Representation of non-profit corporations in a wide array of zoning and land-use matters.
Tax Exempt and Charitable Organizations
Our tax-exempt and charitable organizations attorneys have decades of experience in representing a wide variety of tax-exempt organizations, including private foundations, community foundations, professional and trade associations, civic and social welfare organizations, art and cultural institutions, health care and community mental health organizations, colleges and secondary schools, economic development corporations, human service agencies and religious groups. We provide a full range of services including advice about the regulation of tax-exempt organizations by state and federal authorities, filing for and obtaining exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, the treatment of unrelated business taxable income, director and officer liability issues, corporate governance, lobbying and political activities, and all aspects of organization and operations. Our attorneys are recognized leaders in tax-exempt and charitable organizations, having written books and articles and lectured extensively on tax-exempt organization law.
Arts and Cultural Institutions
We provide legal services to various arts and cultural institutions, among them The Henry Ford (Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum) and the College for Creative Studies. Services for these organizations have included the preparation and qualification of employee benefit plans, addressing employment law concerns, attending to real estate matters, creation of endowment and capital campaigns and assistance regarding the regulation of fundraising activities.
The firm also represents a number of community foundations nationwide. We help establish new community foundations, assist in the creation and use of component funds, advise on issues relating to affiliation with other community foundations, create scholarship funds, and provide counsel regarding asset-building techniques and planned giving programs. We have played a prominent role in developing the use of supporting organizations by community foundations and have helped create uniform documents and policies for use by community foundations.
Economic Development Organizations
We have been intimately involved in the federal Empowerment Zone project in the City of Detroit. We have also performed a variety of legal roles with other economic development programs.
Health Care Organizations
Our clients include many health care and mental health organizations. Our ongoing services to these organizations include advice about regulatory matters, corporate and contractual matters and employment law. We have also assisted clients with major corporate reorganizations. We incorporated, obtained tax-exempt status and serve as general counsel to endowments and funds.
Our firm represents many of the largest private foundations in the United States. We have authored numerous publications and articles, and we lecture frequently on subjects of interest to private foundations and community foundations. Our work for private foundations has included general corporate advice and services, preparation or review of information returns, advice about self-dealing issues, the excess business holding rules and other prohibited transactions, negotiation of sales of blocks of securities, negotiation of financing transactions in connection with economic development grants, compliance with expenditure responsibility requirements, and addressing board member and volunteer liability concerns. We also have extensive experience in advising foundations on the legal aspects of alternative investments and economic development activities.
Trade and Professional Associations
We represent many trade and professional associations as well, providing advice relating to group insurance programs, state and federal regulation of lobbying activities, and antitrust concerns with regard to setting industry standards, restricting membership, and exchanging information about markets and industries. We have assisted many association clients with establishing for-profit service subsidiaries as well as charitable supporting organizations.
Other Tax Exempt Organizations
We represent a host of tax-exempt organizations that do not fit into any clearly definable category and are pleased to provide a comprehensive suite of legal services to those organizations.
Legislative and Rule-Making Efforts
We are proactive in legislative efforts affecting nonprofit organizations through their participation in the Nonprofit Corporation Committees of our local State Bars, various American Bar Association committees and through other local outlets. Our attorneys participated in the preparation of comprehensive changes to the Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act and helped develop and refine key legislation limiting the liability of volunteer directors and trustees.
We frequently advise individual clients, as well as charitable organizations, with regard to charitable giving. Much of this work relates to planned giving techniques, such as charitable remainder and charitable lead trusts, pooled income funds, charitable gift annuities, installment bargain sales, the use of private foundations and community foundation component funds, and income and estate tax implications.
Counsel to a large not-for-profit community mental health services corporation in the successful out of court restructuring of its secured and unsecured indebtedness
Counsel to several private, independent schools and to their tax-exempt foundation arms.