Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving

Day Pitney lawyers have broad experience in representing tax-exempt organizations, including charitable organizations, business and industry associations, schools, hospitals, museums and private foundations. These entities are subject to unique tax and regulatory requirements that necessitate experienced counsel. In addition to providing tax and regulatory advice, our lawyers often act as general counsel to these organizations, advising them on contractual matters, governance, mergers, acquisitions and affiliations, employment matters, governmental regulation, environmental issues, real estate transactions, among other matters, all the while keeping in mind the unique requirements applicable to maintaining tax-exempt status.

Organizations advised by the lawyers in the Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving practice group include:

  • Educational institutions at all levels
  • Private foundations
  • Museums
  • Social service organizations and other public charities
  • Business leagues and trade associations
  • Religious organizations
  • International relief and community development organizations and sponsors of microfinance
  • Healthcare organizations
  • Tax-exempt housing developers
  • Quasi-governmental and governmentally affiliated organizations
  • Social clubs

All of the lawyers in our Trusts and Estates practice group are knowledgeable in charitable giving and work with many individual clients to plan gifts to private foundations, supporting organizations or other charitable entities to further their philanthropic interests. The Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving practice group helps with all aspects of setting up and operating these entities, whether preparing a private foundation's annual tax return or assisting the donor's family with succession planning or helping the directors with grantmaking.

In fact, Day Pitney is one of the few law firms that has its own foundation to further its philanthropic goals, which helps explain our keen interest in this area.

Regardless of the type of tax-exempt entity, we offer a risk audit analysis that is tailored to the specific needs of the organization. This analysis would likely include a review of the governing documents, director and officer liability, tax and regulatory filings, investment policies, maintenance of exempt status, employee policies (including nondiscrimination policies), financial policies aimed at loss prevention and conflict of interest policies, as well as a review of insurance coverage. The end result is a written report advising the board.

International grantmaking and charitable and philanthropic activities outside the United States is another area of special focus. Whether you are a U.S. foundation, corporation or individual donor looking to make grants abroad, a U.S. public charity with foreign offices and operations or a foreign charitable organization contemplating activities in the United States, we have lawyers with a wealth of relevant experience.

We look forward to assisting you, whatever your tax-exempt entity question.