Why You Need a Nonprofit Attorney

If you are starting and growing your nonprofit, you may be wondering if it’s worth hiring a nonprofit attorney. Perhaps, you may have had a bad experience with an attorney, you think you can’t afford an attorney, or you feel like you don’t need one since you don’t exactly know how an attorney could benefit you when starting and growing your nonprofit. But there are many reasons hiring a nonprofit attorney would be beneficial to your nonprofit. Here are the top reasons you could benefit from having a nonprofit attorney on your team:

1. Form Your Nonprofit

An experienced nonprofit attorney can do everything you need to start a successful 501c3  nonprofit. They can file all of the state and federal paperwork that you need to be in compliance and avoid legal trouble with the IRS. If you don’t know how to get started, nonprofit attorneys can take care of everything from start to finish to get your nonprofit up and running. 

2. Answer Your Questions

As you start your nonprofit and continue to grow, you are going to have questions. Your questions might range from removing board members, changing your nonprofit’s address, transferring property to your nonprofit, accepting donations from donors overseas, partnering with other nonprofits, raising money, hiring employees, or paying yourself a salary, just to name a few. Having a nonprofit attorney on your team that knows the answers, understands your goals, and can give you guidance when you need it will help you avoid costly mistakes and reach your goals faster. 

3. Give You Strategy to Grow

So what is the very first thing you should do once your 501c3 nonprofit is approved? How do you build a sustainable base of donors? How do you keep volunteers engaged? A good nonprofit attorney can give you a step-by-step plan of action to grow and achieve your goals in record time.

Hiring a specialized nonprofit attorney, like our team at Chisholm Law Firm, can help you achieve fast growth in a number of ways. Whether you need help fundraising, applying for grants, hiring and managing your staff, recruiting volunteers, or applying for federal trademarks, we are here to help.

4. Review Your Contracts

A nonprofit attorney will review your contracts to make sure they say what you think they say. From basic contracts like hiring a web developer to reviewing a commercial lease agreement, you need to have your legal documents reviewed before signing them. Legal contracts are often written in complicated language or “legalese” to make it hard for non-attorneys to understand what they’re signing. You need to be crystal clear on the agreement you’re making when you sign a contract, which is why you should hire an attorney to read over the contract so you know what you’re getting into. 

5. Advise You Regarding Opportunities

Your nonprofit lawyer should be able to analyze any potential partnerships, sponsorships, or opportunities you receive to tell you what is in the best interest of your nonprofit. You need an attorney to review each specific opportunity to make sure that you are seeing all perspectives, both the pros and the cons. As they say, the devil is in the details. The difference between a good deal and a bad deal is found in the terms, and an experienced lawyer can help you make sure you have the best terms.

6. Negotiations

Once you know what the terms are, your nonprofit lawyer will negotiate for you so that you do not jeopardize your industry relationships. Let your lawyer be the villain – not you. Lawyers are bound by a strict code that requires them to fight for the best interests of their client. If you’re in a difficult negotiation, you can blame the process on your lawyer while reaping the benefits of having contracts that result in more donations for your charity and protect your legal interests.

7. Save Money & Save on Your Taxes

Legal fees are tax-deductible, so you can typically deduct your legal fees on your taxes to save some money. Besides the tax benefits, hiring an attorney can save you money in the long run. It’s cheaper to have something reviewed by an attorney than it is to fight in court. You will likely only spend a few hundred dollars having your agreements reviewed upfront, but a lawsuit down the road could cost you thousands. 

8. Peace of Mind Knowing That Things Are Done the Right Way

Unless you’ve read the entire IRS code and stay current with the ever-changing state and federal laws, there may be a lot of things that you don’t know about starting and running a nonprofit. These things could result in costly mistakes that you can easily avoid by having an experienced nonprofit attorney doing the work for you or at least advising you before you make decisions.

At Chisholm Law Firm, we have a 100% success rate for our clients. You can rest assured that your nonprofit is in the best hands and that we’ll get everything done right the first time. Call us today to schedule your free consultation.


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