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Nonprofits & Associations

ArentFox Schiff has been serving as the go-to law firm for tax-exempt organizations across the nonprofit sector for over 70 years. We provide cost-effective, practical, business-oriented solutions to address all of our nonprofit clients’ needs, advising on the regulatory, operational, programmatic, and transactional considerations that are unique to their status as nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations in addition to those considerations that apply equally to for-profit, taxable organizations.

Our Focus

We maintain an extensive practice counseling tax-exempt organizations in the nonprofit sector. Our clients operate in a variety of focus areas and industries, and we provide industry-specific business and organizational strategies and sophisticated legal solutions in each. What sets our Nonprofits & Associations group apart is our attorneys’ focus on nonprofit and association counsel. We specialize in what it means to be a nonprofit organization; our clients’ tax-exempt status does not come as an afterthought.

We provide collaborative, comprehensive support to our clients with unwavering attention to the federal and state tax and nonprofit designations that shape their operations. Our clients benefit from working with our well-rounded team comprised of attorneys and professionals who focus their practices entirely on nonprofit associations and attorneys that specialize in every area of our clients’ industries and operations. We partner with public charities, private foundations, trade associations, civic leagues, social welfare organizations, labor organizations, and political organizations, among other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, to help them achieve their goals and further their missions. Our clients range from some of the country’s largest and most well-known institutions to smaller, earlier-stage nonprofits and start-up organizations. In addition, we counsel a number of large, affiliated groups of nonprofit organizations, including those with for-profit affiliates or subsidiaries, and are well-versed in helping them structure their activities and operations to mitigate risk to their tax-exempt status and comply with state nonprofit regulations.


Who We Help

We serve clients across industries:

  • Arts, Cultural, and Humanitarian, including museums, theaters, and international relief organizations.
  • Educational, Research, and Scientific, including colleges and universities, charter schools, private schools, nonprofit news organizations, scientific research organizations, medical research organizations (MROs), research institutes, and think tanks.
  • Environmental, including agricultural organizations, land trusts, national resource management organizations, and climate-related organizations.
  • Housing and Human Services, including low-income and affordable housing organizations, senior housing organizations, legal services organizations, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and social services organizations.
  • Medical, Health, and Wellness, including hospitals and health care systems, health maintenance organizations, health and wellness organizations, senior living, skilled nursing, and long-term care facilities, and hospice, palliative, and home health care providers.
  • Political and Advocacy, including political action committees (PACs) and super PACs, 501(c)(4) advocacy, policy, and social welfare organizations, and organizations focusing on international affairs.
  • Private Foundations and Public Charities, including private operating foundations, grantmaking foundations and public charities, family foundations, “friends of” organizations, community foundations, and supporting organizations.
  • Religious Organizations, including churches, synagogues, mosques, their administrative bodies and integrated auxiliaries, their supporting organizations, religious orders, and religious educational institutions.
  • Trade Associations serving hundreds of industry sectors.

What We Do

Nonprofit organizations have unique needs driven by their tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code; their nonprofit status under state nonprofit corporation and trust laws; and, for charitable organizations, their regulation by state charity officials. Nonprofits are also subject to laws that apply more broadly to all types of businesses, sometimes to the same extent as for-profit organizations and sometimes with modifications unique to their tax-exempt or nonprofit status. At ArentFox Schiff, many of our attorneys focus their practice primarily or exclusively on advising nonprofit organizations. Our key service areas include:

Charitable Regulation and State Attorney General Oversight

Corporate, Governance, and Transactional

Finance and Real Estate

Financial Restructuring and Bankruptcy

Government Contracts

Government Relations

Intellectual Property

Labor, Employment & OSHA


Tax and Tax-Exempt Compliance

Key Contacts