NONPROFIT AND HOUSE OF WORSHIP LAW
The Nissenbaum Law Group strives to serve the needs of the broader community by representing nonprofit charities and houses of worship.
Nonprofit Attorneys Representing NJ, NY, PA, & TX 501(c)(3) & 501(c)(4) Organizations
“Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.”
What can a law firm do to help a nonprofit charity be effective in accomplishing its mission? The answer is simple: provide that nonprofit client with the same level of responsiveness and sophisticated legal advice that a for-profit corporation would demand. Most nonprofits are thinly capitalized and rely on grants and donations that cannot be counted on from one year to the next. Therefore, a nonprofit charity’s law firm must not only seek to enhance and protect its legal right to advocate, but also provide practical advice with regard to “process issues” ranging from legally appropriate fundraising to the oversight function required of the board of trustees. Ironically, it is more complex to go through the step-by-step process to form a nonprofit entity that is granted 501(c)(3) status than it is to form a typical for-profit entity.
Legal Services for Nonprofit Organizations
Those in our society who do not share in its abundance cannot abide a second-rate job by their lawyers. Those lawyers must step up; they must exceed themselves. The Nissenbaum Law Group has a boutique practice focused in commercial representation, an important component of which is nonprofit law. Indeed, many of our firm’s attorneys and paralegals serve on 501(c)(3) boards of trustees for a variety of nonprofit charities and religious institutions. As a result, our firm’s practice has expanded to include religious nonprofits, including churches, temples, and other houses of worship. They believe in the mission of advocating for the abused, the suffering and the dispossessed. The firm’s attorneys welcome the opportunity to defend the legal rights of the organizations that are defending those in need. Its team of lawyers is eager to represent nonprofit organizations in NJ, NY as well as a number of other states (consistent with the multijurisdictional rules of practice) involving such items as:
Formation of the Nonprofit
- filling out IRS forms 1023 and 1023-EZ to apply for 501(c)(3) status;
- drafting the initial corporate resolutions and by-laws;
- helping the nonprofit determine whether to utilize a member or non-member structure;
- analyzing the Internal Revenue Service conflict of interest rules relating to boards of trustees;
- assisting the nonprofit in obtaining sales tax exemption certificates;
- forming a religious nonprofit and addressing the unique legal issues confronting spiritually-based gathering places and 501(c)(3) religious supporting organizations;
- assisting in satisfying the fiduciary responsibility of officers and others in a leadership position;
- helping to enforce the unique personnel issues that apply to non-profit officer compensation;
- creating an internal background check procedure for volunteers who work with children;
- reviewing state and federal fundraising laws and regulations;
- handling internal investigations relating to theft of funds;
Transactional Legal Matters
- complying with municipal ordinances and other local governmental requirements that may also apply to certain types of fundraising, such as games of chance;
- negotiating commercial real estate leases for the nonprofit;
- preserving the nonprofit’s intellectual property rights such as copyright and trademark;
Asserting the Nonprofit’s Legal Rights
- defending the nonprofit’s First Amendment and religious autonomy rights (if applicable);
- addressing potential federal Religious Land Use Act violations;
- implementing a procedure for internal mediation of disputes that would otherwise result in the nonprofit being the subject of a lawsuit; and
- defending the nonprofit in state or federal court.
Publications & Presentations
- Receiving Classified Information: Government Secrecy and the Litigation Process (Co-author), NJ Lawyer Magazine, October 2009
- In the Arena: Litigating for the American Civil Liberties Union-NJ, NJ Lawyer, December, 2007
Classes & Seminars Presented:
- Presented Seminar, Nonprofit Board Role & Responsibilities, State Council of New Jersey Junior Leagues Get On Board Conference, Morristown, NJ, April 2018
- Presented Seminar, GOB Matching: Next Steps to Board Involvement, State Council of New Jersey Junior Leagues Get On Board Conference, Morristown, NJ, April 2017
- Presented Seminar, The New First Amendment Challenges Confronting America in 2017, American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, May 2017
- Presented Seminar, Top 10 Legal Issues Confronting Nonprofits, State Council of New Jersey Junior League’s Get On Board Conference, April 2017
- Presented Seminar, Nonprofit Board Role & Responsibilities, State Council of New Jersey Junior Leagues Get On Board Conference, Morristown, NJ, April 2017
A complete list of nonprofit law publications and presentations can be found here.
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Contact the Nissenbaum Law Group to schedule an appointment at 908-686-8000 or feel free to use the following form to e-mail us. Please include as much information as you can to ensure that we are able to handle your request as quickly as possible.
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2400 Morris Avenue
Union, NJ 07083
P: (908) 686-8000
F: (908) 686-8550
New York, NY 10005
P: (212) 871-5711
F: (212) 871-5712
1500 Market Street
12th Floor East Tower
Philadelphia, PA 19102
P: (215) 523-9350
F: (215) 523-9395
100 Crescent Court
Dallas, TX 75201
P: (214) 222-0020
F: (214) 222-0029