Nonprofits & Charities

Nonprofits & Charities

Outside of championing their causes, charities and nonprofits have two distinct responsibilities: fundraising and running the organization itself. Yet the technical aspects may not be specialties for the inspirational folks who seek out the nonprofit world.

Charitable fundraising

Nonprofits rely on fundraising to advance their causes in a plethora of ways, from financing help for those they support to capital campaigns for the infrastructure that makes it all possible. But the fundraising process means dotting a lot of I’s and crossing a lot of t’s — technical work that takes you away from the actual work of fundraising. No firm has more experience in dealing with charitable fundraising regulation. Put your organization — and your cause — in safe and dependable hands with the specialized help that can only come from Copilevitz, Lam & Raney.

Knowing State Regulations

Fundraising regulations vary from state to state, and requirements regularly change, which can be overwhelming for a single organization to track. Yet an oversight in this area can mean fines, consent orders and damaged reputations. We protect our clients by constantly monitoring charitable fundraising laws in all 50 states. Many of the nation’s most recognizable nonprofits rely on Copilevitz, Lam & Raney.

While some companies advertise regulatory compliance help but aren’t law firms, Copilevitz, Lam & Raney is a truly trustworthy partner: We provide an expert legal analysis of shifting requirements, and we advise our clients based on our years of experience. Rather than simply handing our clients legal templates to fill out, we keep updated documents on hand and prepare them for our clients to review. And while we’re versed in the jargon of the industry, we explain each step in a straightforward and practical way.

Protecting Your Nonprofit Status

Maintaining that vital nonprofit status takes an alert eye and regular maintenance. We strive to provide clients with four- to six-week windows within which to complete and renew registration prior to a filing deadline.

Our compliance professionals have deep experience in preparing regulatory filings, and they have established relationships with state charity officials. We offer comprehensive help, including with script disclosure, fundraising contract review, reporting and coordination of in-house and outsourced fundraising campaigns, calling requirements, and local and state filings to keep up compliance with all regulations and legal requirements.

Working with Partners

Bringing a partner into the fundraising process requires an element of trust. We help you lay that foundation by establishing clear expectations and protections from the outset. With our fundraising contracts, you can rest in your relationships with professional fundraisers, commercial co-venturers, fundraising consultants or other vendors. A well-drawn contract anticipates any potential problems and how they could be handled in a way that protects your organization and reputation. It also reflects a clear understanding of each state’s requirements for professional fundraisers prior to beginning a fundraising campaign.

Adapting to Changing Technology

As technology evolves, so do fundraising strategies — and so do the accompanying legal conundrums. We’ve helped clients through the changes and challenges presented by email and the Internet, and we continue to do so with the advent of new apps, social media and emerging technologies.

Fundraising appeals now often cross mediums, making for a complex array of compliance requirements. We closely monitor that dynamic regulatory landscape, advising clients about all aspects of these widespread appeals for public support.

Running the Organization

When passionate people take the nonprofit plunge, they’re — very rightly — focused on a mission. But the business side of nonprofit work establishes the organization on a firm footing, for the present and the future.

That’s the critical role Copilevitz, Lam & Raney fills for clients, both new and established. Acting as an in-house general counsel, we guide clients as to the proper registration and formation steps to take, whether they’re forming for the first time or expanding into new areas. We apply our extensive real-world experience to clients think through — and circumvent — potential pitfalls. Basically, we handle all the technical stuff so they can focus on helping their nonprofits thrive.

Setting Up A New Nonprofit/Charity

The details of establishing a new nonprofit can feel overwhelming, but Copilevitz, Lam & Raney specializes in relieving that pressure. We advise clients as to the type of tax-exempt structure that best meets their missions and goals. We draft articles of incorporation and bylaws, help them comply with all the appropriate government requirements, let them know about prudent record-keeping practices, and can help answer any other questions. Our nationwide insight can help you develop realistic expectations for timing, setting up a board, and other considerations. We act as your trusted adviser, applying our broad experience to your specific situation.

Maintaining Compliance

There have been times when nonprofits have been forced to return money raised because of a regulatory oversight — and no charities want those worst-case scenarios to happen to them. Because of our national reach, experience with high-profile clients whose efforts cross borders, and legal expertise, we know how the various states interpret and apply laws pertaining to nonprofits and charities. We understand the rhythm of registration and renewal requirements, as well as when certificates of authority or other technical pieces are necessary. That means we can keep you on the ball, protecting your mission and reputation, without your having to stress over details — albeit important ones — that aren’t central to your vision.

Managing Your Workforce

Effectively managing the workforce of today requires a keen eye for details. Often, nonprofits have employees in multiple locations, particularly if they allow remote work. In the past, nonprofits may have needed employer payroll accounts in only one location; now, they may need them, along with certificates of authority, in a dozen states — and that figure can change with each new hire. Copilevitz, Lam & Raney understands the ins and outs of these processes and can help you cover all your bases.

Copilevitz, Lam & Raney helps clients, from startups through well-established causes, position their organizations for success in both areas. With our years of experience and grasp of the potential mistakes charities and nonprofits tend to make, we help you think through potential challenges ahead of time, crafting thoughtful and detail-oriented plans.

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