For many small to medium-sized nonprofits, knowing what to do when legal matters arise is a daunting challenge. Given the constant strain of limited resources, calling a lawyer to get good counsel often seems out of reach. Many nonprofit organizations attempt to get around this by having a lawyer serve on the Board of Directors on a volunteer basis. At a basic level, this makes sense—why pay for an attorney when we can get one to volunteer on our Board?
Of course, this approach certainly can work some of the time, but it often means that a lawyer who practices in a field wholly unrelated to nonprofit law ends up being on the Board simply because the lawyer knew someone else on the Board. We've worked with numerous nonprofit Boards where there was an attorney on the Board and more often than not the attorney worked in an area such as family law or immigration. While areas like family law or immigration will of course be helpful to a nonprofit organization on occasion, those areas aren't likely to be helpful on a day-to-day basis.
Many organizations believe the only alternative is to go to one of the big firms in town that has a nonprofit practice group. There are some excellent big firms in Kansas City doing truly great work for the nonprofit sector, but for many small to medium-sized nonprofits, those firms are simply cost-prohibitive.
We believe that nonprofits deserve to have legal counsel that understands and has experience in the field of nonprofit law. We also believe that nonprofits deserve to have legal counsel that is attainable from a cost perspective. At Mission Counsel, we offer nonprofits both: knowledgeable, nonprofit-specific legal counsel that is affordable for most organizations. Here are just some of the areas that we regularly advise on:
- IRS compliance
- Board governance
- Intellectual property
- Alternative Entity Structures (use of LLCs, for-profit subsidiaries, etc.)
- International Grantmaking
- Faith-based issues
- Executive Compensation
- Fiscal Sponsorship
- Unrelated Business Income
- Real estate
- Documentary filmmaking