Tax-Exempt Organizations

The economic shifts of the last several years have had far-reaching effects on tax-exempt organizations. This burden has been compounded by changes in tax law, increased scrutiny of boards of directors, and rising concerns about compliance and governance. As a result, not-for-profits are facing an array of new challenges —and new opportunities.

The Tax-Exempt Organizations Group at Quarles & Brady has a long and successful history of representing private and public foundations, schools (including public and private colleges, universities, and charter schools) and other educational institutions, museums, research institutions, hospitals and health care entities, trade and professional associations, social clubs, and other not-for-profit organizations. The Tax-Exempt Organizations Group also represents a variety of for-profit and "hybrid" entities (such as benefit corporations) that are working with, partnering with, receiving fundraising from, or otherwise engaging with tax-exempt organizations. As part of a full-service firm with offices across the country, we blend the responsive, focused attention of a boutique practice with the resources of a national firm, offering common sense solutions to complex legal concerns.

This practical attitude, coupled with our attorneys' exceptional legal knowledge and extensive real-world experience, has resulted in one of the strongest tax-exempt practices in the country.

At Quarles & Brady, we take seriously our role as advisors to tax-exempt organizations and other clients. This means, imagining ourselves in our clients' position and asking our clients what they want and need from their attorneys. It means drawing on our extensive legal knowledge as well as our practical experience with not-for-profit organizations of all types. It means understanding our clients' objectives and then providing the resources and the commitment to make them happen.

The issues facing foundations, research and health care institutions, and other tax-exempt organizations extend well beyond basic grantmaking, services, programs, and organizational operations. Many of our clients are engaged in increasingly complex activities and transactions.

The attorneys of the Tax-Exempt Organizations Group have considerable real-world experience with the challenges and opportunities facing not-for-profits. In addition to our work on behalf of our clients, we are committed to serving our communities through volunteer and leadership positions in a range of organizations and by serving on various governmental and non-governmental bodies. For example, our group includes volunteers, and current and former members of the board of directors and committees of the Donors Forum, the Donors Forum of Wisconsin, the Chicago Bar Association, and the American Bar Association. Partners have served as directors of institutions as diverse as the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, Chicago Women in Philanthropy, and many, many more. Lending a governmental and regulatory perspective, one of our partners is a member of the Illinois Attorney General's Charitable Advisory Council; other members of the group serve and have served on a variety of administrative and advisory boards across the country.

Our attorneys are also frequent speakers at sector conferences and association meetings, regular contributors to journals and legal publications, and active members and leaders in a range of bar association groups and committees. This extensive experience gives us a unique perspective on the challenges and concerns of today's not-for-profit leaders. We do more than protect our clients' legal interests: we serve as advisors on a range of issues with which we have gained considerable personal familiarity.

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