Counsel to a wide range of charitable and other nonprofit entities, and those who support them, Mike Cooney provides the nonprofit corporate and tax-exempt context in which these organizations can drive mission and margin.
My work optimizes the ability of nonprofits to accomplish their mission by identifying opportunities for enhanced fundraising and grant access, project management, governance, and legal compliance. The approach benefits from the widest array of institutions and geographies, with a fundamental understanding of what makes nonprofit institutions successful in today’s competitive environment. The focus is largely structural, with an emphasis on sustainable and organic growth through systems that align the client’s resources and goals.
Tax work takes many forms. Charitable institutions and their donors have an array of tax benefits available to help advance their mission. We understand those incentives and advise on how to increase their impact in today’s economy. That spans from educational entities considering corporate combinations, program-related investments by private foundations to the proper structuring of integrated fundraising campaigns, and the investment of donor-restricted assets and naming opportunities.
Good governance is vital to operations and we fashion approaches that make the most of precious volunteer time and resources. That includes the use of multi corporate environments and joint ventures to accomplish exempt purposes.
At the same time, we appreciate that success involves a degree of risk, so that when challenges arise, our work involves the identification of a plan and resources necessary to continue the focus on success. In the highly regulated environment in which our clients exist, it is essential to be able to marshal such resources quickly and efficiently.
The capacity of nonprofit entities to provide needed services is being challenged by economic forces and a highly complex regulatory environment. Their success will be rooted in new partnerships, drawing on the best practices of business and governmental sectors.
District of Columbia
Hamilton College, B.A., magna cum laude (Senior Fellow)
University of Virginia, J.D., Managing Editor, Virginia Journal of International Law
Mike is a member of the American, New York State, District of Columbia, and Florida bar associations and the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He is currently vice chair of the board of Charity Navigator and board member at Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.
Michael was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2023 in the fields of Nonprofit/Charities Law and Tax Law. Mike has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2007, and was named Best Lawyers® 2017 and 2019 Non-Profit/Charities Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Washington, DC.
Mike has also been recognized in Super Lawyers New York—Metro in Nonprofit, Schools & Education, and Healthcare (2012). A Thomson Reuters publication, Super Lawyers evaluates lawyers based on a peer-review surveys and independent research.
This article about charitable giving features Washington DC nonprofit/higher education partner Mike Cooney discussing the personal drivers behind choosing a charity.
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