Over the past decade, the landscape has dramatically changed for both tax-exempt organizations and their supporters. An increase in access to information has made compliance for tax-exempt organizations more important than ever, as members of the public and press, donors, regulators, and legislators are easily able to scrutinize operations. Donors are looking for more impact from donations, and tax-exempt organizations are expected to be sophisticated in their business operations and financial management, in some cases seeking more creative sources of revenue by participating in complex transactions that require thoughtful legal advice.
Our Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving team collaborates with other Day Pitney practice groups to advise on contractual matters; corporate governance; mergers, acquisitions and affiliations; employment matters; governmental regulation, including healthcare regulations; intellectual property issues; environmental issues; international issues; real estate transactions; litigation and tax; among other matters. Most important, with more than 60 lawyers in our Trusts and Estates practice group, we routinely advise our individual clients on charitable giving, so we have a considerable knowledge of how both donors and organizations work. As a result, entities such as business and industry associations, schools, hospitals, religious organizations, social clubs, museums, healthcare organizations and private foundations turn to Day Pitney for advice on unique challenges, tax requirements and everyday regulatory advice needed to manage complex operations.
Regardless of the type of tax-exempt entity, we offer a legal risk assessment. This assessment 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 result is a written report advising the board.
In addition to our work for our clients, the attorneys in our Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving group serve through leadership and volunteer positions in a large variety of community organizations. This service provides us with firsthand knowledge of the challenges facing the nonprofit sector today. Some of the organizations we serve include the Stamford Museum & Nature Center; Fairfield County's Community Foundation; Save the Children; Union Club of Boston; Maynard Masonic Corp in Concord, MA; The First Parish in Sudbury, MA; Goodnow Library Foundation Inc. in Sudbury, MA; Massachusetts National Guard; Green Hill, a New Jersey not-for-profit long-term care facility; The Boston Foundation; Susan F. Smith Center for Women's Cancers; the New Jersey Youth Chorus; and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
The legal challenges facing academic institutions are unique and can touch almost every corner of the law. Day Pitney attorneys have familiarity with those needs and handle a wide range of legal matters for clients at all levels of academic institutions and higher education, including primary schools, secondary schools, prep schools, parochial schools, large public and private universities, small independent colleges and universities, community colleges and institutions affiliated with higher education.