Tax-Exempt Organizations


National Reputation, National Resources

Across the country, Quarles & Brady has become known as a firm of choice for grantmaking foundations and tax-exempt organizations of all types. We are proud of this reputation, but more importantly, we are proud of the client relationships and service levels that are the source of this reputation.

From our offices in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, our attorneys provide clients with the focused, personal services they have come to value, backed by the exceptional resources and efficiencies of a large firm. We offer legal counsel customized to the unique needs of tax-exempt organizations, including

  • Structuring articles of incorporation, bylaws, and other governance documents.
  • Securing and maintaining tax-exempt status.
  • Providing advice regarding corporate procedures and governance, operation of the board of directors, and appropriate board resolutions and minutes.
  • Assisting with grantmaking issues and documentation, including lobbying and expenditure responsibility matters, matching gifts, employee scholarship programs, and international grantmaking.
  • Providing advice and legal opinions regarding program-related investments.
  • Addressing investment policies and procedures, investment management contracts, and alternative and other investment documents.
  • Analyzing self-dealing, excess benefit transactions, and private benefit issues.
  • Preparing and reviewing conflict-of-interest policies.
  • Addressing employment and employee benefit matters.
  • Reviewing leases and other contracts.
  • Assisting with respect to tax-exempt financing.
  • Advising regarding internet and intellectual property matters, including website development, hosting, internet agreements, internet fundraising, privacy, linking, and other issues specific to tax-exempt organizations.
  • Addressing software licensing, copyright, trademark, patent, and computer law issues.
  • Assisting charities with fundraising activities, such as charitable solicitation compliance and charity gaming.
  • Working with institutions to implement creative planned giving strategies, such as charitable gift annuity programs, donor-advised funds, and split-interest trusts.
  • Assisting organizations with tax-reporting requirements, appropriate means to obtain favorable tax treatment and to avoid unfavorable tax consequences, and ongoing compliance with tax and charitable organization laws.
  • Securing rulings and determinations from the IRS.
  • Addressing issues concerning regulation by state Attorneys General, including annual reporting.
  • Providing advice on permissible lobbying, political activity, and other advocacy matters.
  • Assisting with government relations and related legal compliance.
  • Structuring affiliated organizations and other complex structures, including for-profit subsidiaries, for-profit/not-for-profit ventures, and unrelated business taxable income planning.
  • Planning and implementing mergers, liquidations, and other strategic restructurings.

Similar to any other organization or company, not-for-profits sometimes are faced with unique or broad challenges that require experience and resources outside of traditional areas. Rather than forcing our clients to seek specialized, additional representation—with the concurrent costs and inefficiencies that are often the result—our attorneys can tap into and coordinate the services of attorneys throughout the firm, enabling clients to respond rapidly to emerging issues, secure in the knowledge that their concerns will be treated with the responsiveness and professionalism they deserve and have come to expect.

We work regularly with attorneys from our corporate, employee benefits, environmental, health law, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, public finance, tax, and other practice groups. Our organizational structure does not mean organizational barriers; rather, it means that clients have access to the resources they need, when they need them.

As demonstrated by our longstanding relationships with many of the country's major foundations and other tax-exempt organizations, our clients have come to depend on the sound business judgment and legal counsel provided by the Tax-Exempt Organizations Group at Quarles & Brady. However, rather than rest on past accomplishments, we constantly seek to set and achieve a higher standard for ourselves, and for legal service providers in general.

We are personally and professionally committed to helping our not-for-profit clients continue to meet their educational, charitable, social service, and other goals.

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