking in the United States and abroad.
  • Work with several major university endowments from coast-to-coast on the restructuring of their relationships since the market downturn, successfully combining our depth of experience in charitable fund management and investment counseling.

Recognition

  • Ranked at the highest “Tier 1” level in Rochester, NY, by U.S. News/Best Lawyers for Nonprofit/Charities Law
  • One of our Nonprofit partners was a member of the New York State Attorney General’s Leadership Committee to Revitalize Nonprofits.

Media Clips

  • Nonprofits in the Zone of Insolvency: 2 Cautionary Tales
    Law360 | May 19, 2015
    New York City financial restructuring and bankruptcy counsel Chris Desiderio, Washington, DC, M&A and Corporate Transactions partner Mike Cooney, and associate Rob Trott and Boston partner and leader of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Financial Restructuring practice Victor Milione coauthored this column on important issues charitable fiduciaries should educate themselves on to avoid insolvency.
  • When Do-Gooders Do Well
    Long Island Business News | April 1, 2015
    Washington, DC, partner and leader of our nonprofit organizations practice Mike Cooney is quoted in this article discussing best practices pertaining to nonprofit executive compensation.
  • Tax Reform's Pension Fund Surprise for PE Industry
    Law360 | April 9, 2014
    Washington, DC, Private Equity & Investment Funds partner Christian McBurney and Washington, DC, partner and leader of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney discuss a new legislative tax proposal that targets state and local government pension funds.
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  • Overhaul Coming in July for Nonprofit Regulations
    Buffalo Business First | January 17, 2014
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney discusses the New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act.
  • Attorneys Applaud Overhaul of Nonprofit Law for Cutting Red Tape
    New York Law Journal | December 20, 2013
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney, Rochester counsel Anita Pelletier, and Rochester partner and president of the New York State Bar Association Dave Schraver discuss the New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act signed into law by Governor Cuomo.
  • Make Sure Research Funding Steers Clear of Tax Traps
    Technology Transfer Tactics | August 1, 2013

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Higher Education and Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney discusses avoiding adverse tax consequences arising out of sponsored and commercial research activity.

  • Historic Changes by State: Law for non-profits sees first overhaul in decades
    Rochester Business Journal | June 28, 2013

    In this feature story, partner and leader of the firm's Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney discusses New York State’s Non-profit Revitalization Act.

  • The New State Order: Executive compensation, administrative spending to receive increased scrutiny
    Long Island Business News | June 21, 2013

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney discusses curbing administrative costs and executive compensation at state-funded nonprofit and for-profit service providers.

  • Nexpert Column: Building a Foundation of Innovation
    Democrat and Chronicle | January 6, 2013

    Partner and leader of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations and Higher Education practices Mike Cooney authored this column discussing program-related investments by charitable foundations.

  • Upstate New York Startup Capital is Scarce
    Democrat and Chronicle | November 30, 2012

    Leader of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney discusses alternative sources of funding for startups—including investments from charitable foundations—in this feature article discussing the state of the Upstate New York market for startup capital.

Ideas

Webinar Recording: Working with nonprofit housing corporations in affordable housing transactions
May 11, 2015

Nonprofits in the zone of insolvency: two cautionary tales
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | May 7, 2015

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Nonprofit Revitalization Act Update: July 2014
July 2, 2014

Webinar Recording: Envisioning a Privatized Mixed-Use College Campus Project
Originally recorded February 27, 2014 | March 3, 2014

Webinar Recording: Nonprofit Revitalization Act—What changed? What you should do.
Originally recorded January 7, 2014 | January 8, 2014

Volunteers as employees: Considerations for nonprofit institutions
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | September 25, 2013

Webinar Recording: The START-Up NY Program: Developing College Campuses as Engines of Economic Expansion
Originally recorded July 25, 2013 | August 1, 2013

Webinar Recording: Affordable Housing Nonprofit Governance 201
Originally recorded July 18, 2013 | July 25, 2013

New York State Legislature passes Nonprofit Revitalization Act
Legislation mandates audit procedures, conflict of interest policies, whistleblower policies for nonprofit organizations

Nonprofit Organizations Alert | June 28, 2013

Are you a covered provider?
Get Ready: Executive Order No. 38 Effective July 1

Nonprofit Organizations Alert | May 30, 2013

Webinar Recording: Affordable Housing Nonprofit Governance 101
Originally recorded May 7, 2013 | May 10, 2013

Implementation of New York State executive compensation and administrative expense caps has been postponed
Health Law Alert | March 18, 2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 and charitable giving
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | January 7, 2013

NLRB finds online discussion between non-union employees "protected activity"
Employment Law Alert | January 3, 2013

Compensation and Expenditure Limits for New York Providers—Some Clarity
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | December 5, 2012

Charitable contributions to single-member LLCs: The questions left unanswered
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | August 3, 2012

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Press

Events

Retirement Plans for Nonprofits: What All Plan Sponsors Need to Know
May 28, 2015 | New York, NY

Webinar: Working with nonprofit housing corporations in affordable housing transactions
May 5, 2015

What you need to know about working with nonprofit housing corporations in affordable housing transactions
February 11, 2015 | New York, NY

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Albany Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 12, 2014 | Albany, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 5, 2014 | Jericho, NY

New York Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
November 4, 2014 | New York, NY

Buffalo Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing
October 30, 2014 | Buffalo, NY

Nonprofit Taxation: IRS Form 990 top to bottom
April 22, 2014 | Jericho, NY

Privacy and Security 101: Protecting high-risk data at private schools
April 3, 2014 | Providence, RI

Nonprofit Health: Moving forward in the era of managed care
March 13, 2014 | Jericho, NY

New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act Roadshow: What changed? What you should do.
March 5, 2014 | Jericho, NY

New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act Roadshow: What changed? What you should do.
March 4, 2014 | New York, NY

Webinar: Envisioning a Privatized Mixed-Use College Campus Project
February 27, 2014

New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act Roadshow: What changed? What you should do.
February 13, 2014 | Albany, NY

New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act Roadshow: What changed? What you should do.
February 5, 2014 | Buffalo, NY

New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act Roadshow: What changed? What you should do.
February 4, 2014 | Rochester, NY

Your Responsibilities as a Nonprofit Board Member or Chief Executive
January 28, 2014 | Boston, MA

Webinar: Nonprofit Revitalization Act—What changed? What you should do.
January 7, 2014

Implementing the Affordable Care Act
December 10, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Coming Together: The ins and outs of nonprofit mergers
October 1, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Human Resource Update: A special report for nonprofit organizations
August 14, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Webinar: The START-Up NY Program: Developing College Campuses as Engines of Economic Expansion
July 25, 2013

Webinar: Affordable Housing Nonprofit Governance 201
July 18, 2013

Nonprofit Seminar
June 5, 2013 | Providence, RI

Government audits: How to avoid traps and pitfalls
June 4, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Webinar: Affordable Housing Nonprofit Governance 101
May 7, 2013

Cuomo's Executive Order: The Final Shake-Out
April 2, 2013 | Jericho, NY

2013 Tax & Legal Update: What to expect
February 5, 2013 | Jericho, NY

Pension Fee Disclosure: Lessons Learned
December 3, 2012 | Jericho, NY

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Nonprofit Organizations