Non-Profit and NGO Advocacy and Counseling
The Firm has a long record of representation of non-profit corporations, NGOs, citizens groups, associations and other public interest organizations. The Firm’s work covers business and corporate matters such as incorporation, IRS recognition of 501(c)(3) charitable status, fundraising and charitable registrations, governance and auditing, as well as legal advice on programmatic and advocacy issues ranging from animal rights to civil society building to historic preservation, both domestically and internationally.
A few examples of the Firm’s work include:
- For more than fifteen years, the Firm has assisted the National Environmental Education and Training Foundation, Inc. (“NEETF”), a non-profit organization established by the National Education Act, with a number of legal matters, including interpretation of its organic statute and other corporate organizational matters, review and negotiation of commercial contracts, and mergers and cooperative agreements with similar non-profit organizations.
- We have advised the Humane Society of the United States (“HSUS”) on legal issues related to preserving the global moratorium on commercial whaling under the international Whaling Convention.
- The Firm has assisted the conservation group Rails-to-Trails Conservancy with land use and litigation issues relating to corridor preservation, banking and resources along former railways.
- We have represented The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest NGOs in the world, in international meetings relating to the potential establishment of a new intergovernmental science assessment panel on global biodiversity.
- The Firm has served as counsel to Haitian Education and Leadership Program (“HELP”) from its inception. HELP is a New York not-for-profit corporation that offers higher education scholarships and aid to promising Haitian students from the Western Hemisphere’s poorest democracy. With the Firm’s assistance on corporate, tax and governance matters, HELP has grown from a handful of scholarships to having over 100 scholars including graduates who are now doctors, accountants, and teachers contributing to Haiti’s economic and social stability.
- The Firm advised a private giving circle with regard to organizational and governance structure options to facilitate charitable donations to orphanages in Africa.
- We have advised the Rainforest Alliance on legal and business registration issues involved in the opening of an office in Asia for the purpose of expanding product and business certification programs. Our work allowed RA to move quickly into China and expand its operations related to Rainforest Certified operations and products.
- The Firm has assisted institutional alumni associations on matters relating to liability insurance, tax status and filings, and financial accounting.
- We served as counsel to the Maasai Environmental Resources Coalition (“MERC”) on the development of eco-tourism guidelines and standards in Kenya.
- The Firm represents the Pluralism Fund, a civil society organization, on matters relating to governance, fundraising, corporate and international licensing matters for the organization's work in the United States, Iran, and Pakistan.
- The Firm serves as counsel for the Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance (“DBFA”), a new independent nonprofit alliance that partners with local government, business, and other nonprofit organizations to develop family-wise programs and policies, including initiatives for strong public schools and early childhood programs, enhanced public safety and environmental quality, and expanded recreational and cultural opportunities, in an effort to foster and promote family life in Baltimore's city center. The Firm is working to attain 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for DBFA and also advises DBFA on a wide variety of legal issues encountered as the organization begins its work.
- The Firm serves as counsel to Inside the Frame ("ITF"), a start-up nonprofit corporation focused on capacity building in developing countries. ITF will operate on a national and global scale to facilitate difficult-to-fund projects and provide funds for essential administrative and transportation costs incurred by grassroots organizations that serve vulnerable and poor populations. The Firm is assiting ITF to attain federal 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and advising ITF on a range of legal issues pertinent to its mission.
- The Firm has advised the World Environment Center (WEC) on a wide range of non-profit organizational and governance issues.