The Stark & Stark Non-Profit Organizations practice provides legal guidance and advice to entities that operate as non-profits include charitable foundations, educational, social service, literary, musical, theatrical, political action, public safety, and religious organizations, as well as trade associations, health care providers, and homeowners associations, to name a few. All of them face legal issues unique to their organizational structures and mission statements. In order to function most effectively and within the law, these entities need knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel to guide them through the many constraints of their operations and to meet potential challenges as they occur.
Non-profits have a special mission and must pay particular attention to the economics of running their organizations. As stewards of other people’s gifts and donations, non-profits are mandated to spend wisely and to make every effort to see that resources are directed to the programs and services for which they are intended. Minimizing business and legal expenses is a critical part of maximizing economic effectiveness and Stark & Stark attorneys make every effort to help their non-profit clients meet these important and non-negotiable parameters. Often continued success of a non-profit may depend on how well these objectives are met.
Non-profit organizations play an integral role in the well being of our communities and the quality of life for us all, providing essential services that fill in the gaps where governmental and private sector efforts fall short. Without the ongoing dedication of thousands of individuals, both paid and unpaid, the quality of all of our lives would be dramatically altered and diminished. Issues common to non-profits include but are not limited to:
- Governance through constitutions and by-laws
- State laws regarding non-profit legal status
- IRS rules and regulations (including 501(c)(3) exempt status)
- Duties of boards of directors and officers
- Liabilities of paid and unpaid personnel
- Fund-raising and financial obligations regarding charitable giving
- Hiring, evaluating, and terminating employees; compensation issues
- Dynamics and functions of membership structures
- Staff/ board/ volunteer relations
- Legal issues in planning, implementing, and managing programs
- Private inurement and lobbying
- Real estate transactions
- Contract and lease review
- Joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions.
Stark & Stark attorneys have both the breadth and depth of experience to assist non-profits from their inception through their continuing years of operation, and the expertise to foresee problems often before they occur, enabling our clients to be proactive in all phases of their operations. In cases where problems arise, our attorneys use a cross-disciplinary approach, tapping into other Stark & Stark practice groups, to resolve issues in the most cost-effective and least disruptive manner.