Nonprofit Legal Alerts

The materials in our Resources section are for informational purposes only, without any representation that they are accurate or complete. These publications do not constitute legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship between the reader and any other person, nor are they an offer to create such a relationship. These publications are current as of the date written, but laws change over time and vary from state to state. As a result, the information presented here may not be timely and/or appropriate for any state not specifically addressed in a publication. Consult an attorney if you have questions regarding the content of any publication.

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Can My Nonprofit Be Sued Over Donated Food?

Posted on February 15, 2019

Food donations support many in need, but nonprofits must not overlook their legal risks and obligations in distributing donated items. Every day, food is wasted by restaurants, growers and stores. This is in part because potential donors fail to understand food donation policy or fear possible liability. Fortunately, a federal law known as the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act provides fairly broad protections to food donors and nonprofits distributing donated food. This article provides an overview of the Good Samaritan Act and some factors to consider for nonprofits engaged in or considering engaging in food donations.

UPDATED: Determining Your Unrelated Business Income Tax Owed if You Provide Parking & MARTA Passes to Your Employees

Posted on January 19, 2019

If you are providing parking to your employees on your own property, on leased property, or on a nearby parking lot, or if you are providing MARTA passes to employees, whether you are paying directly for these benefits or providing them through a pre-tax deduction to your employees’ pay, there may be tax implications for your organization under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This article will provide you with information about the potential tax implications for nonprofits that provide these benefits to their employees, and includes updated information from the IRS on this subject.

Continuing Government Shutdown Impacts Employers (Including Nonprofits)

Posted on January 18, 2019

The government shutdown has impacted some government agencies and services that are typically used by or interact with nonprofit employers. The purpose of this article is to inform you of the current situation involving various federal agencies with which you may have contact.

Tax Implications for Executive Compensation in Nonprofit Organizations

Posted on November 28, 2018

Attracting and retaining the right talent to provide leadership can have a significant impact on how dynamically a nonprofit organization is able to meet the needs of its community. While there are many methods for providing benefits to executives, one primary focus for attracting talent is designing attractive compensation packages. However, compensation for employees of nonprofit organizations, and in particular executives, is subject to special restrictions under the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). This article will provide guidance for organizations to help navigate some of these restrictions.

Topics covered in this article include:
(1) What is reasonable compensation?
(2) What is a private inurement?
(3) How does the new tax bill affect compensation for nonprofit executives?
(4) Guidance for structuring an incentive compensation policy.

Thinking About Changing Your Name?

Posted on October 5, 2018

If your organization’s plans for the new year include a name change, check out our article that presents steps for changing the legal name of a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit organization in Georgia.

Food Donation Liability Protection

Posted on August 29, 2018

Everyday food may be wasted if potential donors fear liability. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act protects donors and recipient agencies from liability when distributing donated foods. View this webcast to learn how you and your organization are protected by federal and state laws.

Specifically, the webcast will cover:

– Can your organization be sued if food you donated caused someone to get ill?
– How does the law apply to prepared foods (like applesauce, cooked veggies, etc.)?
– What type of food donations are protected under the law?
– Are there certain conditions for food packaging, content, and expiration date?

(more…)

Is Your Employee or Volunteer a Foreign National?

Posted on August 15, 2018

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”) prohibits discrimination in hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, and other aspects of employment, on the basis of race, color, or national origin

    . Employers are also prohibited from discriminating because of citizenship status against U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and the following classes of aliens with work authorization: permanent residents, temporary residents (that is, individuals who have gone through the legalization program), refugees, and asylees. However, foreign nationals and their potential employers should be aware that there are U.S. immigration regulations associated with both employment and volunteer opportunities. The unlawful employment of foreign nationals by U.S. employers is a violation of federal law and can subject employers to both civil and criminal penalties.

Risks and Rewards of Crowdfunding for Nonprofits

Posted on July 27, 2018

Crowdfunding has become an increasingly popular tool in a nonprofit’s fundraising arsenal, and with good reason. Crowdfunding is essentially a means of asking for online donations to support specific projects and fundraising events. Organizations can pay crowdfunding platforms such as Crowdrise, PayPal Giving Fund, and Kiva, which are fundraising websites specifically geared towards nonprofits, to showcase particular projects and to collect donations on their behalf. Doing so can enable even a small nonprofit to gain national exposure and significantly enhance its funding potential.

With the benefits and popularity surrounding crowdfunding, it is easy to overlook the potential associated legal risks. For every nonprofit currently engaged in or considering engaging in crowdfunding, here are a few of the many factors to consider.

Beware of Trademark Scams

Posted on July 19, 2018

Applying for a trademark is a crucial step in solidifying and protecting your organization’s hard work and reputation. However, when applying for a trademark, your address, email address, and other details of your registration are added to the public domain. This gives unethical companies the opportunity to flood your mailbox and your email with deceiving notices in an attempt to get you to pay for private trademark renewal services you do not need. Please be aware that you are not required to pay for services through these private companies to renew a trademark registration.

The Family and Medical Leave Act and Nonprofits

Posted on July 3, 2018

Nonprofits may be subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This article is intended to provide a general overview of the FMLA. Topics covered in this article are:

    1. What is the FMLA?;
    2. Who qualifies as a “covered” employer and an eligible employee;
    3. Obligations of under the FMLA;
    4. Qualifying reasons for FMLA leave; and 5. What employers are prohibited from doing under the FMLA.