The nonprofit sector is a vibrant part of our economy and our society’s
identity. It is also a growing and interesting legal practice area. This
course introduces students to the legal life cycle of nonprofit
organizations from formation to dissolution.We will study laws
regulating nonprofit board member responsibilities, fundraising,
commercial activities, political involvement, and legislative activity.
These laws affect diverse organizations, such as those specializing in
social service of various kinds, legal aid, environmental protection,
disaster relief, and religious organizations. Some organizations provide
services while others’ primary mission is the dissemination of ideas.
In a society that values innovation and volunteerism, laws regulating
nonprofit sector activity must strike a balance between collecting tax
revenues and foregoing tax revenues to facilitate unique, positive
contributions by nonprofit organizations. While covering the a few basic
tax laws regulating the nonprofit sector, we will be considering
whether a fair and efficient balance has been struck. There are no
prerequisites for this course. Students should be aware that class
attendance/participation is mandatory. Also, students should expect
short and medium-length graded written assignments in addition to an
oral presentation on an organization they choose to follow or design
during the semester.