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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

  • Philanthropic Capital In Search Of Clarity
    Law360 | June 10, 2016
    Partner and leader of our nonprofit organizations and higher education teams Mike Cooney authored this column about how program-related investments have an overweighted emphasis on international philanthropy.
  • The Duty of Obedience in a Time of Change
    Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Blog | June 7, 2016
    Washington, DC, partner and leader of the firm’s Higher Education and Nonprofit Organizations teams Mike Cooney authored this column discussing the duty of obedience—a fiduciary duty of board members to ensure that the institution is operating according to its stated purposes in its governing documents.
  • Gov. Christie rejects N.J. hospital tax-exemption bill
    Modern Healthcare | January 20, 2016
    This article discusses a New Jersey bill mandating not-for-profit hospitals contribute to local municipalities instead of paying property taxes, noting a veto by the New Jersey governor came just one day before the Illinois Department of Revenue confirmed that it has temporarily stopped reviewing hospitals' applications for property tax exemptions. Chicago Health Care partner John Durso provides general commentary on these tax-exemption issues.
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  • Mission investing comes to the fore with recent announcements
    Rochester Business Journal | November 13, 2015
    Partners Jeff LaBarge and Mike Cooney co-authored this column on “mission” or “impact investing”—terms used to describe the deployment of philanthropic investment capital to advance charitable ends.
  • Mission Investing Invigorated
    Law360 | October 6, 2015
    Partner and leader of the firm’s Nonprofit Organizations practice Mike Cooney and partner and Chief Innovation Officer Herb Stevens authored this piece discussing recent developments in the area known as “mission” or “impact investing”—terms used to describe the deployment of philanthropic investment capital to advance charitable ends.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Ideas

Webinar Recording: New York Nonprofits and the Law
Originally recorded October 18, 2016 | October 19, 2016

Webinar Recording: Special Briefing for Nonprofit Institutions: Retirement Plan Fee Litigation
Originally recorded September 14, 2016 | September 16, 2016

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Enhanced disclosure of donor information in New York
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | September 13, 2016

Philanthropic capital in search of clarity; program-related investments
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | June 8, 2016

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoes bill requiring New York nonprofits to create and implement workplace violence prevention programs
Employment Law Alert | December 10, 2015

Mission Investing Invigorated
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | October 1, 2015

Webinar Recording: DOJ targets executives in corporate investigations
Originally recorded on September 25, 2015 | September 30, 2015

New York narrows the availability of real property tax exemptions for nonprofits
Nonprofit Organizations Alert | July 28, 2015

New Jersey tax court denies property tax exemption for nonprofit hospital; sets dangerous precedent in the state and possible ripple effect across the country
Health Care Alert | July 15, 2015

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

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

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Press

Events

Webinar: New York Nonprofits and the Law
October 18, 2016

Webinar: Special Briefing for Nonprofit Institutions: Retirement Plan Fee Litigation
September 14, 2016

Webinar: DOJ targets executives in corporate investigations
September 25, 2015

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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

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

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Nonprofit Organizations