Nonprofit Governance Matters



We use our unique business sense to help clients tackle their specialized issues and day-to-day operational concerns—for now and into the years ahead.

Our approach

Nonprofit board members play a more important role than ever. Pressures are great, resources are limited and structures are becoming increasingly complex. We partner with nonprofit organizations to understand their individual goals, operations and culture to develop strategies to meet the individual needs of the organization within the parameters of the law.

We review corporate documents, consult on fiduciary responsibilities of directors and officers and counsel on organization and reorganization of nonprofit entities.

We analyze in detail and advise clients on liability insurance for directors and officers and have worked with several state attorneys general in delicate matters of public trust and fund management.

Not only do we understand the growing pressures for driving more revenues from existing resources, but we work with nonprofit organizations to incorporate for-profit business concepts into the nonprofit sphere and with for-profit companies to incorporate charitable aims into their business operations.

We use our essential experience and knowledge to partner with grantmaking institutions that invest their capital for social change.

Who we work with

  • Foundations
  • Charitable organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Hospitals and health care systems
  • Religious institutions
  • Trade associations
  • Museums and cultural organizations
  • Professional schools

Recent experience

  • We counseled a newly formed, international foundation on how to gain and maintain public charity status in the United States by establishing a fundraising program to attract major corporate sponsorship and still achieve public charity status.
  • We advised a new foundation in structuring grant and loan agreements that provided flexibility for potential grantees while protecting foundation assets when making grants to financially distressed facilities and organizations.
  • We performed a restricted fund audit to assist a foundation in determining how best to allocate and invest its funds, which review was endorsed by the local attorney general’s office during a subsequent review and challenge.
  • We developed and implemented a post-merger reorganization plan for a major national trade association that streamlined numerous nonprofit and for-profit subsidiaries, eliminated duplication and creatively used LLCs (limited liability corporations) to minimize unrelated business income taxes.

The Duty of Obedience in a Time of Change

Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Blog | June 07, 2016

Washington, DC, partner and leader of the firm’s Higher Education and Nonprofit Organizations teams Mike Cooney authored this column discussing the duty of obedience—a fiduciary duty of board members to ensure that the institution is operating according to its stated purposes in its governing documents.

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