Anita L. Pelletier

Anita Pelletier serves as counsel in Nixon Peabody's Nonprofit practice group. She advises nonprofit organizations in matters relating to legal requirements and best practices in connection with governance and operational matters.

What do you focus on?


Today, I focus my practice on assisting nonprofit clients to operate as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Nonprofit Corporate Governance and Board Disputes

With the increased level of scrutiny and transparency requirements from the IRS, state charity regulators, and the public, it is more important than ever that nonprofit organizations ensure their governance and operations are legally compliant. I’ve helped organizations ranging from the very small to the very large update bylaws and policies to comply with legal requirements and best practices.

Tax Compliance and Audits

Both the IRS and many state charity regulators are using analytics to identify areas of potential noncompliance to start audits and investigations of nonprofit organizations. Many of these are targeted to specific areas, and it is important to have a plan in place to identify what the regulator is looking for and the best way to respond. I’ve worked with many organizations to guide them through these audits and investigations. Most recently, I assisted a nonprofit to respond to an IRS inquiry questioning whether the organization's activities were charitable and an organization to respond to noncompliance allegations by a state charity regulator in connection with the receipt of a charitable bequest.

Reorganizations, Mergers, Dissolutions, and Sale of Assets

The current climate for nonprofits is unprecedented. Efficient and effective operations are more important than ever. Many nonprofits are working to leverage current assets and seek strategic alliances to ensure continued operations to assist the most vulnerable in society. I’ve worked with many nonprofits to successfully sell assets and navigate mergers and dissolutions, including working through state charity-approval processes, which have become subject to increased scrutiny. Most recently, my work in this area included assisting nonprofit housing organizations sell or refinance housing projects and advising on the merger and sale of assets by health care and nursing home nonprofit organizations.

Charitable Solicitations and Sales Promotions

I’ve assisted numerous charities navigate the various rules regarding charitable solicitations in a market that necessitates the use of social media and electronic communications.

I’ve also represented businesses using promotions to develop brand recognition and sales. Last year, we helped a business develop best practices for operating a national sweepstakes and contests.

What do you see on the horizon?

I’ve been following the demands for increased scrutiny of nonprofit organizations relating to transparency and public accountability. We’re developing strategies for organizations to put their houses in order before the regulators come knocking.

Publications & Presentations

  • “Applying for 501(c)(3) Status: The Basics,” Federal Bar Association, Webinar, June 10, 2022
  • “Non-Profits Law 101: Governance, board functions, compliance, and employment issues within charities,” Federal Bar Association, Webinar, July 2021
  • “Converting a For-Profit to a Nonprofit: Eligibility Tax Considerations IRS Reporting Requirements and More,” NBI Teleconference, November 2019
  • “IRS Guidelines for Good Governance for 501(c)(3) Organizations,” Lorman Education Services, Webinar, August 2019
  • “IRS Guidelines for Good Governance for 501(c)(3) Organizations,” Lorman Education Services, Webinar, February 2019
  • “Obtaining and Sustaining a Tax-Exempt Status,” Webinar, Lorman Education Services, December 2018
  • “Tax Exemption Issues Faced by Orchard Health,” Health Law Journal, New York State Bar Association, Vol. 9, No. 3, Summer/Fall 2004


Anita L. Pelletier



Phone: 585-263-1164

Fax: 585-263-1600

Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., summa cum laude

Maxwell School of Public Administration, M.P.A.

St. John Fisher College, B.A., Economics


New York

Anita Pelletier was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022 in the field of Nonprofit/Charities Law. Anita has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2017.

Anita Pelletier has received numerous awards for her commitment to pro bono service. In 2003, she received the William E. McKnight Award from the Monroe County Bar Association. In 2005, she received the Legal Aid Society of New York City Pro Bono Award. Anita Pelletier is a recipient of Nixon Peabody’s Rodman Peabody Pro Bono Award, winning in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011.

Anita Pelletier is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). She is a past member of the Board of Directors of the YWCA of Rochester and is also involved with the Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys, previously serving as a board member as well as chair of their Media Committee and co-chair of the Program Committee. Anita Pelletier is also a member of the American, New York State, and Monroe County bar associations.

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