Philanthropic & Non-profit

Dilworth Paxson’s Philanthropic & Non-profit Group provides our clients with a comprehensive understanding of the complexities involved with operating a tax-exempt organization so that with our guidance, they can make informed and educated decisions about the direction of their organization. Our lawyers assist our clients with:

  • Drafting and filing of organizational documents
  • Formation and organization
  • Securing tax-exempt status
  • Selecting the type of exempt organization that is most appropriate
  • Structuring board of directors
  • Structuring the organization and governance

Today, donors face a multitude of sophisticated options and complicated choices in determining how to achieve their philanthropic goals. Both the type of charitable vehicle and the assets utilized are often subject to highly complex and rigorous tax requirements imposed under the Internal Revenue Code. Prospective donors can confidently call upon us to provide highly skilled counsel in determining the best strategy to further their philanthropic objectives.

The group is comprised of lawyers with broad experience in corporate law, taxation, and planned giving. The group counsels both non-profit organizations and individuals. Our goal is to devise prompt, creative legal solutions which enable clients to accomplish their goals effectively.

Our lawyers have experience providing donors with advice furthering their philanthropic goals including palling for the maximization of tax benefits. Our experience includes working with private foundations, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, donor advised funds and supporting organizations, and a host of other planned giving organizations. Our lawyers work closely with non-profit organizations becoming well versed in their governance, operation, tax issues, and obtaining and maintaining tax exemption status with the IRS.

Dilworth Paxson’s Philanthropic & Non-profit Group represents some of the nation's largest and most influential charitable foundations, as well as many public charities such as museums, educational organizations, hospitals, and supporting organizations.

The Philanthropic & Non-profit Group has experience working on the daily operations counsel for all of clients' business entities. Daily operations include advising board of directors and officers, applicable public support tests, excise taxes imposed on private foundations, fundraising, intermediate sanctions rules, ongoing tax-exempt status, Pennsylvania's Purely Public Charity Act, permissible lobbying activities, political activities, and unrelated business income tax.

When necessary and appropriate, our Philanthropic & Non-profit Group lawyers draw upon the vast resources and deep knowledge of their colleagues in other practice areas to advise our tax-exempt clientele. A sampling of legal services which we proudly offer to our non-profit clients includes employee benefits (ERISA) , employment counsel, environmental and land use issues, health law matters, intellectual property (trademark, copyright, technology licensing, e-commerce, website and Internet issues), litigation, and real estate.

Our lawyers also work extensively with creating and counseling private foundations. Working closely with the firm's estate planning lawyers, we advise donors on the design and implementation of private foundations to meet their charitable, financial, tax, and family planning objectives. We have created a multitude of private foundations and advise on compliance with excise tax rules on matters such as self-dealing, qualifying distributions, excess business holdings and jeopardy investments and grant-making including grants to foreign charities, expenditure responsibility requirements, and foreign public charity equivalency procedures.

Representative Matters

  • Represented Orphan’s Court and obtained an approval of early termination of charitable remainder fees.
  • Represented Orphan’s Court and obtained an approval of merger of non-profit organizations.
  • Represented a donor and donor-advised funds in connection with donor intent issue.
  • Created private foundation and supporting organizations.
  • Represented a for-profit company in action brought against it by a private foundation.
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