Background - Practices (Details)

Nonprofit and Tax-Exempt Organizations


At Crowell & Moring, our full service nonprofit practice represents preeminent international, national, and local nonprofit organizations on a range of ongoing matters.  We are legal counsel to over 100 national and local nonprofit organizations, as well as many international charities. Our clients include public charities, religious organizations, private foundations, industry-leading trade associations, professional societies, educational institutions, philanthropic organizations, health care providers (including academic medical centers, hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, adult care facilities, hospices and continuing care retirement communities), and other nonprofit organizations.

We regularly serve as outside general counsel and principal outside counsel, and also serve as advisors on specific, industry-related public policy issues.  We draw on our broad experience across numerous legal disciplines, extensive experience with the federal government, and offices across the United States to provide counsel on virtually any legal question that may arise.  Our clients benefit from Crowell’s considerable strengths in multiple areas of law, including corporate, regulatory, real estate, litigation, tax, trusts, cybersecurity and privacy, government contracts and financial restructuring.  This collaborative approach has enabled us to meet our clients’ needs no matter how specialized or complex.

On the tax side, we advise exempt organizations throughout all stages of their life cycles, from formation to operations to dissolution. We counsel on a wide spectrum of tax issues ranging from the impact of proposed activities on exempt status, to unrelated business income issues, private foundation status, and issues arising from participation in partnerships, LLCs, and joint ventures. We also conduct internal investigations of alleged private benefit or other allegations of material violations of the federal, state and local tax law applicable to exempt organizations. In addition, we help clients keep abreast of new legislative and regulatory developments relating to lobbying rules, unrelated business taxable income and other matters.

We understand the unique issues facing nonprofit organizations in general corporate matters, including in the formation of a nonprofit, tax exempt legal entities, governance issues, compliance, intellectual property issues, antitrust, general business and finance, operational and transactional matters (including acquisitions, joint ventures, development projects and asset purchases and sales), as well as restructurings.

We regularly advise leadership on the fiduciary duties of directors and officers, routinely deal with State Attorneys General and other State regulators on such matters and help develop appropriate compensation and benefits arrangements.  We also have extensive experience counseling nonprofit organizations on a broad range of labor and employment and employee benefits matters, including ERISA, federal and state wage and hour laws, employment discrimination, health and welfare plans and various tax-qualified and non-qualified retirement plans.

As a Washington-based firm with extensive regulatory experience, we regularly advise trade association clients on issues such as full compliance with the antitrust laws and other regulations affecting trade associations.  Member relationships are a critical component of a trade association’s mission, and we help develop and implement communication plans and advise on other interactions with members and constituencies.

Finally, we are proud of the important role our attorneys have played in developing legislation and public policy that is supportive of the nonprofit sector.