Orrick’s tax lawyers provide legal counsel to a variety of charitable, educational, scientific, and religious organizations.

Our involvement with sophisticated charitable organizations incorporated in California includes serving as general counsel to a complex family of entities that operates affordable housing facilities, assisting the Board of Directors of an organization with over $200 million in annual revenues in navigating the safe harbors on reasonable compensation, and forming organizations to assist hospitals and universities in off-balance sheet financings.  In addition, we have advised a considerable number of other corporate private foundations and individual private foundations with respect to California corporate issues, federal excise taxes, and fundraising.  By way of example, our work in this regard has included:
  • Working with a for-profit entity to transition an employee matching gift program to its company foundation in accordance with the self-dealing rules.
  • Assisting a private foundation to implement the due diligence procedures required for scholarship programs under the taxable expenditure rules.
  • Drafting grant agreements to ensure that a company foundation did not inadvertently create a donor advised fund at the grantee organization.
  • Obtaining Section 501(c)(3) status for an organization formed to offer disaster relief assistance to employees of a particular company.  
  • Drafting conflict of interest, record retention and joint venture policies for numerous Section 501(c)(3) organizations.

We also represent public bodies and nonprofit organizations operated on behalf of governmental agencies in financing and investment concerns. 

As part of our commitment to the public and to the American Bar Association, we offer pro bono counsel to nonprofits, from microfinance entities that operate in numerous foreign countries to volunteer-run organizations that conduct book drives for local schools.

In addition to our extensive contributions to the nonprofit sector, we have substantial experience in handling issues involving the regulation of charitable organizations by the California Attorney General.